Yes, thanks to all here, both those who've answered my many questions and everybody else who has provided many interesting discussions.
ok, so it's ancient Java 6, the exam for which is about to retire. But, I've been studying for it, on and off, for ages and as I thought I could probably pass I might as well have a go. If I want to upgrade to certification against more recent version, I'll have less to deal with all in one go. Not thinking of doing that any time soon however, I've got real life stuff I want to write.
I got 91%, which is better than I was expecting at the end of the test. I got thrown by the first few questions which had things like
Now, I immediately thought, hey this isn't going to compile, as we can't have methods kicking around loose, outside of any class. However 'It won't compile' wasn't an option. There were line numbers down the left side, which unlike the coderanch formatting, didn't start at 1. I guess I was supposed to infer from those line numbers that this was code correctly placed inside an unseen enclosing class, however I don't think that was ever explicitly stated.
One couldn't highlight sections of code. I'm accustomed to doing that to isolate in my mind the bit of logic I'm trying to think about. One question had many brackets to match up.. is there a closing bracket to match every opening bracket? It was so horribly formatted that without being able to highlight sections I just couldn't tell.
Then there are the pens! The caps need to be replaced or they stop writing. It means that if a method takes several minutes to trace through, making notes as you go, the pen is dry by the time you reach the end. Pencil & paper would be far better.
For my study materials, I used the excellent SCJP book from Sierra & Bates.
Plus, Enthuware Test Studio. I obviously can't speak to the other exams, but the Enthuware product I used is beautifully crafted. That goes for the quality of the questions, the accompanying explanations, the forum support and the actual desktop software itself. I'd certainly buy from them again.
Plus, many many many small programs. I just did a file count on my source directory, about 1500 files. That's got to be excessive!
Final tip. 150 minutes is quite a long time. Don't drink a lot beforehand