My experience



  1. Watch OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I (1Z0-808) Complete Video Course
  2. Read Boyarsky & Selikoff book
  3. Complete Boyarsky & Selikoff chapter tests and mock exams
  4. Complete Enthuware mock exams

The rest of this page contains details of my somewhat lazy approach.

Before studying

I was a teacher for 2.5 years, but got sick of it and decided to get back into the IT industry. Prior to teaching, I was an analyst/programmer for the Federal Government.
I chose to study for the certification to prove to employers that I still had relevant skills for developer roles. Java is the technology with the best job opportunities where I live.

I watched

OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I (1Z0-808) Complete Video Course. I watched it twice. It gave me a good overview of what is on the exam. However, it doesn't cover the trickier and finer aspects of the language, so you will need to read a book too.

I read

Boyarsky & Selikoff book twice. In retrospect, I didn't get much out of the second reading; reading another book would have been more beneficial. I actually listened to the e-book using a PDF reader; reading is sooo 20th century.

Along the way

I studied for about 3 weeks, at least 2 hours a day on average. My study was interrupted for a week because an opportunity to complete another, unrelated exam came up. I was only a few days away from being be able to take the exam, so I decided to just focus on quizzes and mock exams to finalise my study.

Mock exam preparation

  • Chapter tests from Boyarsky & Selikoff
  • Scored 80%+ on mock exams from Boyarsky & Selikoff on first try
  • Mock exams from Enthuware:
    • Exam 1: 74% - completed very casually in 2 hours. I didn't bother to check my answers, as I was treating it as more of a learning opportunity. I could of got closer to 80% I think. I suggest that you don't complete it as casually as me, but I was just glad complete it.
    • Exam 2: 77% - with at least 20 minutes to spare
    • Exam 3: 79% - about 10 minutes to spare
    • Exam 4: 77% - about 10 minutes to spare
    • Exam 5: 73% - I skipped a few questions which required working out on paper. One question was on zoned date time, which supposedly is not on the exam.
    • Exam 6: 82%

I didn't use paper to work out questions involving loops, etc., so I got a few of those wrong. This was consciously lazy. I was watching TV and pausing occasionally while doing the exams. My overall scores could have been a few % higher if I was treating the mocks more like real exams.

Exam result

  • 97% - It is true what they say: the actual exam is easier than the Enthuware mock exams, but that is a good thing.


I completed the OCAJP exam on 3 August and began studying for the OCPJP exam the next day. I studied 2-4 hours per day on average. I took the OCPJP exam on 12 September.

I read two books. I read each one time slowly and one time quick:

I completed chapter tests and mock exams from these books. There were two topics on the exam which were not covered by one or both books: updatable ResultSet (e.g. inserting new rows) and Currency class/NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance().
See these links for more information: and

I also completed the relevant Enthuware mock exams with an average score of 71%. Unfortunately, the mocks included topics that are not on the Java Programmer II exam, but are on the upgrade exams (e.g. Map merge/computeIfPresent/computeIfAbsent and concurrency locks).

Compared to OCAJP, I wrote much less practice code. The main reason for this was time. I wanted to get the certification relatively quickly before pursuing another job. This let me down slightly, particularly in regard to more advanced stream operations.

Exam result

  • 85% - Not bad I think, considering I could have spent a few more weeks to prepare.


I started studying for OCEWCD on 15 September. I achieved 92% on 10 October.

I prepared with the following resources:

And of course, this web site: I didn't find reading the Servlet spec valuable at all; it just isn't suitable for learning. I learnt about JEE6 features using the Java EE tutorial and random googling when I encountered exam questions. I was a bit concerned about not using Charles Lyon's book for JEE6, but after going through all the Enthuware mock exams I was comfortable.

As others have mentioned, there is very little on custom tags, which is easily the hardest topic in the Head First book. There was nothing on Classic tags, but I did have questions related to tag files and TLD structure.

The exam itself is much easier than OCPJP. It is easier than OCAJP too. I had heaps of time to double-check all my questions and then finished with 30 minutes to spare. I used a voucher to get 35% off, so that was a bonus.


I thought I had enough, but I started studying for OCEJWSD on 22 October. I'm not sure If I'll complete this one, as I am applying for new jobs, and they'll give me plenty to learn instead.


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