I’ve been programming in Java for about 4 years and began working on the exam in December for around one hour and a half per day. Since the Java 25 anniversary announcement I’ve putting in around two and a half hours of work daily.
As main resources, I used the book from Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky and the mock tests from Enthuware (great resources). Additionally I checked CodeRanch posts (of course 😊), Kathy Sierra’s OCP Java SE 8 Programmer II Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-809), Simon Roberts’s O’Reilly live workshop on the exam, Java specifications and various blog posts.
As a learning technique, I took notes for every chapter and tried to repeat more difficult notions using spaced repetition. Of course, I tried out around 70% of the code using both txt files and an IDE. I also tried creating my own Anki flashcards, but with only one month left until the exam date, I did not have the proper time to fully get the best of it.
It’s been quite an interesting journey, learned a lot of stuff. I especially liked the annotations, streams, collections sections – many things that I did not use at full capacity.
The exam was quite difficult (I think all the possible exam topics were covered), had some tricky questions, but some easy ones too. I finished the 50 questions having 15 minutes left (quite a speed run), leaving me enough time to quickly go over them again. This way, I found 4 or 5 ones that I overlooked and missed some mistakes I made. I guess the most difficult question was one with two while loops, two counters, two labels applied to a StringBuilder to which I couldn’t find the multiple answer in a timely manner. Although I hesitated at first, I’ve successfully used the digital whiteboard for determining how many objects were eligible for garbage collection and some other strange while loop.
Hope that some of the info will help future candidates.