First of all, thanks to Boyarsky/Selikoff for the books and Enthuware for the mock exams.
I'm currently employed as a senior java developer and coding java for 9 years. Compared to some other exam takers, I had much more real life experience.
Yet, I passed with 74%, slightly over the passing score.
And this is after 4 weeks of preparation (2-3 hours a day) on top of 9 years... So guys if you didn't pass, do not think that you are incapable of coding or anything. If I had not studied and just depend on my past experience, I would fail too. Test covers a lot of topics, time is short, questions are tricky...
On the other hand, with focused preparation (probably a few months) and solving lots of mock tests, anyone can pass this test. Including students or juniors. And you will learn a lot of useful stuff about Java and OOP on the way.
In real life, you need to work with legacy code. Sometimes Java 1.6, 7, 8.. I haven't worked with anything beyond 8 yet. Never coded a single line using 'var'. Never created or maintained a modular application. I haven't used JDBC for years (using JPA instead). Never needed Localization... I rarely use Files, I/O, NIO because I work on web projects. I created a custom Annotation only once in 9 years. I'm aware of lambda's convenience, but still mostly coding loops in traditional way.
This 819 test had some really easy questions. But it also had some questions that demonstrate edge cases that you avoid in real life (variable shadowing, complicated overloads, bad namings, bad class designs....) Although I agree that you need to know them to avoid them, to understand and solve these under 1.8 minute per question, you need to practice them. And that's not something you can have with real life experience.
In general it was a tough but fun experience, thanks to Oracle for making it $25 and I wish best of luck to everyone!
What I enjoy about Java, is there are always new things to learn, what I dislike about exams is you have to remember stuff you dont really use anymore. I did a coding example recently and it was all based on JPA one to one, many, many to many, all good solid stuff. But the problem was it was solid stuff from 4 years ago, since for the last 4 years I have been working on NoSQL.