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Saturday, November 17, 2012

VCAP-DCD 5: Revised Exam Impressions

I just finished taking the revised VCAP-DCD 5 exam this morning.  As some may have heard by now, VMware has made a revision to the format of the DCD5 and it is no longer possible to go back or review any of the questions at the end of the DCD5 exam.  This makes the exam similar (in style) to some of the Cisco exams I have taken and may require a slight adjustment in strategy and mind set for those that are use to the old format of the DCD exam.

Thanks to some folks on Twitter, I found out about the changes 12 hours before I was scheduled to sit the exam.  I have been too busy lately to bother re-scheduling, and while it was a shorter notice than than I would have liked, I did have *some* time to mentally prepare for the different format.

I haven't decided on whether I "Love or Hate" the changes yet.  On one hand, it is a bit disappointing that you can't review your answers to make sure you chose the best options on some of the tricky questions.  On the other hand, I did feel that not having the option to review the questions helped clear up my head and allowed me to put more  focus on each question as I advanced through the exam.

Time management is still as important as ever, and you want to make sure that you aren't wasting too much time on short questions or re-reading unnecessary information that can kill time.

It was definitely a challenging 4 hours.  I finished the the last question with about 3-4 minutes left on the clock and was glad to see the "Congratulations" message on the following page.

As for advice, the exam blueprint is a good place to start since the exam maps to the blueprint fairly well (which echoes what other have mentioned).   If you don't have the opportunity to work on some areas of the technology on a regular basis, be sure to lab out different scenarios and configurations in order to understand the features well.  Most importantly, experience definitely plays a big part on an exam like this and can definitely reduce the time spent weighing the options on some questions.