SCJP Certification FAQ
Sun offers four levels of Certification exams for Java technology developers. In increasing level of difficulty, these are -
How much time do I need to prepare for the Java Programmer (SCJP) Certification?
The time you need to spend on preparation depends on your background and experience in programming languages in general and Java technology in particular. Assuming you have good background in object-oriented languages like C++ or Smalltalk, but do not have much experience in Java technology, it may take you one to two months to prepare for Java Certification. If you have some experience in Java technology, you may need to spend two weeks to a month to prepare for the Certification exam. The Certification exam covers some of the details of the Java technology that may not be commonly used by a Java programmer.
In case you do not have any background in Object Oriented Programming but have good experience in Procedural languages like C or Pascal, you would need to learn Object Oriented fundamentals also. Sun's Java Certification exam is hard. Now we have a large number of good books on Java Certification and tons of information available on the Internet to prepare for the Sun Certification. In my opinion, these resources have made the Certification achievable (if not simple) for most people with good aptitude in programming.
Which books are available for Java Certification?
This is a list of some of the commonly available books on Java Certification.
What is the difference between SCJP 1.2 and SCJP 1.4 exam.
Sun is offering two exams at the programmer level - SCJP 1.4 and SCJP 1.2 . The exam number for SCJP 1.4 exam is CX-310-035 . The exam number for SCJP 1.2 exam is CX-310-025 . Content-wise the major difference between the two exams is that SCJP 1.2 contain AWT. SCJP 1.4 does not include AWT but includes assertions instead of AWT. The exam objectives define the detailed topics, and are available at for both 1.4 and 1.2 version of SCJP.
Should I take the SCJP 1.2 or the SCJP 1.4 exam?
SCJP 1.4 tests the latest version of Java programming language. So most people should take the SCJP 1.4 exam. The only reason for still taking the SCJP 1.2 exam is that SCJP 1.2 includes AWT. So if you use AWT extensively in your job, you should take the 1.2 version of the exam, 1.4 otherwise.
How many questions are there in the SCJP2 exam.
The Sun's Java Certification Programmer 1.4 exam consists of 61 questions. These need to be completed in 120 minutes. To clear the certification exam you need to get 32 correct answers. The Sun's Java Certification Programmer 1.2 exam consists of 59 questions. These need to be completed in 120 minutes. To clear the certification exam you need to get 36 correct answers.
There are three type of questions in the exam -
How does Certification help my career? Would it help in my job search? Would it give me a better salary?
If you are looking for a job in Java technology, then the Sun's Java Certification adds a lot of value to your resume. Specifically if you do not have any industry experience in Java technology, and you are looking for a job in Java, the certification will increase your chances many-fold. It is hard to put dollar value on the Certification results, but on an average certified programmers get higher salary than non-certified programmers, everything else being the same.
How do I prepare for the Certification Exam?
This site provides most of the material you would need to prepare for Java Programmer Certification exam. Try to go through one or two of the Certification books mentioned above. After that take a large number of mock exams on the net. Refer to the "Other Certification sites" section of this site for other available resources on the web for certification.
Besides Sun's Java certification, are there other Certification programs available for Java technology?
There is another Certification exam on Java technology that is offered by Brainbench (www.brainbench.com).
How do I know when am I ready to take the Sun's Java certification exam?
Besides the sample test on this site, there are a large number of mock exams present on the web. I would say that when you start scoring between 80 and 90 % consistently in these mock exams, then you are ready to take the actual test. Try to take at least five sample/mock tests before you take the exam.
I had cleared the Java Certification exam some time back. But I have not received any certificate from Sun?
At the time of clearing your exam, Sylvania Prometric must have provided you with a score sheet highlighting your scores in various sections. However you should receive a formal Certificate from Sun. This may take 8 to 10 weeks. If you do not receive the Certificate from Sun in this timeframe, you should contact them.
What is the mechanism of taking the exam?
There are two steps involved. You need to first buy a voucher from Sun. Within the United States Sun may be contacted at (800) 422-8020. The exams are conducted by Sylvan Prometric. After you get the voucher, you can contact Sylvan Prometric when you are ready to set up an appointment. You may register online at http://www.2test.com or contact a Sylvan Prometric test center. A list of Prometric testing center's is available online at their site http://www.2test.com .
I passed the exam. Now where can I see the results online?
You may check your certification results online at https://www.galton.com/~sun . This site has the database of all candidates who have cleared Sun's certifications.
How much does it cost to take the exam?
The approximate cost of taking the exam in some countries is given below.
I failed in my first attempt at SCJP2. When can I take the exam again?
You would need to buy another voucher from Sun. Sun also requires that you wait for two weeks before taking a re-exam.