Today I took my first attempt at the 3V0-21.18 Advanced Deploy vSphere 6.5 Exam 2018.
I have researched & studied for this exam over many months, so I was expecting problems with the delivery and I was not entirely disappointed.
As I was signing into the Pearson VUE (PV) test center, I asked the PV test administrator if they were familiar with the process of logging a 'VSS Support Ticket' (as PV point this process out when you are scheduling/paying for the exam initially). They said 'we don't do this ourselves, as we need to speak to PV support and they should do it'. Not the most reassuring, but at least they were aware.
The exam did not start correctly first time. I was presented with a web page of text (I cannot remember exactly what it said tbh) with a single clickable link that took me to a VMware website; where I had to give my email and company address/contact details. Once I submitted the info, all it said was on the lines of 'thanks for subscribing. we will keep you up to date with something' and then nothing. No 'start exam' link, just nothing! This was unsettling, as I wasn't sure if the exam timer had started or not?
The PV test admin noticed and came in. A reboot of the PC and some 5-10 mins of logging in & some restarting of the PV exam software, and I was dumped straight into the exam. Happy days. 3H 25M countdown started...
This test center (Global Knowledge in the UK) has 22" 16:9 aspect monitors, so I was really not expecting the exam software run in a 4:3 aspect; with the black bars either side! Totally unnecessary and unhelpful, when you really need to have the remote desktop & the manual/instructions on screen at the same time.
The remote Windows Server desktop resolution was already set to 1280x800, so the only option I had was to change the Chrome browser zoom down to 75%, which made the text really hard to read.
The 17 questions were, for the most part, well written and gave clear instruction which vCenter servers to perform the task on. There are linked vCenter servers, so ensuring you are working on the correct one is important; especially as they are not listed in alphabetical order in the drop down selection boxes.
The overall response was a little 'laggy', but it remained usable throughout. Keep this in mind when typing commands or passwords; type slowly and double check passwords.
The constant swapping between the remote desktop and the manual is annoying. I found opening up notepad++ and dragging the key lines of text (one by one) from the manual into it worked for me. I could then juggle the notepad++ and the chrome browser windows to view them at the same time. Not ideal, but workable.
The next 3 hours and 20 odd mins were actually quite enjoyable. I had ample time to attempt all 17 questions, including one or two quite infuriating 'puzzles' and then I got the warning to finish up soon and then the exam ended.
On a more personal note, not being able to take a comfort break half way through was going to be a problem for me. To help ensure I did not need to 'go' during the exam, I did not drink for 3 hours before the exam; so I came out with a cracking dehydration headache and eyestrain. Other vendors split these longer exams into two parts and allow a 10-15 min break after 2 hours, perhaps @VMware could consider this small kindness in the future.
So now I just have to wait anywhere up to 6 weeks to get the result. This might be the hardest part of it all!