I recently sat for VCAP5-DCA exam & I am very glad to say that i have passed. I have got the result yesterday 10/10/2013 since 10 days from the date of exam. I know many experts out their shared their experience and knowledge on the study material they used for the exam preparation, yet i would also like to share mine especially few experts advice that has helped me a lot to achieve this.
As already known to everyone about the exam pattern, 26 Lab questions in 225 minutes along with 15 minutes for initial survey, I will quickly jump on to the useful points that helped me a lot.
- The Exam Blue print
- Video Negets from Train signal on Optimization & scaling
- Study material from http://thefoglite.com/vcap-dca5-objective/
- Study sheet from The VCAP-DCA 5 Study Sheet
- Practice lab!!!! ( very important)
I really found that maximum amount of time spent on practicals very helpful, so do as much as lab you can though you find as a repetitive its worth practicing again and again to get familiarized with the configuration.
As per the blueprint there are possibility for troubleshooting questions so practicing on configurations will help you to finish those very well within time and minutes saved gets added to spend for troubleshooting.
spend time on topics & steps to perform the tasks in details as you will have the points for steps though if the task has not been successfully completed.
Strategies for Taking the Exam
Book the very first slot during the day you decide to take the exam & reach 30 minutes well before the start of exam time to complete the formalities. ( I found the lab was very faster when i started the exam i was the only candidate in the center in the morning & person who wrote in the late afternoon on the same day was experiencing some slowness as bandwidth starts to fill.)
Great advice comes from a brief blog post by Alastair Cooke on the vBrownBag Site. Use the vSphere Client from the Launcher and not from an RDP session to the vCenter Server itself. Alastair thinks this would have saved him about half an hour. But trust me i followed the same , I could complete all 26 Labs before 30 to 40 minutes & had a better time to review the marked out left out steps or tasks.
Make sure to note down the tasks or questions that you leave for review in the sheet provided to you , that will help you to remember the things that you have left for later act.
There is a big gotcha with not completing questions or skipping questions. If you fail to complete a pre-requisite activity in a previous question you may not be able to complete a subsequent activity in another question. so be careful on this.
About my Own experience.
The exam questions to be excellent and a very valid test of real world administration skill. The outcome of the question is what is measured, not how you are going to the answer, assuming you implemented the objectives correctly. many part of labs will be broken which will be as they inform you during the start of exam as it is intentional. The end user experience of taking the exams is greatly improved, which is great news. I’m really glad that I went through the blueprint and reviewed the vBrownBag session as it directly contributed to me being able to answer correctly questions in the exam.
Finally my very best wishes for all those who are preparing & scheduled to takeup the exam.