As a few of you know, I recently sat the VCAP5-DCA while in Barcelona at VMworld Europe. I wanted to post a little information about the experience and point you to some good places to study. And no, I am not going to give you any specific question pointers…I merely want to give you some pointers on how to study and what guides I utilized for my studies. So here we go…
About one month ago, I scheduled the exam for the first day available at VMworld Europe at 10:30am. This is where I will put the first pointer: Go ahead and set a date for your exam. Now some of you may ask why do that when I have not started studying for it. Doing this puts you into the mindset of I need to study and, therefore, you will set aside time to do it. Setting the date is like setting a goal to accomplish, that goal being passing your VCAP5-DCA exam. After you have set the date, get started by reading through the blueprint for the exam. Make note of what parts you feel you may need to brush up on…now don’t go look at it and think you know it all. I know a lot of us know how to do most of what is listed on the blueprint but how much of it can you do without wasting time in the docs? The key to the exam is time management. Digging through the docs is a good way to waste precious time to move on into the exam. Once you determine what you need to brush up on go grab a copy of Jason Langer and Josh Coen’s VCAP5-DCA Unofficial Official Study Guide, which you can find at http://www.valcolabs.com/vcap5-dca/ or http://www.virtuallanger.com/vcap-dca-5/. If you have access to PluralSight, I would highly recommend going through Jason Nash’s DCA training modules.
One thing to mention is to lab it up. Go through the blueprint and actually perform the actions in a lab. Not just once but over and over again until you can do it with your eyes closed. Also, be sure to read the questions thoroughly before acting as with any exam.
Some people have complained about latency in the exam, as there is some, in my case, there wasn’t hardly any that made the exam kit unusable. If your kit freezes for any reason, get the proctor involved so that they can see what is happening and take note. Many times you might find yourself sitting on one thing for a while, be diligent with your time and move on to the next one. Don’t waste too much time on any one question, do as much and as many of the tasks as you possibly can.
In closing, as stated before, the key is time management. Be mindful of your time and where you are in the exam. Be very careful to pay attention to the details of the exam. If you take the time to study, you will be able to perform well on the exam. Hope this helps you out a little…if you took it and passed then please let me know in the comments! Good luck!