A perfect score! That's great, congrats!
Yeah, a year is plenty of time- that's enough time to finish it even for people that have full time jobs on the side, so that's good. It took me about 6 weeks to get it done, working at it full time. And I have 25 years experience in computer programming, most of it not in Java tho.
In some areas, I did more than the bare minimum required by the assignment - my GUI is prettier than most, I incorporated online help instead of a text file, I allow searching on all database fields (not just name and location), I allow regex searches in addition to simple 'starts with' searches, I allow for intuitive 'or' statements - enter multiple search criteria on a single line separated with commas will look for 'any' of those phrases (do an 'or' search), entering search criteria for multiple fields does an 'and' search (records must match all the criteria). I even implemented a multithreaded TCP server - that took a week or two, but I ended up discarding it in favor of the simpler RMI code.
But in some areas, I did the bare minimum. I didn't implement any method to add new rooms, or delete rooms - just update existing rooms. User feedback said they wanted dropdowns for the yes/no choices, and a lot of the other search fields on the screen, but I didn't implement that. Though the low-level 'DB' implementation has the required the 'create' and 'delete' methods, my higher level 'Database' interface implementation provides the bare minimum to provide the needed program functionality, which means it doesn't have a create or delete function.
I did implement extensive multithreading tests to ensure my DB portion satisfied the requirements, and wouldn't lock. I wouldn't call that overkill, because you don't know if you've really nailed it, until you've tested it.
Anyways. A lotta work, to earn this $600 certification. And now I'm leaving my Java job soon, and wish I had put in the effort into the Microsoft certifications, instead!
But you never know what life is going to send your way. On the new job, I will pursue the Microsoft certifications - hopefully all those certifications, standing pretty in a row, will impress SOMEone SOMEday, and help me out somehow.