My VCP certification is due to expire soon.
If i let it lapse will i be able to sit a VCP exam before i sit a VMware course?
Yes, anybody can do that - regardless of whether they have an expiring certification or have never held a VCP before.
But, you won't be a VCP til you've met all the requirements, including the course.
No - it’s 1 exam now, otherwise it’s 2 exams plus a course (and you’ll never be able to claim you hold the expired cert)