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Upgrading Your VMware Certification – VCP5-DCV to VCP6-DCV

For those of you who are VCP certified on VCP 5, tis the season for your upgrade! Last year I took the online VCP 5.5 Delta test to extend my VCP 5. Unfortunately, if you’re going the VCP 6 Delta route, you will need to go to a Pearson VUE testing center. You have 90 minutes to answer the 65 questions you shelled out $225 USD to answer. If you’re a VMUG Advantage Member, Advantage you can save 20% on your VCP test, in addition to gaining access to cool things like the Eval Experience.

So how does one even start getting ready for their test? When I’m prepping to upgrade my VCP, I always start with the What’s New in vSphere Technical White Paper. The What’s New in vSphere 6 version can be found here. This is a great way to dig into what’s changed and get a handle on what you need to spend more time on.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 4.10.18 PM

(You may notice the familiar exam blueprint has been replaced with this interface, which doesn’t require a login to download)

Next, I go ahead and take a look at the exam topics, and see if there are any areas I know I really need to focus on. One of the most challenging aspects of studying for a VMware exam update is the tendency to blow through everything since you’ve studied it all before. I make myself go through every topic, no matter how many times I may roll my eyes at it. Each objective is also labeled with tools and further reading you may find helpful in your studying.

One of the things I can usually get myself to do is read a book instead of documentation without too much trouble. I’ve mentioned it in other posts, a great solid vSphere foundation book is Mastering vSphere 6.

There’s a number of VCP study books (official and unofficial) out there. Many of the vSphere 6 ones aren’t quite out there, but they tend to be hit or miss. Sometimes you’ll find one to be really useful, and other times you’ll wonder why you even bothered reading them. The fact of the matter is you can accomplish the same thing as these cert books on your own. In the event you have a long plane ride, or a long stretch of free time coming up, many times it is easier to read through a book than to try to surf through PDFs on a tablet. Personally, there are many things I where still prefer a physical book to a virtual one, and technology books can be one of those areas. Nonetheless, these resources are available to you.

Another fantastic resource is, and always has been,
The Unofficial Official VCP6-DCV Study Guide by Josh Cohen and Jason Langer. This guide does a great job at breaking down each of the exam objectives. In a similar vein, there are many bloggers who publish study guides on their websites as they are studying. These can also be great resource for review. Here are a few to get you started, but you can find even more online: VCP6-DCV Delta Study Guide
#vBrownBag VMware Certified Professional 6 Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) Track (This is a podcast broken down into approximately 1 hour sessions)
vHersey VCP6-DCV Study Guide

Now for the next question. How much hands on do you need to pass the test? If you’ve been working with VMware for a while, not much at all. You may be conflicted about updating your VCP to 6 if you’re still in a vSphere 5 environment daily, but I think it can be done. When I buckled down and did VCP 4 and 5 several years ago (within 10 days of each other, thanks to the one of the VMware imposed deadlines), I did all my studying over the course of about two weeks without logging into the vSphere client once. The VCP is not really a test of how to do things in vSphere, like the VCIX/VCAP administration tests, it is more about your familiarity with vSphere.

If you’ve got the free time on your hands, it may be a good idea to just go ahead and update your VCP to 6 so you don’t have to worry about it later. Happy studying in good luck!


Song of the Day – Becky G – Break a Sweat