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  1. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #1

    Default My VCAP5-DCA study plan

    My current plan is to take the DCA exam in mid-late Dec. Which gives me ~2.5 months to prep for the exam. Which sounds like a lot, but I also need to take Cisco DCUCD exam and learn vCloud Director well enough to pass VCP-IaaS. It's gonna be a busy 2.5 months.

    My plan for DCA is to break down the blueprint into 3 categories:

    1. Stuff you can do in GUI
    2. Stuff you can do in GUI, but takes too much time
    3. Stuff you can do in CLI only

    I'll be hitting #3 hard. That's my weakest. With the DCD prep and general experience, I'm pretty confident with #1 & 2. While #2 can be bad in real world, the test environment is only 2 ESXi hosts, so it shouldn't be too bad.

    Couple this with good exam strategy I think I can pass DCA exam. Either that or fail miserably.
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  3. DoWork
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    #2
    My hats off to you for accomplishing a ton in such a short period of time. GL and keep us posted.
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  4. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #3
    You are pumping those VMware exams out in no time - do you require those for your job or do you have any future plans ?

    Are you active on the vmware forums (i.e. working towards v-Expert status) ?
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  5. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #4
    Someone told me that knowing the FASTEST way to do something, and knowing where to go to troubleshoot each of the knowledge areas was pretty important.

    You've probably seen all the blogs out there dedicated to the DCA exam. Here is one resource that might be helpful - for each of the items on the blueprint, you can keep track of the areas that you have studied/practiced in GUI or CLI.

    The VCAP5-DCA Study Sheet | Wahl Network
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  6. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jibbajabba View Post
    You are pumping those VMware exams out in no time - do you require those for your job or do you have any future plans ?

    Are you active on the vmware forums (i.e. working towards v-Expert status) ?
    It just looks like I'm pumping out VMware certs because I got burned out studying for DCD and failed it a few times, so I switched to DT to take a break, then passed the exams on the same month.

    I needed DT for my previous job and new job. I need VCP-Cloud knowledge for my new job.

    I'm not active on VMware forum (I think I've posted there once), so no v-Expert status for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by blargoe View Post
    Someone told me that knowing the FASTEST way to do something, and knowing where to go to troubleshoot each of the knowledge areas was pretty important.

    You've probably seen all the blogs out there dedicated to the DCA exam. Here is one resource that might be helpful - for each of the items on the blueprint, you can keep track of the areas that you have studied/practiced in GUI or CLI.

    The VCAP5-DCA Study Sheet | Wahl Network
    Very cool study sheet. I've been to the site, but didn't notice the study sheet. Thanks. I like the exam strategy on this site: http://whiteboardninja.wordpress.com...tegy-and-tips/
    Last edited by dave330i; 10-04-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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  7. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #6
    Thanks for sharing that, Dave. That is probably the best advice on time management for the exam that I have seen. I'm definitely going to follow that advice when I sit the DCA.
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  8. DoWork
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    #7
    Agreed. That dissection is just amazing. Makes me want to start laying out my study plan.
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  9. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #8
    Took the exam this morning. Either I failed miserably or barely passed. I managed to answer ~20 questions to a varying degree. Didn't think any of the questions were particularly hard. Biggest problem is lack of time, small screen & slow response.

    GL to blargore & Essendon on your attempt.
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  10. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #9
    Hopefully, it won't be as bad as you think. A couple of people that I have talked to thought for sure they failed, but were soon notified they passed.

    Did you follow that advice that was posted a while back about marking the tasks that were "build/install" tasks, doing them first, and working on other items while you are waiting for installs to complete? I was wondering whether that was beneficial.
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  11. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by blargoe View Post
    Did you follow that advice that was posted a while back about marking the tasks that were "build/install" tasks, doing them first, and working on other items while you are waiting for installs to complete? I was wondering whether that was beneficial.
    There were few tasks which took a while to complete. I would start it, work on something else, then come back to finish them later.
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  12. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #11
    I think I need to do the rest of my labbing on a single display instead of dual 22" monitors to emulate the test lab...
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  13. Stopped chasing the VCDX Essendon's Avatar
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    #12
    O we know you'll pass Dave. Looks like you'll beat me to the pass, I had mine booked in for today but kinda chickened out and decided to reschedule. Didnt want to blow $300, I didnt feel fully prepared. The only available date this year was the 3rd of December and that was too close, the next available was after the Christmas break (first week of January). If your test was laggy, I wonder how mine's going to be like as I have heard the testing environment is actually in the US.

    Were the questions obscure? Were the vCenter server and vMA all set up or did you need to install vCenter and setup vMA? Was there stuff that you'd never heard of? Dont want you to contravene the NDA though!
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  14. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Essendon View Post
    O we know you'll pass Dave. Looks like you'll beat me to the pass, I had mine booked in for today but kinda chickened out and decided to reschedule. Didnt want to blow $300, I didnt feel fully prepared. The only available date this year was the 3rd of December and that was too close, the next available was after the Christmas break (first week of January). If your test was laggy, I wonder how mine's going to be like as I have heard the testing environment is actually in the US.

    Were the questions obscure? Were the vCenter server and vMA all set up or did you need to install vCenter and setup vMA? Was there stuff that you'd never heard of? Dont want you to contravene the NDA though!
    The lab environment didn't feel too laggy, but trying to scroll through the pdfs were impossible.

    All the questions were listed in the blueprint, but I was surpised by some of the selection because I don't remember them being well documented in the pdfs. Everything were available in my test environment, but were is various state of configuration.
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  15. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #14
    How much did you feel you had to rely on the PDFs?

    I'm trying to keep in mind which advanced options would be found in which PDF, so I am not having to remember every single option I might possibly need. For example, I know HA options start with the prefix das. and are found in the vSphere Availability guide, so I can just open that PDF and do a search. There are a few that I have used in the past, but the rest I will have a hard time remembering on my own.

    There are a couple of other tasks on which I am still a little sketchy, and may try to remember the PDF and chapter in which it is referenced and have that on hand.
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  16. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by blargoe View Post
    How much did you feel you had to rely on the PDFs?

    I'm trying to keep in mind which advanced options would be found in which PDF, so I am not having to remember every single option I might possibly need. For example, I know HA options start with the prefix das. and are found in the vSphere Availability guide, so I can just open that PDF and do a search. There are a few that I have used in the past, but the rest I will have a hard time remembering on my own.

    There are a couple of other tasks on which I am still a little sketchy, and may try to remember the PDF and chapter in which it is referenced and have that on hand.
    I used the pdfs quite a bit. Scrolling through the pdfs sucks in the lab, but keyword search worked well.

    Hmmm.... not sure what I'll be doing for the next 3 weeks while waiting for the results.
    Last edited by dave330i; 11-28-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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  17. Senior Member meadIT's Avatar
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    #16
    Unless it is something that's needed to be able to complete a question down the line, I would suggest leaving anything you have to look up in the PDFs until last. Time is too precious to spend searching through them. The time it takes to look up an answer in the PDFs could be spent doing 2-3 questions that you know.
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