Coderanch has been very inspiring for me to pass this exam so I believe I should share my experience as well. So here we go
I have been in computer science background for past two years now. I had a basic knowledge of Java before I started preparing for the exam since it was one of the important subjects during my college days. But preparing for a certification exam is totally different. One needs to have appropriate exam material and some practice with Mock Exams.
It took me 3 months to prepare for the exam. I started off with SCJP 1.6 by Kathy and Bert as the initial chapters of the this book have the same objectives. I really like the way they explain complex concepts (I had read Head First Java some two years back :P). Later I ordered OCA Java 8 by Jeanne and Scott. I revised this book some two times I guess, as it had all the objectives covered. The review questions were also pretty good. After 2.5 months, I gave the sybex exam. Sadly I couldn't score more than 60% in the first exam. So I re-read few topics and gave the second exam. Here are my scores for all the sybex exam:-
Then I purchased Enthuware Mock Exams and Whizlabs too. Enthuware is the best product for giving mock exams. Its interface and question type is quite similar to actual Oracle Exam. So one should purchase it definitely. Moreover, they cover all the topics and great explanation too for correct as well as incorrect answers. One can visit later also to review all the questions. The level of difficulty of Enthuware Exam is a little high. So don't worry if you are not scoring very well. Just review the questions, study the concepts and redo the wrong questions again. Here are my Enthuware Mock Exam scores :-
1.Foundation Test : 76%
2.Test 1: 65%
3.Test 2: 61%
4.Test 3: 74%
5.Test 4: 74%
6.Test 5: 62%
7.Test 6: 96% (It was a fluke actually, there were no questions on any of my weak topics ;))
8.Last Day Test: 83%
Whizlabs mock exams were also good. But I would prefer Enthuware over it since it covers all the topics in a much better way(explanation and difficulty level). My Whizlabs Mock Exams scores :-
1.Practice Test 1: 75%
2.Practice Test 2: 81%
3.Final Test: 69%
As for the real Oracle exam, my exam center was quite good and silent too. They provide you with a whiteboard and marker instead of a pen and paper. But that wasn't very challenging. The questions were similar to Enthuware mock exams (the theory ones too and they are can be quite confusing ). I finished the exam some 20 minutes before so I reviewed the ones I had marked( some 10 questions I wasn't sure upon). Finally I passed the exam with 85% !!. I guess I got some 10-11 questions wrong. Oracle does not tell which questions you got wrong but mentions about the topics that you can improve upon so thats good.
While preparing for the exam, for once I felt I may not be able to pass this exam but thanks to all my college professors, family and friends who supported me. A great deal of thanks to Kathy and Bert, Jeanne and Scott, best books ever . Thanks to Enthuware for providing such excellent explanations and tricky questions.
Thanks to Coderanch for guiding me with the exam structure and preparation styles.
Today I have passed 1Z0-808.
The preparations took 4 months. I have used Mala Gupta book, Enthuware tests, and few Whizlabs tests.
I want to submit the quality of Enthuware preparation questions sets, and tests: very good answer explanations, and a very up to date service.
Whizlabs is ok too, but Enthuware is the best!!
My programming background was very poor, and before starting the tests, I have passed Enthuware Objective-Wise Tests after reading each Mala Gupta book chapter. I took them many many times(7-8 attempts for every topic test).
My Enthuware test scores:
Final Test: 80%
Final test: 80%
Real Exam: 97%
Thanks Coderanch, Enthuware, and Mala Gupta for preparation sets, and hints.