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Preparation tips

Based on my own experience, I tried to put the Exam Preparation tips in an order. I found the following guidelines very helpful. Hope you too will find the same. You are welcome to send your tips and guidelines to add to the following SCJP Preparation list .You can send them my email id

Step no

Details of what to do

Related URL for this step


Download and install the Java2 SDK (Software Development Kit) from sun's site and install in your local machine k/1.2/


You can either download the Java1.2 (also called as Java2) SDK or the Java1.3 sdk. Version 1.3 is the lattest as I am composing this page .


Java2 installation instructions. (Java SDK is available in many platforms like WINDOWS/UNIX/LINUX. You can choose the platform and download the correct SDK and install) k/1.2/install-windows.html#Con catenate


Download and install the Java2 API Documentation. This is a must in my opinion. I referred to it whenever I get any doubt. Another one I very often use is JLS.( Java Language Specification) k/1.2/download-docs.html


Java2 API Doc installation instructions k/1.2/install-docs.html#concate nate


Download and install TextPad editor. This TextPad editor is really a very good editor which is also Java enabled. It shows the Java Keywords , control blocks, braces in different colors and I enjoyed it. I used this editor to write my sample Java programs.It is free. oad/index.html


Download and install Sun's Java tutorial . If you are new to Java, it is a good idea to start with this tutorial. I cut and pasted the  programs in this tutorial  initially to test if the SDK installed is correctly working or not. We can read the initiail topics (not advanced like swing/net etc )alone and move on to a good Java book. We can download this tutorial and read it offline. tutorial/information/ ml


Buy a good Java Book. My favorate is 'Java in a NutShell' by David Flanagan .   From readers comments Just Java2 by Peter van der Linden also seems to be good. Buy one of the 2. and read it. Try to understand as much as possible by writting small programs since you had already installed the SDK in your machine.




'Java in a NutShell' by David Flanagan . bidos/ASIN/1565924878/elect ricporkchop/002-6007955-93 33609


'Just Java2'  by Peter van der Linden bidos/ASIN/0130105341/elect ricporkchop/002-6007955-93 33609


Now buy  a SCJP Certification oriented book. I bought 2 books which are enough to get good % in the SCJP exam. I bought the following 2 books. (R&H book, Exam Cram book)




The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
by Simon Roberts, Philip Heller, Michael Ernest bidos/ASIN/0782127002/elect ricporkchop/002-6007955-93 33609


Java 2 Exam Prep
by William B. Brogden, Bill Brogden bidos/ASIN/1576102610/elect ricporkchop/002-6007955-93 33609


Use R&H book as the main book and Exam Cram as a suppliment. Make a first round of reading of R&H book. Read each chapter carefully and make notes if you would like to. Do the excercise at the end of each chapter. Do not mark the answers in the book itself. Because latter we will take these exercises again. What I did was I read both the books simultaneously. For example If I read Chapter 1. Language Fundamentals from R&H book, after finishing the exercise, I read the same related chapter in Exam Cram book to know what the other author says, if there is a conflict in concepts etc. Also I found this way of reading enforces the concepts eventhough at times we may feel we are making a slow progress of reading since we have to read both books. I did not quit in between and went upto last chapter of R&H. By now I finished first round of reading of BOTH books.





Now to get the feeling of a Mock Test, just take John Hunt's sample test. Do not refer to anything while taking the test. See what you experience. Able to finish intime ? Careless in reading questions ? Did not know the answer? Not sure of an answer ? Think a question is poorly worded ? What are the area you feel you need to study ? what is your % on this test ? and I am sure you will get simillar experience which may not be exactly  same as I wrote here. Now do not take other mocks immediately. Save them for the last month of your preparation.




Become a member in . Go to 'Programmer Certification Forum' and see what others are talking about. Try to answer others questions. Do not hesitate to post messages. It is a very friendly place to be. For a week explore this site. It has lots and lots of helpful discussion threads. You can use the search facility to get all related threads. For example,  you can get  all discussions on 'overloading', by using this search facility with the keyword 'overload' like that. Try to educate yourself as much as possible. TRY TO WRITE  MANY SAMPLE PROGRAMS and test the concepts yourself.


Now participate in Java Discussions more and more in JavaRanch and in Marcus Green site. Refer to Java Language Specification (JLS) and the Java API Documentation often and other resources which you studied earlier. (for a week or 2) bin/ubb/forumdisplay.cgi?action =topics&forum=Programmer+ Certification&number=24


Now make a 2nd round of reading R&H book. Now you can do it faster, since the concepts are already known to you.




