I passed the SCJP 5 today with a 76%.
Here are the steps I took - I hope you Ranchers find it useful.
Start: December 1, 2006
1. Study the K&B book:
Studied 1-2 hours every weekday morning at my favorite coffee shop.
(the coffee shop gig helped a lot with motivation - it became my routine.)
Studied about 8 hours total on weekends.
- Took notes.
- Made "flash cards".
- Experimented with most of the code examples in the book.
- Made LOTS of drawings - tried to illustrate ideas.
I hoped I would do a chapter a week, but it didn't turn out that way. It was more like a chapter every 1.5-2 weeks.
2. Turn to Java Ranch for information, answers to my questions and general motivation. I REALLY liked the articles about the cups and "getting to know your inner class" on Java Ranch. The cups one helped me immensely - illustrating a fundamental idea.
3. After I finished the K&B book (its probably the biggest book I've ever read!) I did the practice test that came with the book - failed it with 51%.
4. Purchased the Enthuware software.
(In retrospect I should have purchased this a whole lot earlier, while I was still reading the K&B book)
This has some great questions and the exam format was good to practice. I took 3 of these practice tests. Failed the first, passed the second, failed the third. Reviewed all the questions I got wrong. Enthuware has great question explanations.
5. 3 days before the exam - went through the check lists in the K&B book.
(In retrospect I should have been going over these everyday before I began my normal study routine)
6. 1 hour before the test - stopped all liquid intake and took a brisk walk.
I also went over my flash cards at night every now and again during my studies, just when I felt like it.
Exam Passed: April 25, 2007
It was difficult to know what to concentrate my energy on. There's alot of information to retain. Memorization is not my strong point. Going over things again and again - coming up with songs and sayings is entertaining and helps quite a bit.
What did I get out of it besides a nice lapel pin (we do get a lapel pin... right?) and a piece of paper? I think I got a deeper understanding of the language. I'm a professional Java Developer (5 years now) and before I began studying, I definitely took the language for granted. Now I have more confidence and a better understanding in what I do - this means I'll write better code, right?
I wish my score was a little higher - but I kinda got sick of studying.
Thanks Java Ranch for your support!
Thanks Bert and Kathy for your awesome book!
Thanks Enthuware for your great product!
[ April 25, 2007: Message edited by: Richard Parker ]