I appeared for the IBM Rational Certified Solution Designer Certification in August 2009 at the IBM Rational Software Conference 2009 in Bangalore and cleared both test 833 and 834 with ease. My preparation strategy included studying from UML Distilled 3rd edition by Martin Fowler and Applying UML and Patterns by Craig Larman. I would also suggest studying from Analysis and Design Discipline in Rational Unified Process. This is specially important for Test 834 as a lot of questions on Subsystems come from this content. Make sure that you read & understand every statement (everything is important).
There were many questions that were from some other source that I have not been able to figure out. One relief for test 834 was that there were many exhibit based questions and so if you have studied the notation thoroughly you should have no trouble answering them. On the topic of concurrency there were come questions on Active Classes but nothing on Capsule. Also there were multiple questions on Inputs to a particular task. Following are some of the important concepts..
1. Classes, Components, Subsystems & Interfaces
2. Structured Classes & Ports
3. State Machines, Events and Signals, Asynchronous flows
4. Sequence Diagrams
5. Subsystem Design
6. Use Case analysis and design
7. Architectural Analysis
8. Analysis & Design Mechanisms
I feel test 834 is quite difficult when compared to 833. Also sometimes the choices given did not make sense and I just had to make a guess at it. The most important thing is that the test expects you to have considerable experience in object oriented methodology. I have been using object oriented techniques for many years now which made answering many questions very easy. The point to remember is that there would be many questions that you may not be able to answer based on your exam preparation alone. Your experience will be a great asset then..