The past few days have been pretty stressful for me and my family. The last stretch cram session before any exam is hectic. Thankfully today I can put the VCP exam behind me and move on to more useful (in my opinion) certifications. Here’s the resources I used to be successful in my journey.
First and foremost is the blueprint, now called the Exam Guide. This is your bible and your only anchor I recommend depending on. If you can check these blocks, you will pass. If you skip some blocks, you’ll flirt with passing and probably have a retake. So now that you know what you need to know, how do you get there?
My main VCP man, Greg Shields and his VCP 6 Course on Pluralsight was my first stop. I know it says VCP 6 and not 6.5 but the What’s new in 6.5 document from VMware will cover all of the differences. This course is such an amazing resource. When Greg calls out a topic as possibly on the exam, you can bet it will be. Listen for the cues, pause the video and then go do the task and read the document he calls out. Spend some time on the things he says “might be a good exam question”. I want to say that again, read the documentation he calls out.
If the intermediate course is a bit too advanced, David M. Davis is Greg’s counterpart and he covered the 6.5 Foundations course also on Pluralsight. Again, listen for the cues and follow along in your lab. What’s that? You don’t have a lab? I got you covered!
When I crashed my lab and didn’t have time to rebuild it properly, I leaned heavily on the VMware Hands on Labs. Specifically, I used anything that had “Advanced” in the title and wasn’t 6.7. There is a pretty solid cross reference between the labs and the blueprint. You can usually find a lab that calls out exactly what you’re doing or just follow along with David and Greg. Actually seeing the menus and building that muscle memory was invaluable. The biggest missing pieces from the lab is Autodeploy and vSphere Replication. There are countless blogs about building your own labs from budget to production level. If you can’t, the HOL will get you about 80% there.
So now we’ve got a good background. We’ve spent the 30+ hours with Greg and maybe the 15+ hours with David. How do we practice? That’s when you get over to Simon Longs blog. This amazing dude built out a huge test repository of questions that also include the answers and references. Additionally, the Pluralsight subscription comes with Kaplan practice questions. Take those tests and when you get a question wrong, don’t memorize the answer. Go and research the question. Dig up the relevant documentation and then go back into your lab or HOL and do the task. Build that muscle memory!
Good luck and i hope to post again in a couple weeks with my VCAP recap!