Monday, February 10, 2014

VCAP5-DCA - Exam Experience & Study Tips!

I am happy to share that I have successfully upgraded my VCAP4-DCA to VCAP5-DCA. I wrote about my VCAP4-DCA exam experience back in 2012. Here is the link - My VCAP 4 - DCA Exam Experience - Better late than NEVER!!

With this article, I just wanted to add to what I had to do in addition to prepare for this version of the exam. 

Needless to say that you would need a lot of LAB TIME with the topics which are described in the Blue print, the link to which can be found on the official VMware Certification Page for this exam.

Some quick pointers about the exam format & things which I learned from my experience, keeping in mind the NDA which I signed :-)

  • 26 Questions with 225 minutes to complete them. Approx 30 minutes extra for Non-English speaking countries.
  • All the questions are Practical Only. You would have to do everything in the LAB.
  • Each question might have One or More Tasks to complete so never think that you only have to do 26 tasks.
  • Their might be TASKS which are dependent on a previous task so be careful.
  • You CAN go BACK & FORTH between questions as you like, UNLIKE VCAP-DCD so feel free to do that.
  • Official vSphere documentation in PDF format is available for you to access during examination, although it is not a great idea since the access to these files can be painfully slow and result in a waste of time.
  • You have the choice to access things via RDP or vSphere Client. Avoid RDP as much as possible especially if you have a slow access to the environment which you need to work on.
  • Give yourself enough time to study for this exam. You need a lot of time with each topic to master it. This is not the exam where you could study a night before and pass with flying colors. NaaDa.. Not going to happen!!
  • One last thing, the biggest challenge would be time, hence it is important to pace your self appropriately. Another thing which I would worry about is the slowness of some of the centers who host this exam. It might be a good idea to take a feedback from people on which is the best center to take this exam in your city or a city near you. 

While you have endless options on the study material, I would highly recommend that you go through the Pluralsight's (formerly Train-signal) VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP-DCA). Jason Nash (the instructor for this course) has covered each and every section on the blueprint in detail and this helped me a lot during my preparation. 

With this I am all set for my VCDX certification. I hope these tips will help you.

Share & Spread the Knowledge!! 

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