Try to do as much as mock exams you can get from the net. You can also get some idea from Maha's suggestions on How to take mock exams. Whenever you get any doubt, DO post it in Programmer Certification Forum in Your question will definitly be answered. bin/ubb/forumdisplay.cgi?action =topics&forum=Programmer+ Certification&number=24


Now make a 2nd round of reading Exam Cram. Now you can do it faster, since the concepts are already known to you.




Buy the SCJP2 Exam voucher from Sun. You can do this step at any time not necessarily as Step 14. Because in some places, especially in India, the vouchers are in demand. So you may have to buy them first on a safer side.In United Stated you can call up Sun and order the voucher by calling (1-800) 422-8020.

To contact a Sun Educational Services Representative:
Address: UBRM12-175, 500 Eldorado Blvd., Broomfield, CO 80021
Phone: (800) 422-8020, (303) 464-4097 or fax (303) 464-4490.

This voucher is valid for 1 year from the date of purchase. Sun will send the voucher to your home address which you told over phone. You can use this voucher only once to take the Exam. In US SCJP2 Exam voucher costs $150. You can get more info from the link I have given here. Keep this voucher in a safe place. After you feel confident to take the REAL SCJP2 Exam , select a nearby testing center from this site . Here is another link to SCJP Asian Centers and a good SCJP faq also. Note down the Testing Center Code/Name. After you started getting around 90 to 95%  consistantly in all the sample Mock Exams on the internet, call up nearby Sylvan Prometric and schedule the exam by telling them The Exam Center and the Date and Time on which you like to take the SCJP2 Exam and your voucher Number. One more good news is , you can even reschedule the date. In other words, after you scheduled a date, if you feel you can't take the exam on that date for some reason, you can call up Sylvan and reschedule to another date. But you MUST do atleaset 1 working day prior to the already scheduled date. I am not sure if there is any restrictions on the number of time we can reschedule. Myself  rescheduled once due to some personal reason. They will do the scheduling and give back a reference Number for you. ( In USA we can schedule our Exam over internet from this link  I did the scheduling online and just 1 week before the exam I called up the Sylvan center and verified if my name was scheduled on that date for SCJP2..) That's all. All work done. You just get 2 a Photo ids with a name on it (For example Driver's Licence/Passport/Or a Library card which has your photo on it/or any kind of identity card) and bring them to the Exam Center. Everything is already set for you to take the Exam. In the Exam center they provide you with a blank white paper and a pencil . You can't take anything else inside the testing room. Ater finishing up your exam you have to give back the paper which you used during the exam. The previous night of your Exam date, have a very good night sleep. This really helps us to think properly during the exam.Just go to the Exam Center 30 min before your scheduled time , relax and take the test. In Sun's SCJP2 Exam Simulator, initially Sun asks for some marketing qstns . For everything click 'I agree' button. Do not waste time in reading all this marketing questions. Then you are displayed with your 1st Exam question. Total time is 2 hrs. Read each qstn carefully and answer them. Try to revise all the qstns. Also try to use the FULL 2 hrs . Do not finish up before that. When you are done click End Exam button, otherwise at the end of 2 hrs , the Exam simulator ends itself and gives your results immediately. You will get a print-out (hardcopy) of your results from the Exam Center for your reference. It has the details of your name,Exam name, Test center name, date, the % you got and the breakup  % on Each objective etc and does not show you which qstn(s) you got wrong. Within a month you will get the REAL SCJP CERTIFICATE from Sun by post. This package has your SCJP certificate, a good looking SCJP badge, and a contract to sign and send back to Sun to use their "logo artwork" , basically an image file which we can download and use for our personal use. I signed and sent back the contract and yet to get some information from Sun. I update on this "logo artwork" when I download the artwork from Sun's site. We can use them in our resume  and home page  and business cards. Another information I forgot to say was, if you have money you can take as many times as you like. But one voucher can be used only once. Sun also has an online Certification Manager Database which we can log into and see our results in the internet. Also note that in the SCJP CERTIFICATE from sun , the actual % we got in SCJP Exam is NOT specified . If we got a very good percentage and  want to show to our employer , we can give the  login id and the password to them to verify. I checked my results in Sun's Online Database . vacertification.html q.html nters.htm rti.html#one ication/ ication/registration.html


One final word. You may ask how much time a person need to become SCJP. There is no definite answer for this. I can tell you this. SCJP needs real hard work. If you are new to Java and if you can spend at least 4 hrs per day, you can finish up the exam after 4 months. This is just an approximate time period. Also this 4 months are just for the Certification preparation. You need to know Java prior to this 4 months.As you start preparing, and when you come to Javaranch and try to answer others doubts, you know yourself whether you are ready or not . This is just my personal opinion based on my own experience.


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