I recently sat exam 3VO-622 which leads to VCAP6-DCV Design certification and 1 step of 2 required for VCIX-DCV (the other being 3VO-623 / VCAP6-DCV Deploy). A few colleagues asked me for my views of the exam so I thought I’d share them here. I know the are a number of these already out there but I figured another wouldn’t hurt…
First of all it’s a tough exam. There are a handful or Visio drawing style questions and the rest are drag and drop – there are no multiple choice questions. The exam duration is 210 minutes with 18 questions in total which doesn’t sound a lot but some are very wordy which brings me to my first tip. When you’re sat in a cramped room with a small screen (at least in my case) and under time pressure, the tendency is to skim read. This is a bad idea and when reviewing my answers later on I actually found I’d missed something in the question which fundamentally changed my answer. A missed word or two can have big consequences and so although it sounds obvious, you really need to read the question properly. The duration of the exam is pretty fair as long as you don’t have to start redoing questions (particularly the Visio type ones), which is why it’s best to properly understand where you’re going with it first.
If you ask 10 architects to draw a particular scenario the chances are they are going to do it slightly differently. In this exam format however, only one way can really be right because the scoring system is designed to expect certain things. For example object A is connected to object B but not to object C. There is usually some sort of guidance in the question about how to go about this so you really need to understand it properly. If it says place something in a container and connect that container to something else then that’s how you need to do it, rather than connecting the individual objects.
It’s so easy to lose points in the exam. The drag and drop questions are mostly open ended so you don’t know how many items to put in a box; if you fail to place something in a box you lose a point, if you place something in a box which shouldn’t be there, guess what? Yep, you lose a point. And I already mentioned the pitfalls with the Visio connections.
A couple more tips. Firstly don’t waste too much time of the drag and drops – the points are elsewhere. If you’re not sure about a particular question then mark it for review, move on and come back to it later when you know how much time you have to play with. Time management is key. Also in some cases the size of the container on the canvas seem to give you a clue as to what it’s expecting you to put in there!
I’d say pretty much most of the blueprint is tested in one way or another so as always you need to understand it thoroughly!
I’d really recommend checking out these links:
Exam blueprint – https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=88743&ui=www_cert
Scoring for VCAP Exams – http://www.thecloudjar.com/scoring-for-vcap6-design-exams/
VCAP6 Design Tips, Tricks and New Features – http://www.thecloudjar.com/vcap6-design-tips-tricks-and-new-features/