My VCAP exam experience

After being VCP for a very long time it was time to move on towards the next step: VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) Datacenter Deployment.

I’m not goning to drill down too much into details on what to learn and how to prepare. There are plenty of good blog articles around to read. I’d rather give you some soft-skills to tackle the exam and to (hopefully) succeed.

The VCAP Datacenter Deployment exam is unlike many ther VMware exams not a series of multiple chioce questions, but an entire Hands-on-Labs (HOL) environment where you have to solve problems and track down issues. Just like in real life.

During exam you have to solve 27 tasks in 205 minutes. That’s a bit more than 7 minutes per task. Please keep that in mind:

You only have 7 minutes per task

I can’t emphasize this enough. This is not a customer project where you completely finish one task before you’ll advance to the next! If you cannot solve a problem in 7 minutes, skip it and continue with the next one. Time is crucial! Don’t make the same dumb mistake I made on my first attempt. I wasted plenty of time on the first five tasks, because I stubbornly tried to troubleshoot the problem, instead of moving on. So I ran out of time after 20 questions without even reading the last 7 questions. Finally it wasn’t the tasks that lead to failure – it was just the lack of strict time management. Biting the keyboard and banging your head to the wall doesn’t help. Instead I got a valuable (and expensive) lesson on keeping an eye on the clock. Anyway. Fall down, stand up, adjust your crown and move on. My second try was much better and as far as I can remember I only left out a single task.

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