Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to prepare for OCPJP 6?


  A heads up on the preparation for OCPJP

Recently (On 6th December 2011) I cleared OCPJP with 96%.Inspired with the score, thought of jotting down a roadmap with tips and experiences. Will be talking about what I did, what I would have done differently and how it would have helped me.

Following DO's and DONT's might help you to achieve a decent score.

1. Decide a timeline -
My very first advice: Decide a timeline or you will unnecessarily spend/waste lots of time in preparation.
I spent overall 3 months for preparation. Spent 2-3 hours on weekdays and maximum possible time on weekends. Depending on your prior Java experience and skills you may require more/less time.
Another tip that might work for most of you, if possible buy the exam voucher. It will push you to squeeze in time to your routine for preparation. Remember we all don’t work unless we have a deadline, the voucher would serve this purpose of a deadline.

2. Grab a good book -
You will find plenty of good books and many books which claim to be good. Prefer Kathy Siera and Bert Bates. It is fairly thorough and carries helpful tips. Moreover it’s an entertaining guide to OCPJP traversing through unnecessary but helpful jokes.
Most of the sites/blogs advise you for multiple books but I will highly recommend you to marry a single book. It will help you to avoid confusion.

3. Read, Spoil, Remember -
Go through K&B (or any other book you are comfortable with). Read, think, understand and try to remember it. In my opinion if you understand it well, you don't need to remember it.
While reading I used to spoil pages with different symbols/words like *, WTF, Awesome, Really! Etc  Etc.
Or sometimes used to fold pages which surprised me most. (Very first reason behind doing all this, I am too lazy to take notes.) This helped me put things into head quickly and saved ample time while revising it again.
One humble request: DONT ASSUME/skip anything while reading even if you have lots of experience with Java. Java is a tricky language with lots of pitfalls so go through each and every line.
REMEMBER: ASSUME = making ASS of U and ME.

while reading try tons of mad, messy, nonsense code. It is bound to help you a lot. Also prefer a normal text editor like notepad or notepad++ over any IDE. I know it's a painful thing but trust me it is worth to bear the pain. I initiated my start up with notepad++ and after getting enough confidence moved to Eclipse.

5. Dare to give mock tests-
Alright, once completed the book. I assume you to be familiar with the required concepts. Gear up now, give some mock tests. You will find many sites offering free mock tests. (Assuming you are good at Googling ).
I will suggest , found it reliable and good enough. Don't bother about the score, just note down questions/topics which troubled you and move on.

6. Do it again-
You went through the book and showed enough courage to face mock tests. Now you must be familiar with areas which surprised/troubled you, time to WORK ON IT. Read it again, ask Google, put it on forums and scream for help until you get over it. In my opinion this is the most important stage. I spent quite some time fighting with threads, collections, generics etc.

7. Spread the world -
Keep visiting Javaranch and Stackoverflow whenever you are free. Ask questions, try to help others.
REMEMBER: The best way to learn is to teach. I spent more time on Stackoverflow than Facebook and tweeting. Sorry for being biased but I am in love with Stackoverflow.
Discuss all stuff with your friends, colleagues, neighbors and strangers. These Discussions/arguments which I had with my colleagues, nurtured my knowledge.
Trust me, dive into it and you will enjoy swimming through the journey.

Alright, here you are. If you have accomplished all of this: Congratulations :) Now register a date for the exam.
Just before the exam: relax, be confident and ensure a good sleep. (I slept for barely 4 hours and things went a little difficult)Most of all, keep your mind at its place.
IMPORTANT: Whichever question you face, don't panic, answer the easy ones at first, mark the tough ones and move on. Keep yourself calm and revisit marked questions.

9. What if I fail-
Go to step 1. Remember it doesn't matter how many times you were knocked down, what matters is how many times you got up again.

Hope this helps you all aspirants of OCPJP :) All the very best!
PS: Please bear with me for any wrong assumption. Best Wishes!!
and special thanks to Paji for reviewing and editing my first post :D



  1. Congratulations on your first blog..!

  2. Congo for your first blog :)
    You are too lazy to type still you have typed in so much and that
    too in an organised way ... Whistles :):)

  3. Hi...

    Thanks for the info....
    Can u tell me the steps for registering in online(How to buy exam voucher).......?

    1. You can purchase it from any Prometric center.
      Here is the list

  4. Good job Ajinkya,
    Very motivational blog........

  5. thanks for these useful tips ajinkya...
    thanks a lot...
    I will plan to write scjp.if any clarifications,i should ask about that .

  6. Hi Ajinkya..
    I am preparing for scjp 6 but not getting the list of Exam centres in Indore.Please help me.

    1. MATRIX TECHNOLOGIES-(Unisoft Franchise)
      INDORE, Madhya Pradesh 452004
      Phone: 0731-5093716 Site Code: IIF92 M6 MISHIKA TOWER

      INDORE, Madhya Pradesh
      Phone: 731-5066541 Site Code: IIG46 G-2 BLOCK 'B'

      And all the very best!!

  7. Hi Ajinkya,
    Can you please suggest some sites for free mock tests for OCJA like you suggested for OCJP. I am green to Java. I started learning Java from scratch 2 months ago. Based on your suggestion I would like to dive in and take some mock tests. But I dont want to spend a bucket load of money on mock exams just yet. Can you please guide me.
    Thank you for your post,
    ~ änsh

    1. There are many free alternatives like, just google "scjp free mock test"

  8. Hi ,

    Which book is the best ? Which book u used ? Please suggest

    1. I used SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Exam 310-065 Guide, I think its one of the best book to start with.
      link :