Thanks, ye harbingers of information! I passed the IZ0-803 after a month of preparation. I took my time over two weeks going through the Finegan/Liguori OCE Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide, spending about a day on each chapter, just really absorbing as much as I could. Every time I had a question about a concept I would google about it, do some applications regarding it, and move on once it made sense.
I ended up making a flashcard application to help with memorizing the different packages and to help with utilizing them through the development of the application (which was a nice way to study).
I bought the Enthuware practice test program after a week and a half of prep, and found it a huge boost to my success. The highest score I ever got was a 66%, but I have a hard time sitting still long enough to finish practice tests, especially when they're just for my own records. It helped loads, though. Excellent explanations and great forum support by those Enthuware chaps. Well worth the $10 or whatever it was.
Over the few days before the exam I started digging in to Bert and Kathy's Java SE 6 book. What a great read! Not too sure I'd recommend using it for your main study source, but great for filling in the gaps. I found even the 2-minute recaps at the end of each chapter were quite helpful for me to remind myself to be confident in my knowledge.
I do have a degree in Computer Science (nearly all C++) and maybe a year and a half of Java experience from about six/seven years ago, so I wasn't completely a beginner, but if you're focused and committed, I'd say my route to learn was pretty good. I didn't use the forums here too much, but it was nice to read about people's experiences and about some of the questions people had. Thanks for being such a great community!
Oracle Certified Java Associate (or is it Java Programmer?)
You took step 1 in the journey to become an Oracle Certified Programmer. To become one you have to pass the OCPJP7 exam and then you can add Oracle Certified Java Programmer on your cv and impress people Good luck!