I passed SCJA ;)
Good news. Yesterday I took the Sun Certified Java Associate exam and passed! Now, I would like to share this experience with you...
First, to get prepared for the exam, I started reading some material about it's content that I found at the Internet. For example:
Every Sun Campus Ambassadors has the possibility of earn free vouchers for Sun Certifications and pay nothing to take the exams. The only requisite is to do a test at Learning Connection (http://learningconnection.sun.com)*Â¹ and pass it. So, after I did the exercises at the websites I mentioned, I went to Learning Connection and took a test exam called "Sun Certified Associate for the Java Platform, Standard Edition, Exam Version 1.0 (WGS-PREX-J019C)". In this test, you have to do 4 exams with 51 questions each, covering the content necessary for SCJA and you have to answer correctly at least 35 of this questions in each exam. Done that, I requested my free voucher.
Then, I went to Prometric website, created an account, chose the date and one available center in my city, FlorianÃ³polis. That's it, I just had to wait a few days and come to the appointment.
So, yesterday, like I told before, I went to SENAC, here in FlorianÃ³polis to took the exam. The appointment was at 6h pm, but I arrived at 4h30 pm. Please, don't do that, cause you will have to sit and wait :P. When was time, I was asked for two documents with signature and photo. I presented my drivers license and my passport. After that, I was conducted to a tiny room (2x1 meters, I think), where there is only a computer inside e two vigilance cameras (I think it's not a good idea try cheating :).
You sit and start the exam process. First, I had to answer a little survey about the knowledge level I believe I have (basic, advanced, etc). Then, the real exam starts, but you don't really have to be scared, cause the exam questions looks pretty much like the questions that are available in Internet and Learning Connection about SCJA. Also, there are plenty time to answer the 51 questions, a little less than two hours.
In the beginning, I stayed a little nervous. Answered the first, the second... (now you start to see there is no mystery at all), end in the 51th. You can now check your answers. It's everything OK? You finish the exam and a message appears telling that your result is in the registry room. this is the tense moment, where you leave the room and have to go back and check how well you did. When you arrive there, the Secretary will give you a mysterious look, just to try get you nervous :P. Don't worry, in few moments she will show your results and you will realize that everything was all right.
I passed with 96%! Even the security guy gave me a smile =)
This text was all about showing you that there is no complication in taking a Certification, only benefits. For example: now, I'm sure that my Curriculum looks better. I think I spent about 6 hours studying. I just payed attention at the exercises and every time I missed a question I tried to understand why I was wrong.
Now, good luck to you! I will start to study to SCJP...
*Â¹ Learning Connection has several courses about Sun Technologies. To be able to access it, your University should be part of Sun Academic Initiative.
Lucas B. Torri