Remote VCAP-DCV Deploy exam experience

Hi everyone! On September 4th I took the VCAP-DCV Deploy 2022 exam and passed it so this post will be focused on my experience of taking it remotely through Pearson Vue platform.

Long time ago, I wrote a post about preparing for a VMware exam and a couple of things have changed since January 2021 related to deploy exams.

First and foremost, by the time I wrote that post, deploy exams were not allowed to be taken remotely but now they are. The process of scheduling it is exactly the same as for any other exam so nothing change on that side.

To give more detail to the ones that don’t know how a VCAP Deploy exam is, you are given some questions (the amount depend on the exam) with multiples tasks to do (e.g.: create a cluster and then configure HA, DRS, DRS rules, syslog, etc.). The type of questions will be related to the blueprint of the exam (read the post mentioned earlier to understand where to get the blueprints). The environment you are given is exactly as a HOL Labs experience (when taking it on site) with the difference that is exam is embedded into the Pearson Vue app (when taking it remotely). On each sides you will have a console and a manual tab that can be pined or floating to allow resizing. You are allowed to have 1 screen only so having a higher resolution would be you best ally for this type of exams.

Regarding the exam itself, the overall experience was really good. I was using QHD resolution and the exam environment adapted automatically to my resolution (Note: don’t know if this is always done automatically as I only took this exam remotely by the time of writing). This was extremely important during the exam because there was no need to spend time adjusting the browser zoom.

Some recommendations about the exam:

  • Pay attention to the instructions given, if it says not to reboot the host, DO NOT REBOOT IT. Read the complete instructions first and then go into what you are being requested.
  • Don’t wait for tasks to end if it’s going to take long, for example: rebooting a virtual machine, send the reboot action and come back later.
  • If you have some buttons on the either side and they are hidden because of the manual and/or consoles panel, pin it to the other side and keep going with the exam. Don’t lose time trying to zoom in/out the browser to make that button appear, it might never happen if it to close to the edge of the screen.
  • If you don’t know how to do a question, skip it and come back later when finished with the ones that you know, time management is very important.
  • Use notepad to make some notes about tasks that you have to finish yet if your memory is not good enough.
  • Avoid using the console tab unless you are sure that you need them, it takes time to change between them and you might lose some valuable time there, especially if you are doubting which one you need and clicking between multiple of them. Try to access that resource through the network first and if you can’t then go to the console tab.
  • Be confident on how to use VMware documentation and KB’s, some resources are being given to you to help but you should know where to look for the steps.

They exam environment had some struggling parts too. When I started to use keyboard shortcuts my right click “got stuck”, not physically, but digitally. I was not able to click between tabs or access any other shortcut on the desktop or taskbar. What saved me was to know a couple more keyboard shortcuts to bypass that click restriction in some areas, using ALT+TAB to reach the desktop and then hit the first character of the shortcut that I was trying to access (e.g.: putty), so my recommendation is to be confident with this too before taking the exam. I temporary fixed it going back and forth between consoles, but it got stuck again later on.

Going into the results, they are not shown automatically like any other exam (VCP or VCAP Design). It takes between 24-48 hours to arrive. Mine took less than 24 hours, including the VMware certification and badges (VCAP and VCIX) so great timing.

Example of the email you will receive about the outcome of the exam

That is the end of the post, if you like it, be sociable share it!

How to prepare a VMware Exam?

Hi everyone! This post will be focused on VMware exams how to check which ones are available, requirements, how to prepare and some other tips.

The following tips are the ones that were useful for me and I would appreciate if you can share your own experience in the comments section below.

You can go to this link to check all available exams

By the time of this post, there are 6 tracks alligned with different VMware products. Some of them are going to have certification and digital badges. There are 4 certification levels, VCTA, VCP, VCAP and VCDX. Keep in mind not all tracks include all the levels VCTA, VCP, VCAP and VCDX.

Once you’ve decided the track that you’re going to be evaluated on, you have to click on the selected track and then on the specific exam.

Once you click on the selected exam, you will be redirected to a web page where you will see the exam details like duration, number of questions, passing score and format.

Now that we know a few basics about the exams, we will step forward to the following tips.

Before the exam:

  • Check the exam code and download the blueprint from the exams detail webpage.
  • Check the blueprint sections and objectives. This is everything that you will need to cover before the exam. Start studying the objectives where you are sure that it’s a weak or unknown spot. That will give you more confidence that you will be ready because on strong spots you might need less time to study and if the exam date comes up close, you can give it your best shot.
  • To prepare each objective/section you will have a list of reference documents to read and learn.
  • Check the blueprint if there are any recommended courses because I have found some of them to be extremely useful (eg: VMware vSAN: Production Operations [V6.7])

During the exam:

  • If you do not know the answer, mark the question and keep going. At the end, you will have the oportunity to review the marked questions. Do not rush to skip it, but do not take too much time to decide, you have a limited time to do the exam.
  • If you are taking a VCAP Deploy exam, check on the time frequently, time is your number one enemy. Think if the task is a long one (eg: feature enablement, component deployment, etc) and keep going with the next task after having the task running. Do not lose time waiting for it to finish.
  • For all exams, if time has ended, the exam will be saved. I thinks that you will not lose points for the questions answered (I suppose, not sure 100%).

After the exam:

  • If you passed it, congratulate yourself and start preparing for the next one.
  • If you took a VCAP Deploy exam, relax because it might take 1 or 2 weeks to have the results because they are not shown immediately when finished. You will receive an email like the following.
  • If you have failed it, check the score report so you can make focus at weak spots for the next time. It’s not the end of the world, a failure is an opportunity to learn more.