VCAP6-CMA Deploy Exam – What a #Terrible Experience!

This morning I “sat” the VCAP6-CMA Deploy exam.  As you may have noticed I have been posting a lot of study materials recently on this. (see here for my Study Resources).

I turned up 10 minutes early like a good candidate, after being booked in and led into the exam room, the adjudicator attempted to log me in.  That’s when the first problem hit.  We were prompted with an unexplained error message that took ~1 hour to sort and it seems it was a problem between the PearsonVue software and my VMware Education account (something about not having the right entitlement).  I don’t remember ever having to log into my VMware Education account at an exam center before, but whatever SSO solution being used wasn’t working today!

Now starting an hour late, I was already on edge because I’d spent so much of my own time working on this frankly outdated product and now I was annoyed and frustrated at having the start delayed!  Lucky I still had the full allocated time limit.  If only the problems stopped there I wouldn’t have needed this post…

Having taken the VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam already at the same place, I expected it to be a HOL kind of responsiveness,  i.e. OK/useable but not brilliant.  It felt like the whole HOL simulation was running on a steam powered system that pre-dated electricity.

  • I lost count of the times I was waiting for a browser to load, or a page to load.  You would click a button and wait, get annoyed click again then the screen would catch up and register that you’ve click twice on two different things when you didn’t mean to.
  • I lost count of the times I typed something in a Window and waited for text to appear to think “oh maybe I didn’t click the box” so I clicked again and typed again for both sets of text to finally show up 10s later and then i’d have to do some deletion (without the backspace key of course!).
  • The link to the online docs didn’t work, the links to the online KBs didn’t work.
  • The two minute warning where you lose all focus on the desktop was SOOO welcome whilst I was rushing to finish a question… I know I have 2 minutes left I can see the clock ticking down and my chances of a pass fading…
  • Most questions are clear enough, some are so ambiguous it wasn’t worth trying and others were just missing key information.

The net result the time ran out with a number of questions unanswered and a small amount not even attempted.

All I know is, this was the most prep I’d done for an exam in 10 years. I was ready to take this exam.  But it seems even after 6 months of it being GA, the exam still wasn’t ready for me to take it.  VCAP exams are not cheap exams, costing £300+, and it is genuinely disappointing to get such a bad experience when paying that sort of money.

I won’t be holding my breath for the 2-3 week waiting for the exam to be manually marked.  I’ll be genuinely surprised if I passed it. Only time will tell.

 

2 Comments

  1. Hello Christopher,
    I hope you passed as I did. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone with terrible experience about this exam. I had to take it twice whilst at first attept the whole sso was not working in the lab and I was not able to log in to vRA appliance so it was not possible to resolve almost any task (apart from Application services). However I get full refund in terms of new voucher, the second time was not much better… The console windows of VMs were not loading at all. After 1h of try to solve the problem by Pearson Vue or VMware I maneged to start the exam. However I lost 1h of my time I did pass..

    1. Hey Pawel,

      On my 2nd and 3rd attempt the exam didn’t even deliver. They (VMware and PearsonVue) then worked out that my local exam center had been de-authorised for this particular exam but there was a bug in the system that meant I could still book. I have my next try on Friday. So fingers crossed I’ll pass 🙂

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