I am just now getting home from my attempt at the VCAP-DCA exam and I have to say it was pretty BRUTAL. My brain is mush and I don’t have a really great feeling about how I did.
It is a live lab and I had an issue pretty early on with how I read a lab activity and it came back to bite me in one of the last activities. I tried to get back to fix it but I just ran out of time. I finished the configurations required in the lab but did not have time to actually make it work, and I know for a fact that it would not have worked because of the earlier screw up. Problem is that I did not uncover the issue until it was too late. Hindsight is a bitch.
The exam is tough but the time limit is what really gets you (or the time limit is what really gets me anyway), you feel rushed and if you are like me you make stupid mistakes. I was given 34 labs and had 3.5 hours to complete them. Some took a few minutes while others required a fair bit of thought. I skipped at least one that I was not very sure of in hopes of going back to working on it later, there was just no time. Then there is the early one that I screwed the pooch on, I am fairly certain that this one lab is what will end up costing me the exam. Another 60 minutes, or even another 45 minutes would have been enough to correct my mistake.
The exam environment is not a bad as I have heard some say. It would be nice if you could ALT-TAB between open windows and the 1024×768 resolution sucks, but I had no problems with how the interface responded or refreshed. Scrolling was a little cumbersome but I don’t think it really held me up any. I did run into a few instances where artifacts (configs and files) of previous exams attempts had not been cleaned up.
If I had to give someone advice on taking the exam it would be read the lab instructions carefully. You probably will not have time to fix things if a future lab uncovers an earlier mistake.
I am going to stay positive and hope for the best. I am going to keep studying and practicing until I get the official results. I know the technologies, I know how to implement them, and now I know what to expect from the exam so if I didn’t make it, I’ll be back ASAP to take it again.
Keeping my fingers crossed…