VCP5-DCV Delta done and dusted

Over the weekend logic and common sense failed me and I decided to sit my VCP5-DCV Delta Exam.  Since VMware introduced a recertification policy back in March 2014 I’ve been buying my time to renew.  My deadline was approaching and with the limited time offer to sit a Delta exam recertification I jumped on it.

To date I’ve seen nothing out there on user experiences taking the Delta exam, though, it’s only been three weeks since the VCP5-DCV Delta exam has been available.  So unfortunately taking this exam would be unchartered waters.  I’ve been psyching myself up all week so that wasn’t going to phase me 🙂

I had my plan ready for first thing Saturday morning.  I would fire up the vSphere environment on my new NUC test lab.  Download all the PDFs in the VCP5-DCV Delta Blueprint.  Then cram like I’ve never crammed before over 48 hours and take the exam Sunday night.

Step 1 was Requesting Authorization on the VMware MyLearn site.  I had already performed this earlier on in the week and was authorized the same day, my authorization was valid for 10 years, I guess just in case I became a little busy.  Step 2 was booking for the VCP550D exam on the Pearsons website first thing Saturday morning.  There’s nothing like preparing for an exam than knowing you’ve already paid to take it.  The exam cost was $130 AUD ($120 USD).

Next I downloaded and studied the Blueprint.  65 questions over 75 minutes, that’s 1 minute 15 seconds per a question.  Vmware are notorious for pushing time limits in exams 🙁  The MyLearn site states that only new material between vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 would be on the exam yet the blueprint contained everything that would be in a full VCP exam.  This made study a little difficult.  I wasn’t going to study everything obviously.  So I took advantage of the FREE 1-hr online course -VMware vSphere: What’s New Fundamentals of V5.5 to help prepare for the exam.  I used that has the basis of what I needed to study.  The online course was a good starting point of where to start the deep dives into the PDFs.  What I found was absent in the video, but clearly mentioned on the blueprint, was vCOPs and vSAN.  Something to keep in mind.

Next came the mind numbingly hard part of reading the PDFs.  I focused heavily on some of the new guides, In particular, the Replication guide, Data Protection, and Storage.  By Sunday afternoon (after a day and half of reading) I had covered most of the material in the PDFs.  The only exception being the three vCOPS PDFs totalling 400 pages which I refused to read!

Next came taking a few practice exams off the VMware MyLearn site.  I knew the questions would be broader than the Delta exam so I just focused on the new 5.5 material.

As the end of Sunday approached it was time to take the exam.  Now If it’s not clear by this point, this is an online exam.  For the people that don’t know what that means.  It is an open book exam!  Now I don’t want hate messages.  It’s an open book exam!

So this is where my three monitors got put to good use.  Monitor 1, the exam window.  Monitor 2, Google.  Monitor 3, the Advanced Search function of Adobe Reader set to search all PDFs in the Blueprint folder.

Now if you’ve read this far, plain and simply, I’m not going to give you the answers.  I feel, though, based on my experience I can comfortably recommend what you need to be studying.  So know your vSAN, know your vFlash, know your VDP, and know Replication.  It felt like the lower end of 50% -- 75% was this new material and the rest was standard VCP knowledge material that we should all know.  Looking at the exam at a high level it’s set in the format of a traditional VCP exam.  So if you can remember back to your last one expect the same types of questions worded the same way.

Where I felt I was weak on and would also recommend.  Know your vSphere Editions and high level vCOPs 😉  If you’ve done your VCA-DCV certification you’ll been fine with that knowledge for vCOPs.  Just focus on your knowledge of what Badges are and what they are comprised of.

So now long story short I am recertified for another 728 days.

As an open disclaimer I’ve been using vSphere 5.5 since day one of release.  I’ve been closely following all the new technologies that have been accompanying vSphere 5.5.  Keep that in mind before you say this was a paper certification.

References

Recertification Policy

VCP5-DCV Delta recertification exam

Pearsons VMware exam registration site

  1. Nice article, thanks for taking the time to write it, I´m about to register for the delta exam and reading your experience was useful.

    Thanks.

  2. Thanks for this. I’m not sure if I’m going to do the Delta as so much on plate at the minute, but your experience was good to read. Considering the customer I support have zero need for half the stuff in the VCP and definitely not vFlash or VSAN I think I might go and focus on some MS exams for now.

    • It’s a tough decision, always other priorities. More so now with having to renew VMware certs.

      You have other options if you don’t take the Delta. If it’s been longer than two years since your last VCP you have until the end of March 2015 to sit the full VCP550 exam. The downside is you have to waste more time going into a test center and sit the full 135 odd questions You can also wait out vSphere 6 and then the release of the VCP6 cert and hope it comes before your cert expires.

  3. Vignesh Ranganathan

    Hello Mark,
    A very well written article. This is going to help me a lot in my prep towards the Delta test. Will let you know the outcome. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
    and I like the third screen’s idea for pdf’s.
    VR

  4. Hi Mark, Thanks for sharing your experience, you’ve mentioned that you referred PDF’s, may I know which PDF’s you referred to?

  5. Thanks for this. I just sat the exam online, and was pushed for time. Was surprised when it came up with failure (290/300) as I thought I’d done a fair amount of study and I’ve deployed a couple of clients recently with 5.5 and worked exclusively in the web client. What let me down was focusing too much on the 5.1->5.5 changes and not enough on the broader blueprint.- specifically let down by a lack of knowledge of the Data Protection Appliance, and how those add-ins work in the web client. Also need to play more with Update manager capabilities from in the Web Client, and no knowledge of Ops Manager badges. Not sure what the percentage pass mark was, but I thought I’d done OK as had time to review 10 questions at the end, and being open book thought I had them sussed. Was surprised to get slapped with a fail.

  6. Like Phil I too wasn’t successful on my first attempt, despite feeling supremely confident after passing the test exam easily and completing the 65 questions well within time.

    I’ve always passed VMware exams without needing to study due to hands on experience, however this one does require study AND hands on experience as several questions are very specific.

    I bet VMware made themselves a fair chunk of money from resits…

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