Matt Pson Just another dead sysadmin blog


That darn VCP-410 test

So today was the day I should have been a VCP if I had anything to say about it. But I'm not it seems. I failed... by 2% (passing score is 300, max was 500 and I scored 290). Time to write off some post-exam frustation.

I prepared a few weeks ago by taking the "VMware vSphere: Install Configure, Manage" course (5 days) and studying the items outlined in the "VCP-410 Exam Blueprint". I've also been managing ESXi hosts in a (semi)professional environment since a few years back. I also used a couple to practice exams, my notes and books from the course over the last few days to freshen up on the parts I wasn't confident I knew enough about.

I took the opportunity to have breakfast close to the testing centre while reviewing my notes once again before taking the test this morning. All in all I felt well prepared despite that the last time I actually took an exam was back in university (many years ago...).

So after signing the exam agreement and taking my picture for VMware to see what I look like (I guess they need that to confirm that I didn't send my colleague to do the test or something) I entered the testzone, a computer and an uncomfortable chair in a small cubicle space.

The VCP-410 test was made up of 85 questions (presumably randomly selected from a larger pool of questions) which was to be answered in under 90 minutes plus an extra 30 minutes as english isn't my native language. My initial run-through of the questing made me answer about half of them, with confidence, quite quickly thinking this was exactly what I had studied for. Some of the questing where kinda tricky as it was hard to distinguish the difference in some of the answers at first glance. Many where troubleshooting questions like "If you have host A with VM  B with configuration C and the feature D doesn't work, what is most likely to be the problem?". Fine, not too hard except quite a few of those questions applied to hardware and license features I had no experience in (yet).

What struck me was that several of the questions refereed to ESX and it's CLI/Console. On the course we used ESXi exclusively and the teacher even said that there wouldn't be any (or many?) questions on the ESX part anymore as that product will not be in the next version. At work we have been using only ESXi since version 3.5 which is a few years now.

Many questions was about Fibre Channel storage, something that we learned on the course but which is not a part of my daily working environment so troubleshooting that is pretty much unknown to me.

Also it felt like a big chunk of questions were about HA and FT.

Regardless I figured out some more questions and took my chances with the last few still thinking it went quite well. Reviewing the question before the final submit I remember thinking that I probably scored about 70% maybe a little higher but enough to mass the exam with a little margin.

But, nope. The overall testresult was given on-screen upon submitting the test; "FAILED". Huh? Wait? What? How did this happen?

I was then handed a printout of the test-result, complete with my picture, reporting that I had scored 290 out of 500 and I needed 300 to pass (that is equivalent to maybe 1 or 2 questions short if I calculate things right). Gnnnhhhrrr....

Today is not my day obviously. Next time, next time I'll defeat that test!



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