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.