Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide (Fifth edition)

Phil Heller (2005)
Review date: August, 2008 (Read in January 2006)
Summary

This is an exam prep book for the SCJP 5.0 exam. As such, it covers what you need to know for the exam, which is pretty much all Java 5 syntax and things like data types, threads, and some classes from the API. Some fundamental OO concepts are also touched.

The book also has an additional section that gives a brief preparation for the SCJD exam! This 120 pages long section discusses the exam's structure, the techniques and APIs that will come in hand, and contains some good hints in general.

Opinion

This is an excellent book! It covers Java 5 from the exam's perspective, though I'd say that this is a very good book on Java in general. If you're a beginner, grab this book as soon as you get the fundamental concepts. There are beginner books out there than can be so boring and contain so much irrelevant garbage! I can't praise this book enough! Believe it or not, but it was fun to read, and still it's dedicated to a rather dry topic. Language details aren't always that exciting... When preparing for the exam I read it several times without getting bored.

Speaking of this book's value for the exam. It does a splendid job. Apart from good handling of the exam topics, the self assessment questions are very good and very similar to the ones on the exam. Some of them are tricky enough to get you on the first try.

The smaller section related to the SCJD exam has its uses too. When I did that exam, I decided not to use any books at all (since it's a practical exam), but I did skim through the section in this book just to get a feeling about what to expect, and yes, that was accurate too!

I can't say anything negative about this book: deep enough, broad enough, serves its purpose, and easy to read.

Who should read this book

I haven't seen a Java 6 exam book, so I recommend reading this, and then learning the 6 features from another source if you're going for a SCJP for Java 6. You don't have to prepare for an exam to find this book useful. Everyone looking for a good and clean book on the Java language should read this.




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