I sat for the VCAP5_DCA yesterday. Below are some tips that may help anyone taking the exam in the future. Some of these tips I learned from this forum and some are from my exam experience. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my many posts for help on this forum. It was truly appreciated.
1. Use the jump box to run as many tasks from as possible.
2.Try to schedule you exam later in the day so the testing center is not packed. This will help some with the latency.
3. Chris Wahl's study guide was awesome. Force yourself to do the same task from the GUI, CLI and so on. .
4. Train signal's VCAP course was a life saver.
4. Professional VMware Brownbag was an excellent resource. AutoLab was an awesome tool to use.
5. Have someone break your lab and then try and troubleshoot it. For me, I let me helpdesk guys break my lab which they had much fun with. They were very creative on how to break it.
6. Ask for two dry erase boards if they allow it. I used the front and back of mine.
7. Download a free windows timer app. Time yourself performing different tasks. There is nothing like the stress of a clock ticking down to make you screw things up.
8. VMware forums. Nothing better than asking the experts how to do something you are struggling on. .
9. If you get stuck on a stack mark it down and skip to the next question. This may hurt you if the question is foundational and is required for another question to complete.
10. Get to a point where you can complete a task and not have to go back through and double check your work. There is no time for that.
11. Read each question and make sure you write down the key objectives. I found myself forgetting to do something small and having to back track to change it.
12 Memorize which pdfs and the page it is on that contains information you cannot memorize. for example- if you need to run a command from PowerCLI and you cannot remember the proper syntax, know which pdf it is on and which page it is. this will save you valuable time during the exam.
13. Lab time was is important. this will help you complete tasks faster and not screw them up. There are many features I do not use only a daily basis. The lab allows you to get comfortable. This is how I learned Auto Deploy. I have never used this production so I was a little intimidated by it.
I hope this helps.
Great question. The first thing I did was write down which areas I was really weak in. I also made sure I didn't assume the areas I felt strong in I didn't overlook either. Here is a quick list.
These were the areas when I started I was weak in.
1. Advanced CLI commands-- vscsiStats, PowerCLI for network management and auto deploy, the vMA.
2. NPIV--I currently do not have a ton of customers using this feature.
4. Adding custom settings to vCenter--das.xxx I typically need to google it to remember the syntax.
5. DPM--none of my clients use it.
Areas I felt good in, but needed more work
1. fixing virtual machines that cant be vMotioned because they were misconfigured. Just getting the process down to troubleshooting the little things you typically skip.
2. vDS migrations. I was used to having the vm network broken up by ---mgmt., vm network, storage and so. I needed to practice having one vSwitch with everything there. learning how to non disruptively move to the vDS took much practice.