OCE EJBD 6 (1z0-895) Experiences

Today, I would like to share my experiences regarding the certified EJB exam, as I found little information on this topic while preparing for the certification.

Readings

In order to reinforce my knowledge, I’ve started with Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1. I think this book is great, it contains clear explanations, code snippets to support theory, common pitfalls (even testing EJBs) and so on. This book is not too hard to read; one can finish it within a week (even earlier, if you are familiar with the EJB related concepts – and have enough time). Nevertheless, the content of this book (in my opinion) is not enough to pass the exam. Well, it may be enough to pass, but in order to get the big picture, it is recommendable to read the whole EJB 3.1 specification (it’s right here). Now, believe me when I say that this whitepaper is boring as hell. Especially on the evenings, after a working, day, well, it seemed a challenge to me.

Someone on a forum I don’t recall, recommended this other book, Head first EJB. I personally think it’s a real bad idea to read that one, as it covers EJB 2.x which (thank God) looks nothing like EJB 3.x. It’s a waste of time, you can safely skip that.

Mock tests

Usually I am not in favor of buying testing frameworks; I can always dig up some mock tests to practice with (this was the case for both OCPJP and OCMJEA). I don’t really like to pay for something that’s right there on the internet (of course you have to be selective; not everything out there has any added value).

However, for this exam there are no free mock tests available. At all. Not a single one. You can find one or two pdf files with like 5-10 questions (usually of really poor quality) with a remark on the bottom that you can buy the complete dump for just seven million bucks. I don’t know whether the full versions are that untrustworthy too, I did not take the risk of buying them.

After two or three weeks of pointless chase after free smple questions, I’ve changed my mind and bought this software . Of course I checked out the trial version first, which just convinced me. The good news is that the full version costs only ~20$ – which is pretty cheap, I guess. It’s got more than 300 quality questions – grouped into categories like easy, though and “real brainer”. One or two of these questions even showed up at the real exam.

I don’t say that it’s a must to buy this or a similar testing tool, but…, well you should.. The EJB related topics are so huge, there are so many things to remember (annotations, xml tags, packaging etc.); it’s definitely worthy to do some practicing before sitting for the exam.

I personally failed the practice and the first mock test, so I am glad I made this investment. Questions can be tricky sometimes, but you will get used to it after seeing 20-30 of them. Anyways, they are tricky on the exam too.

The exam

was not too hard having answered all the 300+ mock questions. Nothing new showed up, I could answer (almost) all the question types with confidence.

Summary

In order to pass this exam you have to read (and memorize) a lot. It takes practice (both coding and answering questions) to score well, as the material is enormously big.

It took me 1.5 months to prepare (was only learning after work and on the weekends) but my previous EJB experience (of several years) helped me move a bit faster.

 

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Author: tamasgyorfi

Senior software engineer, certified enterprise architect and certified Scrum master. Feel free to connect on Twitter: @tamasgyorfi

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