I passed the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 2018 – Data Center Virtualization Deployment exam (3V0-21.18) with a score of 400. I am glad the certification is considered 2020 so it doesn’t look as old already. I passed the VCAP-DCV Design exam a couple years ago. Oddly enough, the exam I just took earned me the VCIX badge for 6.5 and 2020. The Design exam also gave me the VCIX 6.0 badge a couple years ago when paired with my VCAP5. Funny how that worked out with the extra badge.
I received my results and badges the following day after I took the exam. I was pleasantly surprised to receive my results that fast, especially considering VMware says it can take 4-6 weeks. I received emails from VMware and Acclaim. I read some exam takers who didn’t receive an email from VMware and never even found out their score. They simply knew they passed only because they received the badge.
The exam begins as soon as you hit start and loads. You see what looks nearly identical to a VMware HOL lab and you can start reading the question manual before everything finishes loading. Then you have 210 minutes to complete everything, which is actually slightly longer than what the exam blueprint says. By the way, VMware says you cannot press the control key and right-click. Both worked for me.
I made my first run through of all 17 questions with about one hour left. I was only stumped on one question and a part of another. When I first took the VCAP exam four years ago, I didn’t have enough time and didn’t answer all the questions. Though, I still passed. I am not sure if the exam got easier or just my added experience got me through it much quicker. Anyway, I spent a half hour double checking my work and then finally clicked what to do with the one question I was stumped on. I was only stuck on one part of a question. I was fairly positive I did very well when I ended the exam. I don’t mean to sound braggadocious, but I honestly thought I would have had scored more than 400.
I might have lost some points on typos. The question manual was visually clear, but everything else was a little fuzzy within the environment. This made a lot of the text difficult to read and I couldn’t figure out a way to make the text sharper. Another problem was almost every time I hit a key, multiple letters were outputted. It was very annoying. I tried to drag and drop from the manual as much as possible. Other than that, the exam ran well. Much better than the past version of it.
I am sure most people practicing for the exam are using one vCenter Server. That’s fine. It’s easy to next your way through a wizard. However, remember that the exam has multiple vCenter Servers so you have to be very careful you are always working on the vCenter Server you are required to for the question. I knew this coming into the exam and I still had to go back to correct a mistake I made.
Here are a couple links to practice VCAP questions to try out. I forgot to post them in my last article. They were helpful to prepare for the exam to get in the mindset of possible questions. The HOLs they refer to are no longer available, but you can pull up other related HOLs to run through most of the questions or use your own lab.
The exam sounds more daunting than it actually is. Most people with a lot of VMware experience can pass it with some studying and focusing on features they have never used. Be ready to stay focused for a few hours and you will be fine. Good luck!