Prerequisite:There is no prerequisite for the SCJP1.6 test. However, you must be well experienced with the language before you take the test. Even if you are new to the Java field, you can still pass the test with self study. This will require a lot of dedication and practice specially with code.
How to start:To start preparing for the test, you need to download the development kit (JDK 1.6) from sun's official website . You can also download the documentation from the website. Passing the test needs a lot of practice. Objectives for the test can be found at http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/CX-310-065.xml .
How to book your exam:If you are in the US, you can book the exam online. But, if you are in any other country, you have to purchase the voucher for the exam. The exam vouchers are available at all prometric centers. The cost of the exam is 200$. However, discounts may be available on the exam and you can get the details form your nearest prometric center.
After you purchase the voucher, you can book the exam within one year from the date of purchase of vouchers. The exam date may depend on your choice (and availability of slot) in you selected test center.
Resources:You can get answers to most of your queries in the Javaranch forum. This is a great place for beginners as well as those who want to get answers for their queries related to SCJP. Moderators and other users will always be there to help you.
There is no book specially dedicated to the test right now. However, there are only a few differences between SCJP 1.5 and 1.6 and you can use the book from Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates(written for SCJP 1.5) to prepare for the test.There are many other resources for 1.5 version of the exam, but I personally feel that it is the best training material.
Practice test:Right now there is not much practice tests available for the exam. However, I found a very good practice test for SCJP 1.6 from ucertify.com. I got a chance to review the simulator. The simulator has a great look and feel. Questions are good in quality. I would advice to go for the simulator for those preparing for the SCJP 1.6 exam.
Type of questions:The questions are of three types:
There are instructions to choose the number of correct answers(choose 2 or choose 3). You are asked to click the exhibit button to display the code for drag and drop.
Taking the test:On the day of the test, you need to reach the examination center atleast 30 minutes before the scheduled time. When you contact the promtric center incharge, he will take you to a room with a computer that you will use for the exam. He will also provide you with a pen-paper/white board-marker for rough work. He will guide you on the instructions to take the exam. Once you are ready, you can ask him to start the exam.
You are not allowed to take anything with you in the test center. Not even your water bottle or any food. You need to carry two identity proofs, of which, atleast one should have a photo attached.
There will be an online survey in the beginning of the exam which will ask some general questions such as rate yourself on the level of expertise. This will not make any difference in your score. Neither the time counts from the survey in your actual exam. Now, the final exam starts. Take a deep breathe and click the start button.
You have 210 minutes for the exam(but will sail as if you had only a few minutes). Once you complete the exam, you can ask the center incharge for the result. These are some of the most moments. Those few seconds after the incharge clicks finish, Oh God.
The incharge will give a printed report of you score. The sheet will tell you whether you passed(and of course you will if you were well prepared) and the marks in various areas(a graph will indicate your score in different divisions).