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How should I prepare for a VMware exam?

To prepare for a VMware certification exam, study the blueprint that VMware provides. You can also save some money on the test if you keep an eye out for discount codes.

Passing a VMware exam proves that you are an expert in a given VMware specialty, but the tests and the courses...

associated with them can be expensive. To ensure a return on your investment, study the blueprints VMware provides and keep an eye out for discount codes.

The VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification is a useful one to have. It proves that you have deep knowledge of the VMware platform. The VCP certification used to be a single exam, but now it has two separate course requirements: one core, which covers the hypervisor and vCenter, and one elective. This reflects the fact that VMware's products are much more than just the hypervisor.

All VCP exams include both the hypervisor portion and a second portion that defines your chosen specialty. You can choose to take one of four paths: Data Center Virtualization, Network Virtualization, Cloud Management and Automation, or Desktop and Mobility.

In addition to taking the VMware exam, you must also attend one of the qualifying courses, which can cost thousands of dollars. You can take the test before you attend the course, but it makes more sense to take the course and then do the exam.

The questions

The example questions on the VMware accreditation website bear no relation to the real exam questions. Treat them as a guide to the style of the exam.

VMware exam questions are based on the contents of the exam blueprint that VMware provides. Anyone who wants to succeed on the exam must know the contents of the blueprint back to front and in reverse. Some of the questions can be head-scratchers, but the resolution is always in the blueprint.

VMware exams are multiple choice. Some questions may have more than one correct answer, so you must tick all answers that apply. Other questions present multiple answers that may be correct, but there is only one correct response. Two answers might both appear to be correct, or they might sound very similar and have only subtle differences. This is why it is absolutely essential to have real-world experience. You must understand key technologies at a deep fundamental level to pass a VMware exam.

If you are not sure about which answers is correct, you can mark that question to revisit and come back to it once you have answered all the other questions. Tests are timed, so you must plan appropriately; don't waste too much time on a single question.

You can go back and change any of your answers until you click the complete exam button at the end. At that point, the program will also invite you to answer any questions that you skipped or partially completed. Immediately upon completion, you will be told if you have passed or failed the VMware exam.

Discount codes

Periodically, the company posts a limited number of vouchers for a discount on the exams, so keep an eye on VMware's education website. The codes often come out around VMworld, and any that are left over tend to be distributed by VMware online. There are only so many codes, so when you do see them, snatch them up. You don't have to use the code to book an exam right away; you can book far in advance, which can provide an incentive to study.

Ensure you take the appropriate ID with you. Without your ID, you can't take the exam. Additionally, it's important to remember that to keep your VMware certification current, you must renew it every two years by passing an equivalent or higher level test. When you take one VMware exam, you commit to an upgrade treadmill.

This was last published in April 2018

Dig Deeper on VMware Certified Professional (VCP and VCAP)

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