Thought i would give some input on my experience with the exam and the study materials.
First of all, the test is difficult. I personally don't think its the right kind of difficult, its difficult because every question has multiple possible correct answers. If you were to go into the world and ask some senior architects some of these questions im 100% sure you would get different answers. Some of the questions content I googled after the test, and i could not find any reference to written materials with the same options as the test. Sure, its supposed to be something you know from experience, only lots of these things i don't believe to be clear cut at all. There is really 2 answers that could be right. There was even one question about the tiers where i was not sure if they were asking what advantage was achieved by increasing the tiers or which NFR would suffer because of it. The question was just phrased in such a way that i was not sure what they were asking. To me thats kinda stupid, what are you really testing here.
Anyways, back to the point. With all respect to the various authors of tests and books. I mainly used the Bambara/Allen study guide. So, the book is not bad as a stand alone book on Java EE. But its not good as a study guide. Again, i saw some questions in the test, and i knew for a fact that this was not covered in the book. There was a question on Logging best practices, where none of the options were even discussed in the book. Like they discuss donkeys and elephants as best practices but in the test your options are apples and pears. I found this quite often, logging is just the thing i can remember now. As i read though the book i knew almost everything discussed, but when the test came i was like wtf is this I didnt see anything on this in the book. I dont even know what to recommend as a study guide so as things go this book probably isnt a bad choice. But its not nearly enough, not by a long-shot. I went through all the various exam notes as recommened by others as well, like Mikalai Zaikins notes etc.
In terms of practice tests i usually go with Enthuware but since they dont have this test i went with EzPractice Labs. I absolutely hate these guys. Ive used them before. The study material is a joke, there are lots of mistakes. The tool is crap. i can go on and on. Sometimes in the 'explanation' of an answer they just repeat the answer. Stuff like this. Im pretty sure that people on here that recommend them must work for them, because for me theres lots of work required there before i would ever recommend it.
My best suggestion is do every possible practice test you can get your hands on. Dont buy all of them, there's lots of free ones. Google the test code along with practice tests or something.
Without going into details, some topics that threw me off a bit:
- Make sure you know the advantages/disadvantages of going from 2 tier to 3 tier in-depth. I Think i had like 3 questions on this. And again, this is a topic where every study material you read has different answers. So good luck with figuring out what Oracle thinks is the right answer.
- Understand the messaging modes of "at-most-once"/"once-and-only-once" in JMS. This wasnt in my study material, was a wtf moment. Think i got the question right though, was just unexpected.
- Understand the advantages/disadvantages and differences of JSPs vs JSF.
- Possible disadvantages of JPA where the options werent really in the study materials