Posts Tagged ‘certification’

VCAP-DCA (VDCA550) Exam Experience

January 14, 2016

I haven’t blogged for a while. But I have an excuse. I’ve been preparing for my VCAP-DCA exam for a few weeks.

I’ve got the results and it’s a pass. So now it’s a good time to fill the gap and make a post about my exam experience.


VCAP-DCAI work as an IT consultant and deal with virtualization, network and storage on a daily basis. Which was an advantage for me as I had a reasonable amount of hands on experience across most of the topics already. So my plan was to research the topics I was weak at and better align my experience with the exam requirements.

The best resource in my opinion is the book called “VCAP5-DCA Official Cert Guide”. It’s published by VMware Press and a resource which you can definitely trust to. The book comes with one practice scenario set, which has 26 questions. I paid for a premium version of the book, which had three sets of practice scenarios.

The only drawback is that the book was originally written for the VDCA510 exam and even thought it has an appendix chapter which discusses the changes in VDCA550, practice scenarios still include only the VDCA510 topics. Which means you’ll have Auto Deploy and vSphere Management Assistant questions, which are no longer in the blueprint. And won’t have vSphere Orchestrator and vSphere Replication questions, which are the new topics in VDCA550. But I still find this book as the best preparation resource so far.

Taking the exam

Time pressure was definitely there. My exam was in the afternoon. I woke up early and flew to Sydney, because there were issues booking the exam in Melbourne. I had a quick lunch in Sydney and went straight to the testing center. I was a bit tired by then, which slowed me down a bit. But I drank a double shot latte, which seemed to compensate for that.

I didn’t find questions too complicated, it really just tested configuration skills, which I practised before sitting for the exam. But you have to practise each and every topic from the blueprint or you’ll fail. I had absolutely no time to browse the docs and didn’t even try to.

I did find some of the questions a bit convoluted, which didn’t state exactly HOW to configure specific things, but more of WHAT you should configure. If that makes sense. But I assume it was intentional and it was maybe only one or two questions and didn’t play a huge role overall.

A piece of advice

Always keep an eye on your time. This is the best advice I can give. The approach I followed was to skim through all questions when the exam started and make short notes on which vSphere feature this question targetes and whether it’s an easy question or hard. I completed all easy questions first and then moved on to the hard ones. This way I made sure that if I ran out of time I would not lose any points on questions I new the answer for.

Not to go into the NDA stuff I will just say that there were a few tasks I simply skipped as I didn’t know the exact steps to complete them and I had no time to make my way through it. But I hit the passing score with 340 points and happy to pass this milestone at first attempt.

If you’re preparing for VCAP-DCA right now, wish you a good luck. Join the ranks!


HP e-Certificates

October 3, 2011

Today I spent hellova time to find where you download PDF certificates from HP Smart Portal. Go Certification program in Details section, then My e-Certificates in For HP Certified Professionals only.