How I Passed the SCJP Exam

by Troy Grosfield
August 18th, 2010

One of my goals once I started writing code in Java was to one day pass the Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) exam.  So on May 12th, 2010 I did just that.   I guess I like to be challenged and the further I was removed from school the more I become interested in studying and learning new things (go figure, right). So here were my keys to passing the SCJP.

SCJP 6 Study Guide

SCJP 6 Study Guide

1. The Study Guide

Bought and read the entire book: Certified Java Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide.  The book is 852 pages and did a great job covering all the concepts you will see on the exam.  They had about 15 or so practice questions at the end of each chapter and will gives you the answers to each of the questions.  The answers will explain why each choice was right or wrong.

2. Practice Exams

Bought a bunch of practice tests from Enthuware.  They had 13 full length exams.  I took 12 of the 13 exams and after I was finished with each I would go over the questions I missed.  If it was a concept I was shaky on and didn’t understand the explanation given by the exam I would go research further.  Each question will give details as to why answers were right or wrong.  This was by far the most help with passing the exam.  The practice exams were extremely similar the actual exam and most times the questions were harder than the ones you see on the actual exams.  I felt very prepared going into the exam and scored 15% higher on the actual exam than my best score on the practice exams!

3. Study, Study, Study

I studied everyday before work, at lunch, after work, and at night before I went to bed.  Any bit of java material I could get my hands on, especially any practice questions, I would study.  I found my phone to be a great study resource tool.  The SCJP6 Study Guide came with a CD.  So I downloaded all the docs to my phone and studied from my phone whenever I could find time.

I ran and tested out all new concepts I wasn’t familiar with that I learned in the book and on practice exams.  Applying new concepts I learned definitely helped me remember them.

4. Relax and Don’t Cram

You can schedule this exam at any time at an authorized testing facility.  So don’t schedule it until you feel like your ready, but don’t put it off so long that you never get around to taking it.  I put together a simple cheat sheet to looked over of all the concepts I might get tested on or frequent things I missed on exams that I wanted to remember.  Get a good night’s sleep before the exam and kick some ass!

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  1. Author
    June 2nd, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Troy,
    Do we need to know Java before getting ready to study or when we buy that book Certified Java Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide, at the time of reading it it is also teaching us Java?
    Ok and thanks for DevCon… I liked “.pretty” command :)