I have scheduled my VMware VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam on the 1st of June 2010. I was planning to take 10 days off work before the exam for preparation, but I got stuck at a large project which has minimized my study time including travel to 5 days.
As I am currently based in Kuwait, the closest location I was able to take my exam in June was London. I have scheduled my exam for the 1st of June & booked my ticket for the 26 of May. As I had to travel to Hungary for training right after my exam I needed to obtain Hungary visa before traveling, which I had never obtained till the 31st of may. That has caused me to fly to London on the day of the exam. What made it more fun, I had to run from the airport to the hotel drop my luggage then head directly to the exam center after 8 hours flight. To make my day even better, I was not prepared for a cold rainy weather in london when I arrived, as it was smoking hot in Kuwait & the weather forcast for London did not mention anything about rain storm. By the time I got to the Vue Pearson Center I was as misrable as it can be and my hopes were just dying a bit by bit after 8 hours flight & arriving to the exam fully wet & without sleep.
As soon the exam started, I had a bit of a confused mind of most of the multiple choice questions. It just seemed out of this world to me & with many I thought none of the answers were correct. I have decided just to skip the questions I have a problem with & try to answer the easy ones to rebuild my self steam. I have marked the questions I skipped & after 20 minutes has past I have started to get more focused & the question started to make more sense even the ones I skipped at the first glance.
I have took many other bloggers advice & made sure I had an adequate time for the 11 labs questions. I believe the lab questions are easier than the multiple choice questions or maybe b/c I have just got more focused and relaxed at that time.
Its important to save almost half of your exam time for the labs as mentioned at the beginning of the exam as these are worth 50% of your score. Most blogs I have read before the exam has pointed out that only 40% of your score depend on the labs, but when I arrived to the exam I was surprised it is actually 50% of your exam. I thought this is worth sharing & not against the exam agreement.
To make my exam experience more exciting after all the pre-exam suffering I had to face, few exam takers next to me seemed to take some kind of English exam where they have to type an essay. I was able to hear their too fast keystrokes one after an other, which was so distracting that I had to put a head set just to reduce the noise. The funny part I found the head set available at the pc & did not have to ask for them so I guess others had faced the same.
Furthermore, there was a serious lag in the labs. Many of the keystrokes were not intercepted & some were intercepted twice, which make me believe the lab setup is actually located across the ocean in states or so on. Maybe you will have a better response if you do it in states or any where else closer to the lab.
As soon I have left the exam, I have to find a cab under the rain showers without umbrella as I was not expecting this kind of weather. I went back to my hotel room & was not very sure about my exam. Though after that I have moved on for my DS8000 workshop course in Hungary & decided just to focus on my training & just wait 10 business days for my exam result. The bad part I had not received my result till today which is about 26 days after the exam (I thought it was suppose to be here in 10-12 business days). The more the exam result delayed, the more it got me frustrated & just want to know the result. For these reasons I have just kept quite about taking the exam for a while. It was not an easy exam by any mean, but quite fair.
I just opened my e-mail today & my e-mail has read something like your score has been attached. It did not say congratulation or anything like that which did not sound good at all. I have oppened the pdf sheet and it said
“Congratulations on passing this exam. Passing this exam is the second of the four parts required to achieve the VMware Certified Design Expert designation. Congratulations on passing this exam. Passing this exam is the second of the four partsrequired to achieve the VMware Certified Design Expert designation.”
That is when I started jumping around the coffee shop where I have received the e-mail. I am quite happy to be one of the few brave souls that had attempted this exam & passed. Actually for me it has been even an extra challenge as I had a huge travel & accommodation cost involved with taking the exam, which is unfortunately not sponsored by my company at least so far. Further, the DSA training was not sponsored by my company which lead me to go across the materials on my own.
Well, sorry to bore you with my exam story though I am sure some of you would care to figure out where I have disappeared for a while. That is exactly where I have disappeared. Studying & doing my VMware Enterprise Administration Exam then DS8000 Training in Hungary.
I will be posting my exam study notes online later on, so it will help others prepare for the exam. Though my study notes were a mix of the following:
1- DSA Course material (I was luckily able to find a used one on ebay, as I did not get to attend the course. Not available in my area any more).
4- My 6 Years experience with Virtualization, as I can tell although the above material cover a lot of it. It does not cover 100% of the questions. Many questions are left wild open to your day to day experience.
I believe the DSA course material was of a great help for the exam. If you can put your had on it, then its the place to start.
Good luck for everyone & I will start posting my VMware Enterprise Administration Study Guide or posts soon. I just have to figure out the best way to put them online, as they are only hand written at the moment.
If anyone have a good study materials for the VMware Design Exam, Please leave me a comment as I will appreciate any help I can get in that regard.