As you can read here, the only thing you need to do (if you have one of the old SCJP’s) is an upgrade exam (1Z0-805), focused mostly on the new bits added on Java 7. I’ve created a repository on Github with code examples that I’ve been gathering during my preparation.
I’ll upload as well at some point a pdf with some study annotations that I think may be useful to others.
I know plenty of you are very sceptical about certifications but I still think they are quite useful. If not per se, the process (meaning the study + work) you need to go through to get them it certainly is. I’ll be writing a post on this at some point as well.
I attended the Core Spring course last year. It took me a while to gather the necessary time and will to try the exam. I passed it with a narrow margin (78%, passing score was 76%) but I still think my preparation could have been better.
My advice: try this right after the training. I know, this is not something you did not know. But for some reason most of the people I know have not followed this advice, including myself. The reason why you should do this is clear: the exam is heavily based in the specific information contained in the slides of the course. Again, nothing you were not aware of. So: do the course, do the labs, review the slides, understand everything on them, do some mock exams. These are actually harder than the real thing but somehow they will give you hints on how much you know on the material. Again, questions in these exams that are out of scope for the exam (not in the slides of the course) will arise. Don’t get discouraged by them, make your notes, grow your Spring knowledge but don’t lose your sleep. It’s more than likely that you won’t find them in the exam.
I based my study and preparation on Selikoff’s recommended study plan. I find it very accurate and a set of very good practices when it comes to confront this exam. I can’t thank her enough for her wise advices.
On a more operative level, make sure you get to the exam with time to find the place, a good sleep the night before and don’t forget two proofs of identify yourself (credit card is ok, at least in the centre where I took the exam).