The Sun Certified Java Programmer exam is the entry level to take the java-programming exam.  The SCJP exam is a pre requisite to all Java related certification.  The SCJP 1.5 version released in April 2005 was developed to give a fairly detailed test of the basic knowledge essential in Java programming language.  It test loops constructs and variables.  It does not cover the technologies in GUI creation, Web or network programming.

The exam is an automatically administered with a multiple choice test system.  It has 72 questions which examinees are given 175 minutes to answer.  The passing grade should be at least 59%.  Exams are given at a Prometric test center, and must buy a voucher from Sun (approximately US$200 in the US, but £150 (excluding VAT) in the UK) and register at least a week in advance. Drag and drop questions are also included in the exam.

Sun’s terms in the creation of the exam is to create a test that is performance based rather than knowledge based. As knowledge based is based on memorization of details and performance based is more on dealing with real world activities such as writing code.  The SCJP 1.5 is more difficult than the SCJP 1.4 exam.  The 1.5 version tests the candidates knowledge of declarations, access control, object orientation, assignments, operators, flow control, assertions, string handling, I/O, parsing, formatting, generics, collections, inner classes, threads and the JDK tools.

Test in SCJP 1.5 is given in English, Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.

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