SCJP 6 rough study notes

Here are the SCJP 6 study notes I mentioned I wrote. They are rough. I wrote them for my own purposes, so they are brief and highlight the main things I had to remind myself. It is by no means perfect – there are typos, poor layout choices, etc. Unless you’re me, it probably doesn’t make sense 🙂

I apologise for the brevity. I tried to keep the page count to 12. Therefore, if you are printing, I personally recommend you print two pages per sheet of paper, meaning it’ll take 6 pages and be quite readable.

Regardless, people have asked for them, so enjoy. If you find I am wrong, or that I could organise it better, let me know and I may try to maintain it.


38 thoughts on “SCJP 6 rough study notes”

  1. Studying for my SCJP 6 now, failed at first but have a free retake so this should help me! Made the mistake of only doing the practice exams and not re-reading the SCJP exam book. Under estimated the ability to f**k up the Java language also!

    Curious if this helped you get a passing score?

    1. @Justin: Unsure what you’re asking? I haven’t done any SCJP exam prior to this one, so my study consisted of reading a book, and doing the practise questions/exams. The document linked above is what I wrote as I worked through the book and tests, as I thought it would be good to have a quick reference for the last few days of study (i.e. cramming it all in the brain 🙂

      I also had a free retake with my exam, but I fortunately didn’t need it. It certainly took the pressure off however.


  2. Hi Jonathan:

    There seems to have some conflict info in the Primative Wrappers section and the example given:

    Primitive Wrappers
    • When a method is overloaded, and it is called with an argument that could either be boxed or widened, the Java compiler will choose to widen the argument over boxing it.

    But one of the examples says:
    Given the option of an integer being autoboxed into an Integer or widened and passed as a long, the JVM chooses to box it into an Integer.


    1. @Navier: Thanks for the comment. It is a little unclear I agree – it is almost the nature of the primitive wrappers 🙂

      The JVM always chooses the best option – the trouble is trying to determine what the best option is in a given scenario. The reason why Integer is chosen over long is because the long is a vararg, and boxing is always preferred over varargs (as noted later on, varargs pretty much come last).


  3. Jonathan, what would also be interesting to blog about could be some info about:
    – how long did you preparation last
    – how many hours per day
    – what has been useful/useless to you during your preparation (books, web sites, support from friends and family;-))
    – what you have found particularly difficult during the exam, if anything

    That would be useful for people who would like to pass an SCJP (note that I’m not concerned; to paraphrase Danny Glover: “I am too old for this shit”;-))

    1. @Jean-Francois: Thanks for the comment. To quickly answer your questions:

      I actually purchased the exam a year ago, and at the time read a book on the SCJP exam published by Apress. I would recommend against this book. It’s quality is shockingly bad. In the last month, I started things back up again, this time with the better book. I read through this book, did the practise questions, and found it much better (and more indepth).

      For the first 2-3 weeks, I just read the notes in my spare time and in the evenings, so no more than 1-2 hours at a time, maybe 3-4 times a week. In other words, very little. Subsequent to that, and given a quiet patch at work, I put all of my effort into studying for the exam for around 2 weeks.

      I also purchased an exam simulator from Whizlabs, although I’m not entirely certain I would recommend it. It was very good in most instances, but the software was a bit of a letdown.

      I found that whenever I had an issue, google was my friend, and quickly resolved any confusion I had. In many instances, i could type some text from a question I was having trouble with to find a discussion on that exact topic. Unfortunately, I live in a small sea-side community where the tech industry exists of a single computer store, of which I have never stepped in to.

      I tended to understand most of the topics, the main problem I had was that almost every question asked ‘does this code compile’? It took a lot of time to ensure I could identify all of the major reasons why code doesn’t compile.

      That’ll do for now. The wife just called me up to ask me to take her out to lunch, so I best get into town – it is her birthday afterall 🙂

      Btw, you’re only as old as you feel, and I’m sure you feel a spritely young man, ready to take his SCJP 😉

      — Jonathan

  4. Dear Jono,

    I am preparing for the SCJP 6.0. I downloaded your notes for another reference. So i wanna thank you for that first and formost.

    I read K&B book as well as HeadFirst’s book and another by Mughal. I tend to agree with you about Whizlabs. Its interfaces are pretty difficult to navigate and their help line only serves to tell you what you already know is wrong. But on the up, it does give you worked out answers for those questions and their questions structure really is a nightnmare.

    Did you find that the actual exam was harder that Whizlabs setup? Cause, I have taken a lot of free quizes online and I score 80% but Whizlabs shellshocks me (i cant even finish because its got me so rattled).

    Anyways, I am go thru K&B’s book again. Working thru the objectives one point at a time to be sure I understand them.

    Great site by the way…

    thanks again for the notes

    1. Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the appreciation 🙂

      I agree, Whizlabs is good in that it gives answers, but you can get the same from the books you mention. I would suggest you answer all questions, and understand the reasoning behind the ones you get wrong. And yes, you should be able to answer the Whizlabs questions prior to taking the SCJP. Only once you do that can you be confident that you’ll pass the SCJP exam. Although, having said that, the Whizlabs questions are more complex than the SCJP questions I had, but then that is partially luck of the draw.

