Like many others I was a VCP 4 and needed to upgrade to VCP 5 by Feb 29th to avoid a pricey class and possible ribbing from my peers. I was well aware of this deadline since mid December, however, I procrastinated on studying and was mostly flinging myself around the globe doing implementations and having an all around good time. When Feb 1st came I was sitting on a flight from Saigon to Frankfurt and that is when panic struck. I realized I had until the end of the month to finish the requirement. I instantly pulled out my iPad and began frantically combing thru the VCP 5 Blueprint and reading countless documents over the 12+ hour flight.
When I returned home that is when I really began to crack the books. When I was too tired to keep reading official vSphere Docs or playing in my lab Cody Bunch’s Professional VMware Brownbags were perfect to sit and listen and absorb some info. It was really helpful as they go thru each point of the specific objective of the day and also get some insight from some guests who had already taken the exam. Another great resource is Andrea Mauro’s vInfrastructure VCP 5 notes - there was tons of helpful information there. Also not to be forgotten is MW Preston’s VCP 5 resources. Finally, I would never study for a VCP exam without using the great practice exams available from Simon Long of the SLOG Blog. While there are many other great resources available there are too many to list here as this is an experience post.
So after combing thru all these resources hours per night for a couple of weeks I finally booked my exam for Feb 28th. Then that is when the nerves really set in. I started to doubt if with 3 weeks of studying I had prepared enough or if I was going to be surprised with a lot of new content. So I pushed on and continued reading and possibly obsessing over particular objectives I was not 100% comfortable with until the days ran out.
Test day I left work after lunch and drove to the test center. During check in I was a bit nervous and began having trouble speaking Swiss German to the testing center staff. I sat down and first took the survey which made me even more nervous knowing the test was coming soon. When the test began and I got thru the first 20 questions and my nerves began to lighten. I realized all the vSphere 5 implementations I did recently along with reading up on some of the new features was the ticket. Without getting to much into details as I am bound by NDA, this exam was more about knowing the product and working with it on a day to day basis rather than straight memorization. For the VCP 4 I remember spending countless hours memorizing Configuration Maximums and other things that promptly left my head after the test was completed. After all that is what the Configuration Maximum documents are for!
In conclusion I think that for actual Virtualization professionals that have their hands on the product everyday VCP 5 is much easier than VCP 4. In the end I only spent an hour and 10 minutes on the exam and passed with a score I was highly pleased with. My message to current VCP 4 holders is go ahead in and take a shot at the exam. You might be pleasantly surprised with how VMware has changed the structure of their exams.