What is SCJD. Does it have any prerequisites?

SCJD stands for Sun Certified Java Developer exam. You must clear the SCJP exam (1.2 or 1.4) to take this exam. The exam number for the assignment is CX-310-252A, and for the essay exam is 310-027. The exam tests if you can apply the skills you learnt for SCJP, to a real life problem.

I just cleared the SCJP. Should I go for SCWCD (Sun Certified Web Component Developer) or the developer exam (SCJD)?

This depends upon on a few factors —

  1. Your area of interest. If you work in (or want to work in) web development in Java using technologies like JSP and Servlets, then SCWCD is the exam for you. If your area of expertise includes some of these technologies – swings, AWT, RMI, databases etc., then you should go for SCJD.
  2. How much time and effort are you willing to spend on certification? SCJD requires a much bigger time commitment. Relatively speaking, SCWCD is an easier exam, and generally takes much less time. If you consider yourself as a technical guru, and are strong in doing designs, then you should consider SCJD.
  3. SCWCD costs $150, and SCJD costs $400 ($250 for the assignement and $150 for the essay test).

What is involved in clearing the SCJD exam.

The SCJD exam is very different when compared to the SCJP exam. The SCJD exam is of two parts – writing a Java program, and taking an exam on the assignment. The first part involves downloading a programming assignment in Java, and then implementing, and submitting it. There is no time limit to submit the SCJD assignment. After you submit your assignment, you must also take a followup essay exam at a Prometric center. The essay exam basically quizes you about the design decisions that you will have made in your assignment. So it is best to take the exam just after the programming assignment, while things are still fresh in your mind. The online exam has a time limit of two hours and has four questions. The voucher for the online essay exam is valid for one year. The voucher for the assignment does not expire.

How many marks do I need to clear the exam?

You will get one score combined for the two parts of the exam. The maximum score is 400. You need to score 80% (320) to clear the exam.

What are the topics covered in the exam?

The following is a list of some of the main topics covered in the exam — Swing, AWT, Design patterns like MVC, RMI, multi-threading. Suns site has the detailed objectives for SCJD.

Are there any other sites that have good information on SCJD. Are there any mock exams for SCJD?

Since this exam involves implementing a programming assignment, there is no concept of a mock exam. Compared to the SCJP, there are relatively few sites that have information about SCJD. Here is a list of a few good ones –

Sun’s SCJD page has the lastest information about the exam, including the objectives, exam details etc.
Javaranch has a very active forum on SCJD, besides having agood FAQ. Once you are deep into writing your assignment, you will find this forum very useful.
Dallas study group is a good site that includes FAQs and tutorials on SCJD exam.
Sun has good tutorials on RMI and Swing.
Sun also maintains a page of whom to contact in case you have questions on the exam.

Are there any commercial tools available for SCJD?

There are a few. Javacamp offers SCJD study companion and instruction-led help. Enthuware also have a similar program.

How much is the fees of the exam?

In US taking the first part (downloading the assignment) costs $250, and second part of taking the exam costs $150.

What happens after I have taken the exam?

Sun will inform you of the results via email. This typically take two to four weeks.

Which are the best books to prepare for SCJD?

The best book on the developer exam is The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 1.4 by Mehran Habibi, Jeremy Patterson, Terry Camerlengo. The book covers all the topics that are included in the exam including RMI, Swing, MVC etc. I highly recommend this book if you are preparing for the SCJD exam. It is also a good resource if you know the basics of Java, and want to learn advanced concepts.

cover What are the various assignments for the SCJD exam?

There are three assignments –

  1. Fly By Night Services (FBNS) flight reserverations system
  2. URLyBird hotel reservation system
  3. Bodgitt & Scarper contractors

The first assignment has been there for a while. The assignments are very similar in scope, and most of the same issues apply for all assignments. In all of them, you have to write a GUI (using swing and a JTable), and connect it to a database either directly or via a network. For the network you must choose either RMI or Serialized Objects over Sockets.
Although there are three assignements, there are various versions of each of these assignments. These versions have minor differences.

On what topics will I be graded in the exam?

These are the topics and there weightage –

Topic Maximum score
General Considerations 100
Documentation 70
Object Oriented Design 30
GUI 40
Locking 80
Data Store 40
Network server 40

What is the mechanism of taking the exam?

There are a few steps involved. You need to first buy a voucher for the assignment from Sun. Within the United States Sun may be contacted at (800) 422-8020. The exams are conducted by Sylvan Prometric. A few days before submitting the assignment, you should buy a voucher for the essay type exam. After you have submitted the assignment, and have got the voucher for the essay exam, you can contact Sylvan Prometric to set up an appointment for the essay exam. You may register online at or contact a Sylvan Prometric test center. A list of Prometric testing center’s is available online at their site .

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