Exam Experience – VCAP6-DTM design GA

VCAP6-DTM designAfter I failed the beta of the VCAP6-DTM design exam (3V0-652) with 219 point and the rescoring with 255 I thought I need to do it again to restore my honor. I took the exam on January 19th, 2017. Most of you reading this are familiar with this kind of exam so I will keep the introduction short.

General exam info

Exam duration is 240min but the additional 30min for people where the primary language is not english was removed. In total there were 24 question (38 in the beta), 7 visio tool design questions and 17 normal drag & Drop questions.  Most of the information I have already written in my beta exam experience blog post.

Experience

I was a little bit nervous because this is a really tough exam which I knew from the beta. The exam not only includes Horizon View but also AppVolumes, Mirage and VMware Identity Manager (Workspace). I went through the questions and skipped all visio(design question (marked it for review) so I can complete it in the end. I saw from other design exams I did that this strategy is the best for me, because you can find yourself lost in the visio questions. Going back and forth between visio/design tool questions was again not a big deal, you only have to wait until everything is loaded again before doing new stuff.

I can’t stress this to much, make sure you read the drag & drop questions and the instruction on the left-hand side carefully. Sometimes an item belongs to more answers and sometimes it’s a one to one relation. I haven’t a proof that it’s true or not but I think that you have to move a min. of one item to an answer. If you would think that no answers are right for an item then use the most accurate answer even if it’s not 100% right from your side.

As I already mentioned in the other design exams posts, there is a huge improvement of the requirement section (what needs to be connected to what) of the visio/design tool questions. You will find now information that clearly defines the connectivity required between the objects. This is the biggest improvement I have seen with the design exams.

One of the challenges I faced was the fact that this exam is a Horizon View 6.x exam. That means that every question starts similar to this “Design a View 6.x environment”. The problem is that we already have multiple 6.x versions (6.0, 6.1 and 6.2) and within each version new features were integrated. The best example is View 6.2. In 6.2 VMware had introduced View Composer support for RDS host. This is a problem if you need to design an environment with RDS hosts. Should you use Composer then as a component or not. I was quite unsure about that, but decided to not use it to provision RDS hosts. Other good examples are vSAN (6.0, 6.1) or Horizon Workspace vs Identity Manager.

The 240min are enough time to go multiple times over and over the exam again. I think I ended the exam after 180min because I checked all questions 2-3 times. In the end it was a PASS. I expected much more then the 330 points but as I said there is a lot of vague stuff in the exam.

I also want to point everybody who is reading this to this great blog post from Jordan Roth who explains there the scoring of a design exam.

Preparation

This time my preparation was much more because I really wanted to pass this exam. You can find all the mentioned documents also on the blue print site.

There is also an Optimization Guide for Windows 7, 8 and RDS available but the current version is only about how to use the VMware OS Optimization Tool fling. Here I would recommend to use an older version of that guide, because there you have also information about all the services you need to enable or disable.

I will update this post with the links as soon as I have found the correct one.

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