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I intend to get the certification but am not completely sure how to effectively prepare myself. So I'm wondering if you have any advice on the matter; in particular I would like to know:

  • What should the basic learning/practicing plan look like?
  • Which book (set of books) should be considered?
  • Which practical exercises should be performed?

NOTE: I've got several years of corporate experience (mostly web apps, though), but I want to be 100% sure I'll pass the test (that's the reason the issue is raised).

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5 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I found the official SCJP study guide very helpful. (The exam has been rebranded since the guide was written)

http://www.amazon.com/SCJP-Certified-Programmer-Java-310-065/dp/0071591060

If you follow the instructions in the study guide and go through each section doing the exercises and do the practice exams, you are very likely to succeed.

It took me 3 months studying this at home outside work to successfully prepare since there was a surprising amount of API and semantic gotchas that I hadn't encountered before. The preparation paid off in the end though, since I got a good score and it made me a better Java programmer.

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1  
The official book is a good way to go. It only took me 1 month to prepare for it, but I just had to learn all the edge cases (and regex) that I don't use in my day-to-day job. –  Richard Feb 8 '11 at 12:43
    
Matt, thank for the info. I'm doing something like you did: I've got a job as a java developer and studying for the SCJP / OCJP for some months outside work. I want to get the certification to make me more valuable and more expensive as a consultant. In my area (Stockholm, Sweden) it's only about 1 out of 10 Java developer who actually have a certification. I work for a small IT consultancy and if our developers get the certification then that will increase our chances in getting contracts competing against larger companies who most definetely will have consultants who are certified. –  909 Niklas May 29 '12 at 13:01
    
Our local Java User Group used to have a "boot camp" every year or two, where we all went through that book together. It's worth looking into. Not sure if that will happen with Oracle at the wheel. At least for a little while, you couldn't take the test without taking the Oracle course, which was expen$ive. –  GlenPeterson May 29 '13 at 10:28
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I did the SCJP way back in 2004, so I don't know if it's more difficult now or not.

But essentially, it was like this: Most of it was relatively basic stuff that you'd pick up just by knowing Java. The hardest part (from memory) were the multi-threading questions. There were quite a few and they were quite in-depth. Some complex scenarios and how to solve them, and not just simple "what does synchronized do?" type of stuff.

Make sure you understand Java multithreading inside out. Otherwise, just having good working knowledge of everyday Java coding was sufficient. Just read some of books others recommended to brush up on areas that are hazy to you.

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I've been preparing for this exam for almost a year, but I never got myself to take it

My advice to you is to read this book and solve a lot of Mock Exams

Preparing for this test doesn't take longer than 2 months, if you're committed to it

If you have a question about the exam, you can ask in the JavaRanch Forums and they'll be of help with the book and the exam as well

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First of all, you are familiar with Java, then you can go with this book. Since you have well experience in Java, two months is more than enough to prepare.

I would prefer K&B's SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Exam 310-065 book for that preparation.

They are maintaining their own forum for this purpose, you can get the solution/guidance for the exam. There are other Oracle/Sun exams also. And, on that forum they have listed free mock exams and commercial mock exam. Those are more than enough to get above 90%.

My Wishes to you!

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I strongly recommend you to follow two materials which I followed for my exam. I got 100% in my exam with this two materials, so i recommend you this materials for your preparation.

OCAJP 7 certification Training Lab and CodeRanch Forum. If you try for OCPJP 6 then SCJP 6 Certification Training Lab also available in epractizelabs.

Some persons refer K&B's book also but I don't have real time experience with that book, you may try that also for your preparation but for your mock exam practice this training lab tool is fine.

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