TL;DR Yesterday morning (Monday 25th) I took the VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization (DCV) Design Exam (3V0-624) at my local approved Pearson Vue Exam Centre. I’m disappointed with the score but I managed a pass. What this pass does mean, is that I also get the shiny new VMware Certified Implementation Expert 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCIX-DCV) digital badge.
I have been putting this exam off for the last 12 months due to various reasons. That meant, apart from a few hours the day before, I did little or no real study for this exam. In fact I tried to move the exam on Sunday (for the 6th time) but was too late to do so. This meant I had no choice, I could either become a #NoShow or just take it. I have never purposefully been a #NoShow, so I decided to suck it up and just take it. The benefit being that I was using one of the free exam vouchers I had from VMware following some issues with other VCAP exams in 2018. So I wasn’t going to be out of pocket.
To be clear I am NOT an advocate of taking exams with out any preparation (especially advanced level exams). These are not cheap exams to sit. For me preparation is key and should be used to learn new and enforce existing knowledge
As I eluded to in the opening paragraph, I managed to scrape a sub-400 pass. Some people will say “a pass is a pass” which is true, but I am actually disappointed with that score, I know I am better than that. I personally like to aim for a 400+ score in most of the exams I take. So getting a score of 300-400 was disappointing. Not as disappointing as getting a fail with a score of 275+ but a close second.
As I cover below, it is disappointing that there isn’t any more information on the score sheet detailing what went well in the exam, and more importantly what didn’t.
What the exam result has given me is a renewed focus on the areas I felt I was the weakest. I am reasonably confident that the majority of Functional and Non-Functional Requirements (Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability and Security) questions were pretty easy marks. The same could be said of the Risk, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies and Constraints (RAID&C) questions. I also think the drag and drop questions were easy marks. Therefore I can only summarise that it was the more technology focused questions where I dropped some of the points. At least I have some idea where to focus on moving forward.
Is the Exam Blueprint any good?
Personally (apart from some of the links to the different recommended resources) I found the official Exam Blueprint to be pretty much useless in guidance about what you would need to know/understand. It is so generic and high level it may have well just said: Objective 1 – Design a VMware vSphere 6.x Environment. I’m sure that the Exam Blueprints used to be more detailed than this one.
Can the exam experience be improved?
In my humble opinion, the simple answer to this is Yes. Here are two easy things that could change the overall exam taking experience.
Who uses 15″ monitors these days?
From a physical experience point of view, I’d like to see a minimum requirement for larger monitors within all Pearson Vue exam centres. My local centre, whilst convenient and friendly, has equipment that Noah probably used to calculate the size and space required in the Ark for all the animals. In fact the I think the same Monitors have been in use since I started my exam journey many years ago!
Knowledge is Power
I haven’t taken a Microsoft Exam for a few years, but the last time I did take one, I liked the fact I could see how I scored in the different objectives of the exam. That way, pass or fail, I could see where I could focus an additional work or improve my knowledge on the subject. It can’t be THAT difficult to show more details on the score report.
I encourage any VCPs to take the leap of faith into the world of the VCAP exam. They are not as hard as you think they are.
Remember – Be all you can be and keep pushing higher and further than you think you’re capable of.
The next VCAP I’m going to be tackling will be the VCAP7-CMA Deploy (or whatever they have chosen to rename it!). This will be Swiftly followed by the VCAP6.5-DCV deploy.