VCP 6.5 DCV Study – The Path to Certification

My 10 Week VCP 6.5 Study Plan has just completed, so if you’ve worked through all of the 10 topics in the blueprint, what next?

1. Figure Out Your Path

If you don’t have an existing VCP, skip this step and head straight for the Foundation Exam section

If you already have a VCP certification, expired or still valid, or you have been on a qualifying course but not taken the exam, or some other connotation, head over to the VMware VCP DCV 6.5 page. There you can check out the different paths VMware recommends to get certified.

2. Pass the Foundation Exam

Whilst VMware recommend taking one of the mandatory courses before doing the Foundation Exam. I think its better to do the Foundation Exam first. That way, you know you have one of the prerequisites out of the way and have some confidence in your vSphere knowledge, before booking an expensive course.

The vSphere 6.5 Foundation exam is open book and can be taken online from the comfort of your home. You can find the exam blueprint here (pdf). There don’t appear to be any free study resources online for this exam, but if you are familiar with the content from the VCP 6.5 blueprint you should be in good shape for the Foundations exam. Review the blueprint and review anything you are unfamiliar with.

3. Book a Course

VMware require you to take a course in order to qualify for the VCP certification. There is little point in paying for and taking the VCP exam if you haven’t taking one of the prerequisite courses as you’ll not get the VCP qualification until you have taken the course. Unfortunately, the courses are expensive as they sit at over £3000 for 5 days. Global Knowledge do have discounted last minute courses if they are trying to fill the remaining space for a course running in the next few days , but these are still £1795. Take a look here to see if there is anything discounted. The list of applicable course can be found on the official VMware VCP DCV 6.5 page.

One option that has been cost effective for others in the past is to take one of the courses remotely with Stanly Community College. However their course has not been updated for vSphere 6.5 and there is a waitlist for their 6.0 course. I guess you could take the 6.0 course, pass the VCP 6.0, then take the VCP 6.5 exam. Their course is under $200, so pretty attractive.  Andy Nash has a good blog post on his experience doing Stanly’s vSphere 5.5 Install, Configure, Manage course.

4. Book, Revise and Take the Exam

With the Foundation exam out of the way, and the course behind you (or at least booked and paid for), its time to book the VCP exam itself. I would recommend booking the exam then starting your revision, so you have a target date in place. You can get a 50% discount if you plan on being at VMworld and take an exam whilst there.

To prepare for the exam, use my Study Tracker to assess areas you need to focus on and then revise those sections using Vladan’s study guide.

For a full practice test, you can use Simon Long’s website. He has a mock test which is timed and has random questions from all the exam’s 10 sections. Simon’s full test is worth taking early on as another way to find areas to focus on as part of your revision, then a week or so out from the exam date to check you are comfortable with the questions.

The exam is multiple choice, has 70 questions and you get 105 minutes. The format allows you to mark questions for review at the end. My technique, which is fairly common, is to not get stuck on a question for too long but to instead mark it for review and then move on. That way you get all of the ones you are pretty confident on out of the way and then when you come to the review at the end you know how much time you have to go back and work through the more difficult questions.

Best of luck and let me know how it goes in the comments below!



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