VMware VCAP5-DCA exam tips

dcaMeanwhile it´s already 5 months ago that I passed the VCAP5-DCA exam. There are already so many exam experience posts out there, that I will keep this one quite short and just want to outline 3 strategies that helped me a lot, which you may not find in all of the other posts:

1.)    Use the product documentation:
I have read many times before the exam that the vSphere documentation PDFs are quite useless (which are availability during the exam) because of your limited time.
My study time for the exam was very limited so I decided to include the documentation in my preparation. While going through the blueprint you will find many objects which require you to know complex CLI commands or other hard to remember stuff like advanced options etc. Instead of trying to get this stuff into my head I just looked into the documentation where to find this information. This worked very well for me during the exam and I used the documentation for 2-3 questions. Just make sure you know where to find this information, as I agree with others that you don’t have time to start searching inside of the documents during the exam.

2.)    Make notes for a review:
A good strategy to use your exam time effectively is to skip tasks / questions that you don´t know right away. The DCA exam doesn´t have any special “review later” function, you can just go back and forward between the questions. This means if you are at question 20 for example and want to go back to question 2 you need to click you through all the questions in between which is really annoying especially if the whole exam environment is slow. I listed all 26 questions on the note board which you get for the exam. If I completed all tasks of a question I just made a check, if I didn´t I wrote down some short notes what the question was about. After I reached the last question I had a great overview of all questions I need to go back to and my list helped me a lot to jump efficiently between the questions, without too much unnecessary clicking.

3.)    Know how to search for CLI commands:
Spend some time during your preparation to get used with the possibilities to easily search for specific commands on the CLI (applies also for PowerCLI). Like 1.) this will relieve you from knowing all the commands out of your head. Just know how to find them (fast)!
“esxcli esxcli command list | grep XXXX”  will be your friend 🙂

Good luck for everyone taking the exam!

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