So on the 26/02 (afternoon), I failed at my first attempt to gain my VCAP5-DCD with a score of 279. Beforehand I did say that i would rather have failed hard than nearly get there with a close to passing score.
Put simply, I ran out of time.
Like most exams i take i go in with a game plan, i’d read a lot on the internet and been told by a lot of people – do the Master and Visio style questions first.
Unfortunately for me, I abandoned my plan because whilst doing the Visio style questions and the Master Design item all I could see was the time dwindling in the corner so I opted to move onto the drag-drop questions and come back to the Visio ones once I had at least answered all of the questions.
Big Mistake because the some of the drag and drop questions are so ambiguous that I spent to much time contemplating whether I was right or not. Directions such as (and i’m paraphrasing) drag and drop one of 9 statements items into 6 answer boxes, each the statement could belong in one box, none of the boxes or multiple boxes.
Given this was my first “Design” exam, I made the cardinal sin of exam taking, and something I never do in my work or real life. I doubted myself. That meant I spent too much on the Master Design Item, even though I knew (deep down) my answer was good, I just kept tweaking it and re-reading.
With 15 mins to go I remembered I hadn’t even started one of the Visio style questions, let alone finished some of the others I had started but moved on because I was worried about the time. It is never a good thing / feeling when the time runs out when your in the middle of answering a question!
It was an interesting exam that tested me to my limits in a completely different way to the VCPs have done in the past. However, what it did give me is an idea where my knowledge is a little rusty and areas to focus on so that I am confident for the re-take in a few weeks time!
So my advice for people taking the exam is:
- Do the Master Design item First
- Do the Visio / Design Tool Items Second
- Do the other drag and drop questions Last
- Be confident in your answers – you’ve (hopefully) been studying hard and know your stuff – so don’t doubt yourself!
Hopefully I wont make the same mistake with my next attempt (or the VCAP6-DCD Beta!) but, I am only human after all!