Passed the VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam! My thoughts about the preparation.

First of all, these are all my opinions and thoughts about the journey and preparation towards the VCAP6-DCV Deploy certification. Links provided are already listed on “Unoffical Study Guides” or other blogs, but I will also list them as these were part of my preparation.

I was aiming to archive a whole new level of exam and it was quite new for me. Sure, I already did some exams for widely known certifications like VCP6, MCSA + MCSE or Dell storage products and was familiar with the local exam centers of Prometric / Pearson Vue.

But for me, this exam was a new challenge as the knowledge needed to pass was on a higher level and, of course, there are no multiple choice parts. Only live lab environments.

Prior to schedule the exam I did some research about others who failed or passed the exam and what I need to be prepared of. The GooglePlus Study Group for VCAP6-DCV Deployment was very informative. Kudos to all the participants at this community giving feedback to all the questions asked!

I scheduled the exam to have one month to learn the official exam objectives blueprint. I also read the “unoffical” study guides of

really carefully and worked through all the topics to be prepared. These guides were absolutely helpful to get a glimpse to what it takes to pass the exam. Anyway, all the guides are “unoffical” and do not represent all information or answers to the exam itself, I know, but these guides are absolutely awesome to start!

It was really helpful to have a lab environment for testing purpose or “try and error” scenarios. I was working on an unused Dell PowerEdge R720 server running ESXi 6.5 + vCSA 6.5, even though knowing that the exam will be based on Version 6.

During the one month preparation period I needed to be 2 weeks on business trip. So I wasn’t able to get direct access to my lab environment from my hotel apartment.

It didn’t feel right, just to read all the guides and/or books, posts, blogs… So I figured out that another solution to get hands on experience in a few exam topics are the VMware Hands On Labs! I was using the HOL-1804-02-CHG – vSphere 6.5 – Challenge Lab and worked through some PSC related situations regarding certificates or Host Profile topics. It really help me to get the look and feel of the VMware HOLs and dig deeper into some of the listed exam topics of the blueprint.

Also it was quite helpful for the time management! I thought that the time limit giving in the exam will suffice to get all questions done. But I was wrong. As the time was running out I was facing 4 questions unanswered.zack

So time management is quite a big deal in this exam. I did not spend much time on a question on which I did not know the answer immediately and wrote down 2 keywords and the question number on my provided note for a later review.

In the end, the first step towards the VCIX certification was a lot of fun. The exam was tough but quite possible. I would love to see more exams using live environments instead of multiple choice. I’m going to start the preparation for the VCAP6.5-DCV Design certification very soon and hope to pass it also!

Edit: I did not have the opportunity to study using @RicardoConzatti VCAP6-DCV DEPLOYMENT EXAM SIMULATOR  but the community is loving it. So take a look and schedule a slot! Kudos to Ricardo!