On February 18, 2013 I sat for and passed the Citrix Exam 1Y0-A22 Citrix XenApp 6.5 Advanced Administration exam which means I now hold the Citrix CCAA. The path to obtaining the CCAA requires that you obtain the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix XenApp 6. I sat and passed that exam on January 22, 2013. I have also sat for and passed the exam to become a Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix XenDesktop 5.
The preparation guide for the Basic Administration Exam (1y0-A20) can be found here http://training.citrix.com/mod/ctxmodviewer/view.php?mod=resource&id=254 and the preparation guide for the Advanced Administration Exam (1y0-A22) can be found here http://training.citrix.com/pluginfile.php/41625/mod_resource/content/1/A22_preparation_guide.pdf. Both of these guides outline the test and the objectives of the test.
In my opinion if you properly prepare for the XenApp CCA Exam then you will also be prepared for the XenApp CCAA Exam. You may notice there was not a lot of time between my XenApp CCA and my XenApp CCAA exams. This is because after looking over the exam objectives I realized I had already covered most things while preparing for the CCA.
The only thing I found “advanced” about the CCAA exam were the simulation questions. Not sure if it was my preparation or what but both exams, especially the advanced exam, just seemed too easy. My take away from the exams was feeling that I had not really been tested.
Now with that said, I have to say I did not score very well on the simulations. Of course I cannot discuss specifics but I feel that I accomplished all tasks in the simulations and I feel I accomplished them correctly – not sure exactly how they are scored but my score was low. Not sure about the scoring process but I really thought I had done better. One thing I was very surprised about was how little the simulations counted toward the overall score. I would have expected these simulations to be worth more on an advanced exam but the low score on the sims appeared to have very little impact on my overall score.
Besides the prep guides here are a few other key resources I used to study. The study guides at Citrixxperience.com are fantastic. I also used the Citrixxperience XenApp CCA practice test to help prepare. The Citrix Documentation (Citrix eDocs) along with the Citrix Knowledge Center articles referenced in the preparation guides are also excellent. As part of my studying I also deployed a XenApp and XenDesktop environment in my home lab. (AutoLab is AWESOME!!!) There will probably be another post soon about how I set up my Citrix study lab.
A few folks have asked me about how these exams compare with VMware exams. I have not taken any VMware desktop exams but I can tell you that compared to the Datacenter VCP exam the CCA was more like a pop quiz. To compare the CCAA to the VCAP-DCA exam – well take the same pop quiz and compare it to a final exam. There really is no comparison. When I completed the VCP exam and to a much greater extent the VCAP exams I really felt like my knowledge had been tested and I had accomplished something.
I did a lot of preparation for the Citrix exams and I learned a lot but the exams left me kind of feeling “was that it?” With the preparation I did I feel that I will have no problems deploying or troubleshooting a XenApp environment. As far as it goes, since I probably would have not dedicated the time to it, I guess the exam did facilitate a means to an end (or a beginning) and was not a complete waste of time.
I am looking forward to some XenApp and XenDesktop deployments where I can put some of this knowledge to work.