I recently attempted the "Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform, Standard Edition 5.0" exam and passed with a score of 97%.
The SCJP exam is primarily for programmers interested in demonstrating proficiency in the fundamentals of the Java programming language.
The certification tests the programmer if he/she understands the basic syntax and structure of the Java programming language and if he/she can create Java technology applications that run on server and desktop systems using J2SE.
The certification, as of today is available in two flavors - 5.0 and 6.0.
Moreover, SCJP is the primary pre-requisite for more complex exams like Sun Certified Java Developer (SCJD), Sun Certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD), Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD), Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services (SCDJWS) and Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer (SCMAD).
Check out the entire java certification path at http://www.sun.com/training/certification/java/scjp.xml.
The "Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform, Standard Edition 5.0" exam covers objectives like -
- Declarations, Initialization and Scoping
- Flow Control
- API Contents
- OO Concepts
- Collections and Generics
The exam actually costs $150, but being a Sun employee I got it for free under SAI. :)
A minimum of 58.33% (35 questions out of 60) is required to clear the exam. And the time duration for the exam is 3 hours.
For preparation of the exam, here is the material that I followed; I think this should be enough to get a respectable score -
Sun Certified Java Programmer 5.0 - Kathy Sierra
This is a comprehensive book for the SCJP 5.0 exam, it covers all the objectives of the exam in a structured approach. Anybody attempting the exam should go through this book at least once.
Buy the book from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Certified-Programmer-Study-310-055-Certification/dp/0072253606