Last week I've passed Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer(1Z0-803) exam with not a very shining score of 85%. So, I've decided to give some tips & tricks for readers of my blog on how to prepare and pass the exam.
First of all - my impressions about the exam. Exam is tough. The exam asks simple questions (lets say - basics) about Java, but you must know them. For example: Is there a difference between:[geshifilter-java] int  a, b; // and int a, b; [/geshifilter-java]
Hint: Yes, there is.
As for me it took a while to study for the exam, but it's worth it. I improved my knowledge of Java a lot.
Here are several tips/steps on how to pass OCAJP exam.
Step 1. Write lots of small programs in Java. They will help you master syntax of Java.
Step 2. Buy two good books: SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide (CX-310-065): Exam 310-065 by Katherine Sierra and Bert Bates (sometimes refered as K&B book). From this book you need to read 1 - 5 chapters, plus items about ArrayList, String, hashcode() & equals(). Originally this book is for Java 6 exam (now called: 1Z0-851) but it contains lot of useful information about Java. And buy one book about Java 7: OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide (Exam 1Z0-803): Exam 1Z0-803. Complete Exam Preparation by Edward G. Finegan and Robert Liguori.
Step 3. Invest $10 in Enthuware's testing tool. I used it and it helped me prepare for exam. One important point about Enthuware's tool: this tool is more complex then the actual exam.