This past weekend I passed my VCAP-DCV Deploy 2022 test. For me the VCAP-DCV Deploy 2022 test was the third test I took in 2022. By completing it, the VCP-DCV 2022 and the VCAP-DCV Design 2022 I’ve now earned the badge of VCIX-DCV 2022. This now qualifies me to apply for the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) In this blog post I’m going to review some my tips around my testing process.
**Update – Further below, I’ve added a video commentary**
What is the VCAP-DCV Deploy 2022 test?
- Advanced Deploy VMware vSphere 7.x (3V0-22.21N) is a 205 minute live lab with 17 Questions and costs $450 USD.
- The live lab is very similar to the way VMware HOL labs work.
- Currently, you can take the VCAP Deploy online via a remote proctored exam or in person at a test facility.
- More information about this exam check out this URL
Test Taking Tips:
- Online Proctor Tips
- The process to take a remote proctored test was pretty simple and convenient. Even before COVID I’ve been taking remote proctored tests with great success.
- After I registered for the exam, I got an email from OnVue with 2 key links. One tested my environment to make sure I met certain standards (Audio, video, and microphone) and the other was the link for the day of the exam.
- Be familiar with the OnVue Online proctoring technical requirements. They can be a bit strict about this, so make sure you are ready to go.
- Only one monitor is permitted. All other monitors will need to be disconnected. If using a laptop with remote monitor the laptop lid will need to be all the way down. I’d recommend using a monitor you are most familiar with and meets the requirements.
- One requirement is to have a very clean desktop. I have a large desk with many things to move. The requirement is, desktop items need to be at a arms distance away. So I only clear my desk to that requirement. Reminding the proctor of this arms length requirement might be necessary. However, don’t argue too much as you may they may find you system doesn’t meet requirements and reschedule your exam.
- Be VERY familiar with VMware HOL
- Make sure you have a good idea on how to resize the Windows display screen and the change the zoom in your browser to a level that is easy for you to read. I had a hard time seeing the lab text, and after resizing I found where I made errors. This may seem like basic tasks, but the HOL visibility is a bit different. Going into this test with an idea of what settings work best for you can prove to be helpful.
- Knowing how to properly COPY, CUT, and PASTE content within the Lab OS and from the Manual into the Lab OS is key – Practice this in HOL. Mastery of this skill is vital as it will save you time and typos.
- The Exam Lab Environment
- Before I got into the exam lab environment I was presented with a Welcome Screen. It had information around the exam, lab, passwords, and the lab layout. I read it all and made sure I understood before I started the lab. This did not count against my time to complete.
- Next, I was presented with a ‘Starting the lab’ screen, as soon as I clicked next the clock started and my lab started to deploy. Almost instantly the manual was made available on the right as the lab started to “spin up”. The manual explained the various lab details and items at my disposal. I took time to read and understand this. It was very similar to VMware HOL.
- Very soon after, my exam lab OS was deployed and ready. The lab OS was based on Windows.
- The Windows OS had pre-installed programs and tools. Additionally, there is a Student folder that is created. Inside it contained locally readable and select vSphere documentation, KB’s, and important files. As I went through my exam, I used most of them to complete tasks.
- NOTE: The exam doesn’t give you internet access so use the tools and documents they provide to you. Not every document or written procedure you need will be in this folder. Some tasks you just have to know how to do it. Don’t forget about time management, if you find yourself deeply reading the documentation it may be a waste of time if you don’t complete the question. You may want to come back to these questions if you have enough time at the end.
- Next I moved on to the questions and completed my lab
- Multi-Tasked Questions:
- A better way to describe the exam questions would be calling them multi-tasked. I say multi-tasked as each succinct question could include multiple tasks.
- For each question, some of the tasks go together and some of them are have no bearing on the others
- Some questions are very short and some are very long.
- Some take a lot of time to complete and some do not.
- Questions or Tasks do not tell you how to do something, they simply state the task(s) it wants you to complete.
- In reading the welcome screen, it stated something like – “the questions are mostly independent of one another” and I don’t recall any that were dependent on the exam.
- As I progressed through the exam, I took time to read those questions/tasks closely. If you are only reading part of the question OR didn’t read it thoroughly you might easily miss something.
- The entire question/task can task you to do something, don’t expect it to be specifically listed out in a list. Any part of the question is fair game, read it all.
- You don’t have to wait for a task to complete, let it run and come back to it.
- Track the status of your questions. Since questions are multi-tasked you might start tasks but have to move on. By the time you come back to it, you might have completed or started several other tasks. It’s really easy to miss something when you are multi-tasking. My tip — Use the built-in white board or notepad to track your progress. Before I started the test, I opened the white board, listed out the 17 numbers. As I progressed through the test I marked each one complete, needs work, or a quick note. This way when I return to the question or am doing a final review, I know exactly where I left off. The PIC below is an example of my list, it was not actually from my test.
- Don’t waste time — If you don’t know the answer to the question/task, mark it in your list, move on, and if time permits come back to it. Just try to get as many questions/tasks completed as possible.
- ANY vSphere concept is fair game, even items that have been around since the beginning.
- READ the exam guide. Review all its links, content, and come up with a study plan.
- Search for labs, documents, or videos labeled something like, “What’s New in…”, take it, read it, practice it, and know it well. Chances are if you don’t understand or know some of the latest and greatest concepts you’ll need to practice them thoroughly.
- Take all the VMware HOL Odyssey Labs. They are free training or test simulation resource that will task you and keep you under a clock.
- For me, having a Home lab to practice on was instrumental in passing this test.
I really enjoyed taking the Deploy exam. It was interesting and challenged me technically. Some of those questions really worked the brain cells and others I knew right away. If a person wants to pass this test, then I suggest study hard and lots of practice plus experience should help align them for success. Best of luck on your certification journey!