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I will see if I can help.

      Btw, how did you come across my SCJP notes?


      1. Actually I just grabbed it from this site. Hope thats alright.

        Yeah.. I am using Whizlabs as my litmus test for what I need to do. I got some trouble with code order and static mostly. But I got three good books and the web to answer my questions.

        But thanks for the offer.

        Cheers mate

        1. @Simon: That’s fine, I was just wondering if you found it via another site or Google. Sounds like Google was your friend.

          No problem regarding help – ask if you have questions, but your books have all the answers.

          — Jonathan

  5. Hi,
    Its me going to take SCJP 6 next week, so wondering for the tips & tricks online. But Im stucked with a little(but most awful)thing: can anybody explain why output is 44 of the following? short z = 42;if((z++ == 44) || (++z == 45)) z++; System.out.println(“z2 = ” + z); I think it should print 42 coz both fails satisfying condition.
    thanks, OD

  6. @OD:

    Good luck for your exam!

    Briefly, z is 44 at the end because of the post-increment (z++) and pre-increment (++z) that are performed on z as part of the two boolean expressions.

    In the first expression, z++ == 44 is false, as z is 42, but after this expression, z is incremented to be 43 thanks to the z++ statement.

    In the second expression, ++z == 45 is false, as z is 43, and then it is incremented to 44 before testing it, and this expression is false as 44 does not equal 45.

    The end result is that 44 is printed to sysout.

    Hope that helps!
    — Jonathan

  7. Hi Jonathan,

    Firstly, congrats on passing the SCJP 6 exam.

    I tried downloading your study notes, however the downloaded file can’t be opened. I tried this several times. Can you please provide me a direct link or just email me at email address?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Sorry – I recently updated my domain name and haven’t had a chance to go back and update the links. I have now updated this link so it should work.

  8. Thanks a lot, Jonathan. I was able to successfully download the file.
    I am appearing for the SCJP 6 exam on 6th April and I am certain your study notes will be of immense help for last minute preparation.

  9. Dude, these rough notes are really good for last minute preparations. In fact I learned a lot of small tid bits that I was not aware of. Good job.

    1. @Amit: Glad you like them, and I hope they helped! It was my purpose to write notes that would be handy for last minute preparation, and so I’m glad they were useful.

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  10. Your text:

    The finalize method must be overridden as a public, protected, or package default method.

    Correct text:

    The finalize method must be overridden as a public or protected method.

  11. Hi Jonathan

    I am passing the SCJP 6 next week(in tunisia) and i want to thank you for your scjp notes !

  12. hi,
    without preparation i went for scjp 5.0 and i got failed….now i am seriously planning to give scjp 1.6 , please help out in getting certified…..i need dumps…..i am working as software engg,India.
    hope u people reply me soon on my mail-id [email protected]

    1. Seriously – what’s with people wanting dumps?! If you can’t learn the content, what good is having an SCJP. Any company worth their salt is going to test your knowledge on the content that the SCJP tests you for, they simply aren’t going to take it at face value. This is because is it is possible, as you are trying to do, to simply rote learn the SCJP content.

      Don’t be an idiot is my advice – buy a book and learn it properly. There is no rush to get a SCJP, and the end result is a far greater understanding of the SCJP, which can only be a good thing when you’re looking for a job.

  13. Already i have taken the book , but i am working in a rural area of india….more than studying i have to handle my daily life routine after a late work.
    till now i have read SCJP book by kathy .. but the questions which i found at exam where little different …i jst want to get a practice on such kind of questions and score a really good score…and bcoz scjp will help me in getting me a job early in metro city…..
    thats my situation….if u can provide some questions on which i can have little good practice.

  14. Hi Jonathan,

    This is a very crisp and tidy notes which would help you do a
    last minute prep for the exam . I appreciate your time on this
    and thanks a lot .

    Ashok A V

  15. Hi Jonathan,

    These notes were very very very helpful for me right before taking the SCJP 6 exam.

    Thanks a lot,

    1. @Diana: That was my specific reason for writing them – as a useful ‘cheat sheet’ to read through just prior to taking the exam. I’m glad you found them useful, and thanks for letting me know.


  16. Hi
    Your notes seems really very helpful for the last our refreshment.
    I am preparing for scjp SE6310-065 and i am reading the books of Siera and Raposa and planning to join training sessions for it.
    Can you advice me which books i should prefer according to the current syllabus and what else i can do as i m just a college pass out freshers it’s my 1st time and i am afraid of it whether i will make it or not.

  17. Hi Jonathan

    Excellent notes.
    Thank you.
    The exam material is on the whole so badly written I sometimes think the authors deliberately have made the certification exam more difficult by presenting the material in an obscure way.

    To then get notes that are clear and reflect what we have had to dig out is a breath of fresh air.

    Well done mate.

    kambiz a.k.a “beez”

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