Can't express how happy I was when I saw the message on the screen - "Congratulations- You have Passed the VCAP5-DCD.". I waited for an excruciating 225 minutes looking at the 26 inches monitor and going through 100 questions to finally get the result which I wanted and I am extremely happy. The happiness is actually forcing me to put down this experience into this blog and re-visit and read it every-time I need motivation in life.
94 questions with multiple choices, match the following and then the 6 confusing VISIO diagrams with possibly 20 different ways to create each diagram. The good thing was that I was able to finish in time, in fact I had 1 minute left on the clock when I answered my last question.
Well, I would not talk about the study material and the resources available as you will find a number of excellent posts with detailed information on what to study, how to study and from where to study. I will just mentioned a few pointers which would help you whether you study or not :-)
Here are my tips:-
a) Time Management - This should be Priority Number 1. You have to finish those 100 questions and Pace yourself throughout the exam. If you miss the bus and are left too far behind, then chances are that you will not be able to get to the finish line (passing marks). Good part is that there are no options to review, flag, re-visit the answers which you have given once. So treat each question with care and spend appropriate amount of time on it. Both VMware and I recommend that you spend at-least 15 minutes on the Visio design type questions. Keeping that in mind let's see how much time you got:-
Total Time you have = 225 mins
15 Mins for 6 Visio Questions = 90 mins
Remaing Time = 135 mins
Remaining Questions = 94
Time you can spend per question = 135/94 = 1.5 minutes per question
Well this is tight, make sure you are good with fast reading and understanding. Make quick notes as that helps.
b) Gain Field Experience - I would be lying if I say that I did not study for this exam. I did use a lot of resources which are available online. But I would say that the 75% of knowledge to crack this exam came from the work I have done in the field. The rest 25% can come from books/training etc. The design work which I have done for customers has helped me visualize what the test is asking and I could answer on the basis of the real time scenarios which I face in the field on a daily basis. Not to say that studying does not work, but it does not work for me. My recommendation would be not to prepare for this exam in a week or a month, but to prepare for it every day by looking at the vast ocean of vSphere concepts.
I know some people who have not done design in the field and have passed the exam and I really appreciate what they have done. For me the experience is the number one thing which helped.
Some other things would be:-
c) Create a vSphere Design - Do it if you can..
d) Cover everything on the Blueprint
e) Read Blogs they help a lot - Here is a list of top blogs - http://vsphere-land.com/
Well, I will sign off now and open that bottle of vBeer which I guess I completely deserve :-P Woooohooo....