Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2015
I took the OCA7 last year and got 85%. Some of the questions were hideously tricky, and from what I've seen so far in this book is that the self-test questions at the end of each chapter are as hard (or even a bit harder) than the real exam. In the exam, being 3 hours (or whatever it was) I didn't think I'd be under time pressure but I was somewhat - I did finish in time but couldn't check and revise my answers as much as I would've liked to. I would advise not to even think about doing OCAP unless you've done substantial preparation with this book then plenty of hard practice tests such as Enthuware. For the OCA I had the Liquori/Finegan book and although great and definitely worth buying, it simply doesn't cover all that is needed. But having said that, a book covering every trap and corner case would perhaps run to 2000 pages?
For a progressive approach, maybe do Liquori/Finegan (for the OCA) Ganesh/Sharma (for the OCP) first, then move up to this
Well I'm now prepping for the OCP7. I have Ganesh/Sharma and am nearing the end of that book (up to the Threads chapter). It's great and I would give it 5 stars too - despite its errors. Ganesh/Sharma's book is worth buying for some of the examples alone (e.g. I/O is very well explained). With this Sierra/Bates monolith, I'm starting right from the beginning to refresh the OCA stuff and currently up to chapter 4. It's so thorough and feels absolutely complete, with explanations often (and very appropriately) being repeated and re-explained to really hammer the points in. The self tests were difficult (as expected) and in Ch.1 I got 3 wrong, Ch.2, 5 wrong and Ch.3, 4 wrong. Like they say in the book - good for 'toughening up' for the real exams. There are some very funny little quips throughout the text too and I've found myself laughing quite a few times. Back to the self tests: the questions are often very convoluted and tricky, even Kafkaesque at times but yes, to be sure, this is what the questions in the real exams are like (from having taken the OCA - and no doubt the OCP is no different).
5 stars from me for Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates's book and a big thank you to the authors!