Passed: My VCAP5-DCD Experience

passI meant to sit the VCAP5-DCD exam last year after my US project finished and I’d had some time off. For one reason or another it never happened. I managed to book it just after VMworld Europe but then had to cancel again.

The other day, I finally got to sit it (I didn’t get as far as passing the VCAP4-DCD). Hooray, I passed!

Unfortunately I don’t live very near any exam centres that were offering slots for one of VMware’s 4-hour Advanced exams so I had to drive over to Milton Keynes to QA’s training facility there. If you choose to take an exam there and, like me, have to drive there make sure you leave yourself plenty of time as parking wasn’t straightforward. The facilities, the exam station itself was fairly decent. The screen size was bigger than I’ve seen in some other places and the workstation was pretty nippy. I’m tempted to go back there as and when I do my DCA exam.

The exam itself, as I’m sure you’ll read elsewhere, is 3 hours and 45 minutes long and is comprised of a mixture of multiple choice type questions, drag and drop questions and some Visio-like diagramming tasks. What made it quite a challenge was that, unlike with some other exams, you cannot return to a previously answered question, you can’t flag a question for later review. I found that this made me very conscious of time passing. I was torn between making it through all of the questions by submitting some hasty answers – some of which I know I will have got wrong through not ready the question through carefully – and taking my time thus risking leaving some questions unanswered. In the end, I finished with mere seconds to spare so I either judged it right or just got lucky!

I can understand some of the reasoning behind removing candidates’ ability to review answers but I found some of the questions were curiously worded and, with some questions, I wanted to go back and check it almost as soon as I’d moved on. In a way though, I’m glad I couldn’t because I almost certainly wouldn’t have finished. In the end, it doesn’t matter too much because I’ve passed now but I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed the experience. I’m very happy about the result though!

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.

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