VCAP5-DCA Experience (VDCA550)

I took the VCAP5-DCA yesterday (passed) and I figured I would share my experiences and how I studied hoping that it might help others. The 5.5 version of the exam is only 2 hours not 3 like the previous versions.

Studying Methodology:

My studying methodology was quite simple and worked well for me to remember.  Basically, I just took the blueprint and lined it up next to a browser window with the Vsphere 5.5 documentation.  I also had my Vcenter/Vsphere lab up so that I could perform or look up where to complete the tasks in a live environment.  If you don’t have a lab you will need to invest in one if at all possible.  There are many blogs out there on building a home lab or you can also check out AutoLab.

As I went line by line through each of the objectives, I would both look it up in the documentation and also find where to configure it on the actual vsphere lab.  Going line by line did a couple things: one it forced me to actually pay attention to what I was reading and two commit it to memory.  There are already plenty of guides out there, but I didn’t feel just skimming them would commit it as well to memory.  I did reference some of the other sites out there on some of the topics that were slightly vague to get an idea of what they thought it was asking for.

After  I had reviewed the blue print, I used Joshua Andrew’s Test Track to try some mock scenarios and get a feel for what the test might look like.  Lastly, I looked for tips and trick blogs like this one to get an idea of what to look out for.

The Actual Exam:

I had read many complain on the speed of the the lab environment.  I will say it wasn’t insanely fast, but it also wasn’t extremely slow either.  I would recommend only staying logged into what you need to stay logged into to perform your tasks and that should help.  The first thing I did was right down the number for all of the labs.  As I went through each task, I marked down whether I completed it or skipped.  If I wasn’t 100% sure how to figure it out after about 2-5 minutes I would move on and plan on getting back to it.  This methodology worked very well and I was able to complete probably 17 of the 23 on the first try.  I had about 45m-1hr left at this point.  So, I went back and completed another 4.  I left 2 of them that i wasn’t real sure on knowing that I was confident in completing the other 21 tasks.

Feel free to message me with any questions and I will try and hep.