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SCJP Certification FAQ

What are the various JavaTM technology related Certification exams offered by Sun?

Sun offers six levels of Certification exams for Java technology developers. In increasing level of difficulty, these are –

  1. Sun’s Java Associate (SCJA)
  2. Sun’s Java Programmer Certification (SCJP)
  3. Sun’s web component Developer Certification (SCWCD)
  4. Sun’s business component Developer Certification (SCBCD)
  5. Sun’s Developer for Java Web Services (SCDJWS)
  6. Sun’s mobile application Developer Certification (SCMAD)
  7. Sun’s Java Developer Certification (SCJD)
  8. Sun’s Java Architect Certification (SCEA)

This site covers study material for Sun’s Java 2 Programmer Certification (SCJP2) and Sun certification for web component development (SCWCD) exams. Refer to Sun’s site for more details on the other exams.

What are the prerequisites for taking the SCJP exam?

There are no prerequisites for SCJP. You do not need to clear the Java Associate exam, before taking the SCJP.

How much time do I need to prepare for the Java Programmer (SCJP) Certification?

The time you need to spend on preparation depends on your background and experience in programming languages in general and Java technology in particular. Assuming you have good background in object-oriented languages like C++ or Smalltalk, but do not have much experience in Java technology, it may take you one to two months to prepare for Java Certification. If you have some experience in Java technology, you may need to spend two weeks to a month to prepare for the Certification exam. The Certification exam covers some of the details of the Java technology that may not be commonly used by a Java programmer.

In case you do not have any background in Object Oriented Programming but have good experience in Procedural languages like C or Pascal, you would need to learn Object Oriented fundamentals also. Sun’s Java Certification exam is hard. There are a large number of good books on Java Certification and tons of information available on the Internet to prepare for the Sun Certification. These resources have made the Certification achievable (if not simple) for most people with good aptitude in programming.

Which books are available for Java Certification?

Please refer to the books section of this site. My personal favorite is the Khalid Mughal book.

What is the difference between SCJP 5 and SCJP 6 exam.

Sun is offering two exams at the programmer level – SCJP 5 and SCJP 6 . The exam number for SCJP 5 exam is CX-310-055. The exam number for SCJP 6 exam is CX-310-065. Content-wise the major difference between the two exams is that SCJP 6 includes a few additional classes –, java.util.NavigableSet, java.util.NavigableMap . The level of complexity of both exam is same.

Number of questions 72 60
Correct answers required 43 35
Total time 175 minutes 180 minutes

Should I take the SCJP 5 or the SCJP 6 exam?

SCJP 6 tests the latest version of Java programming language. So it makes sense to go for the latest (SCJP 6) exam.

I have SCJP 1.2 (or 1.4 or 1.5) certification. Should I upgrade to SCJP 6?

Sun offers an upgrade exam to SCJP 6. The fees for this is $300. In my opinion this has only limited value. Your SCJP 1.2/1.4 certificate is still valid. Your time is better spent on taking other certification exams, rather than upgrading to SCJP 6 certificate.

How many questions are there in the SCJP 6 exam.

The Sun’s Java Certification Programmer 6 exam consists of 72 questions. These need to be completed in 210 minutes. To clear the certification exam you need to get 47 correct answers.

There are three type of questions in the exam –

  1. Multiple choice questions in which you have to select one or more correct answers from a set of options. A majority of the questions are of this type. In the exam it would be clear from the question whether it has one correct answer or multiple correct answers. For questions with multiple correct answers, you must get all the correct answers, to get credit for that question. Also these type of questions will mention the number of correct answers.
  2. True or False type questions
  3. Questions that require you to drag and drop items from one column to another.

How does Certification help my career? Would it help in my job search? Would it give me a better salary?

If you are looking for a job in Java technology, then the Sun’s Java Certification adds a lot of value to your resume. Specifically if you do not have any industry experience in Java technology, and you are looking for a job in Java, the certification will increase your chances many-fold. It is hard to put dollar value on the Certification results, but on an average certified programmers get higher salary than non-certified programmers, everything else being the same. If you have many years experience in Java programming, than the SCJP certification may not add a lot of value to your profile.

How do I prepare for the Certification Exam?

This site provides most of the material you would need to prepare for Java Programmer Certification exam. Try to go through one or two of the Certification books mentioned above. After that take a large number of mock exams on the net. Refer to the “Other Certification sites” section of this site for other available resources on the web for certification.

Besides Sun’s Java certification, are there other Certification programs available for Java technology?

There is another Certification exam on Java technology that is offered by Brainbench (

How do I know when am I ready to take the Sun’s Java certification exam?

Besides the sample test on this site, there are a large number of mock exams present on the web. I would say that when you start scoring above 80% consistently in these mock exams, then you are ready to take the actual test. Try to take at least five mock exams before you take the exam.

I had cleared the Java Certification exam some time back. But I have not received any certificate from Sun?

At the time of clearing your exam, Sylvania Prometric must have provided you with a score sheet highlighting your scores in various sections. However you should receive a formal Certificate from Sun. This may take 8 to 10 weeks. If you do not receive the Certificate from Sun in this timeframe, you should contact them.

What is the mechanism of taking the exam?

There are two steps involved. You need to first buy a voucher from Sun. Within the United States Sun may be contacted at (800) 422-8020. The exams are conducted by Sylvan Prometric. After you get the voucher, you can contact Sylvan Prometric when you are ready to set up an appointment. 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 .

I passed the exam. Now where can I see the results online?

You may check your certification results online at . This site has the database of all candidates who have cleared Sun’s certifications.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

The approximate cost of taking the exam in some countries is given below.

Country Cost
USA $300
Canada CAD 300
UK 165 GBP + VAT
Italy Euro 282

If you are aware of prices in other countries pls provide these to us.

I failed in my first attempt at SCJP2. When can I take the exam again?

You would need to buy another voucher from Sun. Sun also requires that you wait for two weeks before taking a re-exam.

Do you have any information on the SCWCD and the SCJD exams?

Yes. Javaprepare has an FAQ for the SCJD exam, and detailed information on the SCWCD exam.