this is my first post so I would like to welcome everyone.
Yesterday I passed 1Z0-803 exam with the result of 86%.
I was using the resources listed below:
1) OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide (Exams 1Z0-803 & 1Z0-804) by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
2) OCAJP Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 7 Programmer Practice Exams by Hanumant Deshmukh
3) Thinking in Java (4th Edition) by Bruce Eckel
I was working as a Java developer for 3 years and for the last year I was using a different language based on the JVM in my everyday work.
It took me 6 full days (app. 10 hours every day) to prepare for the exam - 3 days of reading (refreshing knowledge) and 3 days of solving tests.
During the first three days I was reading the book (1) from the list above very carefully and it helped me a lot - especially first chapter which contains test solving strategy.
On the fourth day of my preparation I solved the first test from the book (2) and didn't get impressive result (about 65%).
Every exam that I took from the book "OCAJP Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 7 Programmer Practice Exams" by Hanumant Deshmukh I passed for the first time with result from 65% to 75%.
I took only first 5 exams from this book. I also did two final tests from the "OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide (Exams 1Z0-803 & 1Z0-804) by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates" book and passed them with 73% and 65%.
I didn't take any exam twice, but I was reading the answers to the questions and looking at mistakes that I did.
When I was taking the exams I was measuring the time that took me to solve it.
On the last two days I was also reading "Thinking in Java" a little bit as a refresher - only small parts according to the questions, which were the hardest for me.
Before the exam I wasn't sure whether I'll pass it or not. The happy thing was that I didn't fail any of the mock exams.
It took me 1 hours an 10 minutes to solve 55 questions. I marked 15 for review and it took my 50minutes to solve them. I was checking some answers for 2-3 times and it wasn't good becoues I wasted some time on that.
The final exam for me was easier than the ones that I took from the books (1) and (2).
I was expecting to get at best 65-75% based on the tests that I solved and I was dreaming to get the result of 90%.
After the exam I felt that I passed, but I wasn't 100% sure.
I was not expecting to get the result of 86% and for me this is a great score.
I think that I could have done better, but anyway I am very happy, because during this six days I have learned a lot.
The next steps for me are to prepare for and pass the following exams:
1) Java SE 7 Programmer II 1Z0-804
2) Upgrade Java SE 7 to Java SE 8 OCP Programmer 1Z0-810.