JavaRanch Certification Info
To pass the SCJP you must:
You gotta read books; you gotta write some code. Give yourself 3 months (less if you're a C++ programmer).
Get some examples from the CodeBarn, and stories at the Campfire.
The SCJP exam is now for Java2 (Java language version 1.2), but you can still take the 1.1 exam. The Java2 certification is almost identical to the Java 1.1 exam, but adds two new objectives: Collections and GridBagLayout.
Make flash cards for yourself.
Get your friends to quiz you.
(and pay around US $150). See Sun's certification area for info on registration.
4. Get some SLEEP
(can't help you with that one)
5. TAKE THE TEST
You'll take it at an authorized examination center. They will have security to make sure you don't take anything in, or out, and that you are the registered person (can't send a Java Guru in to take it for you).
About 2 hours, 60 questions. There's plenty of time, but the questions are HARD. Shockingly hard.
But not so bad if you do steps 1 and 2 and 4.
How do you know if you're ready?
If you're over 29 (in human years) -- and you can trust the CowGirl on this -- reread step 4.