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Step-1 Unlocked - VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Datacenter Virtualization Design 6.5 Exam Summary and Experience

I have been working on VMware technologies for about 10 years now. One might have a lot of practical knowledge, but when it comes to certification - we need to Study, Understand the concepts on what exactly the exam requires.

As stated in Path to VCDX-Preparation post, this was my second VCAP- Datacenter Design Exam. Although this was my second, I just considered this to be my FIRST exam. 

I had bought an VCAP voucher a month back(assuming I was prepared), but somewhere I felt that I was not completely read for it. The days passed, and I felt - "Ok its time" and scheduled the exam.

One thing I understood - go with your gut feeling. If your gut feeling says you are ready.. Then you ARE!

Before I went to the exam, I did not have a second thought if I was ready or not.. I was just READY to go and take the exam.

Here is the Summary/List of Study Materials that I used for my preparation.

Books I read

Study Materials
  1. As per my friend Daniel Paluszek's blog, I did print out both the 6.5 Exam Guide AND 6.0 Exam Guide and reviewed both. I went through each and every topic and noted them down. I questioned myself on how strong I was on each topic and start working on which I thought I need to concentrate more on. Key here is to - WRITE things down. Else there are chances to get lost
  2. vBrownBag VCAP6-DCV Video Series - Go through each and every video. I did thrice! Keep taking notes, its really important. One advise - Be patient. 
  3. VMware Materials
Other Materials

Community Materials

Here was the another MAJOR key. I read-through too many blogs and found some of the them really helpful. 

  1. Graham Barker’s VCAP6-DCV Exam Preparation Guide – very detailed for Section1 and Section 2.
  2. Matt Callaway’s VCAP6-DCV Design Study Guide – links to many of the videos but other applicable notes he created.
  3. Hersey’s write-up on exam experience and study notes – AWESOME write up! One of the best!
  4. VirtualTiers Sample Quiz by Jason Grierson – Very useful to understand to get hands on design tool.
  5. vMusketeers VCAP6-DCV Design Quiz – Try this before and after you prepare! 

Exam Tips

1. Go with confidence and obviously confidence comes from preparation. 
2. Try NOT to spend too much time on a question if you are unsure of it. Just MARK it and Save it for Later. I did the same.
3. I finished answering all QUESTIONS in about 70 minutes. But I had 23 for review. 
4. Expect Multiple choice questions, drag and drop and NOT to forget using Design tool. I loved it.
5. You surely need to understand difference between Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data Model. 
6. Understanding Risk, Constraints, Assumptions, Requirements play a MAJOR role.
7. Your HANDS ON experience will help you lot.
8. Do not forget Functional vs Non-Functional requirements. Its tricky!

Good luck folks! Now I need to get back to prepare for my VCAP-DCA!