My exam to-do list for 2020 had one major goal, achieving VCIX-DTM. When the intelligent lockdown (as our government called it) started in March 2020 I thought I could scratch it entirely as test centers were closed and there was no indication if and when those would open again.
Luckily VMware announced in April the availability of remote proctoring of its exams starting April 20, 2020 which meant I could pick up the studying again.
As with any VMware exam the preparations start with the exam guide. The exam guide contains information on the “Minimally Qualified Candidate” (MQC), the MQC is basically a profile created by VMware describing what knowledge, skills, experience and competence the candidate should have before considering taking the exam.
Besides the MQC it also contains all the sections one should focus on while studying, a list of sample questions and a extensive list with study material provided by VMware.
One thing you should keep in mind is that the exam is based on VMware Horizon 7.1/7.2 and it’s bundled software. Pay extra attention for the correct version when looking at sizing limits and recommendations. Also keep in mind that some limitations which might’ve been resolved in newer versions might still be relevant in the versions on which the exam is based.
There are some excellent study guides available made by members of the community, below are the two I used most and I would recommend anyone reading these two:
- https://cloud-duo.com/2019/09/vcap7-dtm-design-study-guide-part-1/ – written by Jens Herremans
- http://www.euc-kiwi.com/vcap7-dtm/ – written by Kyran Brophy
These two guides are awesome and I can’t thank the creators enough for their time and effort.
For those who prefer a paper copy I highly recommend reading the VDI Design Guide written by Johan van Amersfoort
The exam itself
As this was my first attempt at a VCAP exam I was still kind of nervous. You can read everything there is about the exam, but you don’t know what to expect until you experience it yourself.
The exam itself consists of 60 questions which can either be:
- multiple choice
- hot area
- drag and drop
I personally had a lot of time to spare (even with my issues, see the next section) after my first round, so I had enough time to go over some questions once more before pressing submit.
The remote exam experience
As I took the exam remotely I would like to tell you about the experience I had while doing so. For starters the registration is just as easy as usual, it might actually be easier as you don’t have to find a suitable test center.
Before taking the exam you need to complete a check-in process. During the check-in you need to verify your ID card, take a picture of your face and take several pictures of the room you’ll be taking the exam in.
After the check-in you’ll get checked in by Pearson Vue which might ask you some questions regarding the pictures you provided. I was using my MacBook Air as I didn’t have a webcam available, but as I was using my regular desk I had to confirm I actually unplugged both of my monitors (which are on the desk).
After the confirmation I was dropped in the exam environment as you know it (if you ever took a VMware exam before) and I could start answering questions, or so I thought.
Upon wanting to click “Next” nothing actually happened, so you can imagine I started to panic slightly. I requested contact with the proctor but couldn’t get a hold of him/her in a timely fashion.
Upon clicking several times on the “Next” button I was greeted with the next screen, which actually contained my first question.
While trying to select the answer I had to do the same several times while sometimes deselecting the answer in the process.
Unfortunately this behavior continued the entire exam, but after a few questions I got used to it and managed to get in the proper flow.
Even though I had mixed feelings about the exam (due to my input issues) I was greeted with the message “Congratulations on passing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 7 – Desktop and Mobility Design Exam.”
It felt great passing my first VCAP exam (on it’s first attempt) and having completed the first requirement for VCIX-DTM.
In the end I felt the exam was easier than initially thought, and I believe I could’ve taken it sooner.
The lessons learned for this exam are all based on my remote exam experience.
During the exam I was connected over WiFi, which passed the Pearson Vue connection test with ease and actually got similar results as my desktop PC which is connected via LAN.
As my MacBook was the device with the biggest screen and featured a webcam I was forced to use it. I tried buying a webcam before the exam, but due to COVID-19 and everyone working from home there were none available.
I now actually own a regular webcam for my desktop, so my next exam will be taken from the comfort of my desktop with a 24”monitor and a fast and stable internet connection.