My VCP Exam Experience

Hi there! Today I’d like to share my VCP Exam experience with you. I hope this will encourage the people who are preparing to do it at some point in time (be it tomorrow or in a few months) and to share some heart-felt moments with you that have also successfully passed this examination. So stay awhile, and listen 🙂

Preparations.

I got my free exam voucher from Karel Novak by winning a drawing at his vmware-veeam blog. This voucher was time-limited to the end of September, so I wanted to schedule it just for that time so I could soak up the most hands-on experience from my newly acquired position as a last level specialist. Since hands-on experience is the king, I have relied primarily on that resource in order to “prepare” myself.

Since I like to soak up as much information possible on tech stuff I get my hands on, I have purchased a Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 on which I have written a review in one of my earlier posts (spoiler: it’s helped me a LOT to pass the exam!). Since trip to my job takes around an hour, I was reading it on the bus for about a month before I actually got my exam scheduled.

The Actual Exam.

I arrived at the Pearson-certified testing center and everything went full swing. I have signed a few papers regarding NDA on question reproduction and order in the exam room. Then I got my photo taken by a webcam (you have to sit still for about 10 seconds which was nearly impossible for me), provide an electronic signature and off I went for my exam.

The rumours you might have heard about the draconian exam room rules were all true – you aren’t allowed to drink, chew gum, make any loud noises and do anything else that would disturb other people in the room. You are under surveillance the whole time and the only things you are allowed to carry with you to the exam room is a pen, an erasable board (you also give it back with all your scribblings) and a pen you are given by the attendant. If you want to leave, you have to ring for the attendant to pick you up and provide her with your ID. It sounds horrid but trust me, it’s not bad at all when the exam timer starts ticking – then you’ll have the time to worry about.

My initial (and foolish) thoughts were: Pfff, I’ll be done in a few minutes, take my certificate and go home. No need for all 135 minutes I got for the exam. Oh, I couldn’t have been more wrong – I consumed every single second of that exam and let that timeout state my fate. Halfway through the exam I had an impending doom come down, telling myself “there is no way in hell I’m gonna make this”.

Some of the questions concerned technologies we don’t use in our environment, some (all right, most of them) had pretty tricky wording. I had to read them several times over to make sure the authors don’t catch me off guard this required a tremendous amount of concentration. Overall this exam tests your vSphere knowledge of vSphere thoroughly – configuration, storage, networking, resource management – such a happy concoction. Fortunately, some questions correlated to each other so if I contradicted myself on some of those, I stopped for a minute (and watch  the timer tick away) to re-think my approach to the question. Again, hands-on experience is invaluable in this exam.

In the end, I managed, and a huge boulder fell of my heart.

What’s next?

Passing this certification gave me such a huge boost that I decided to finally start a blog I’d just been rambling about for quite some time, become active in VMware Communities participation, and established another personal goal to try VCAP-DCD or DCA in the next year. It is a gret feeling of accomplishment that you stood the trial by fire, and I hope that all of you who will be undertaking this exam in the future will eventually feel the same way.

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