My experience of the VCP 5

I think that it was just after the Beta results had been released that I sat up and took notice of the new exam. I think like most people I read the comments of some of the prolific bloggers and they all had one thing in common. This is a tough exam.

Thankfully I passed my VCP 5 just before the 29th Feb 2012 deadline. This was a great relief as I knew there was no chance of my company putting me on the whats new course and with my new house sapping funds I could not afford it either.

This post is a few of my thoughts on the exam along with some of the resources that I used.

First things first you have to give your self a goal, just keep it simple but achievable. I also like to list out a few reasons why I am doing this so that when I lose sight and feel like giving up I have something to remind me why I am sat there at mid-night in the lab still kicking the tyre’s.

My goal was simple start studying at the beginning of November with a view to sit the exam two weeks before the deadline. That also gave me a chance to get a cheeky resit in 🙂 For me the reason for getting the VCP 5 was simple. I wanted to keep up with the technology and the study allows me to do this. Its knowledge that I can use in my day job to my advantage which is always nice.

On a side note I know that a lot of people do this because they just want some letters to go on their CV or they think it will help them get a higher paid job. I just do not agree with either of these reasons. Firstly paper certificates with no experience are worthless and just dilute the certification. Secondly you should do this to help improve your knowledge of the product to enable you to deliver to your business or team.

The Exam..

Pay close attention to the time, especially if you are a slow reader or are like me and second guess myself all the time as there are 80 questions with 90 minutes on the clock. I think I finished with about 10 minutes to spare. The VCAP DCA is supposed to be worse BTW.

I had a few questions that were very familiar as they were on the VCP 4, I chose similar answers as they still seemed relevant for vSphere 5. I don’t recall any questions on the maximums so I would not spend an age committing them to memory like it did.

I cannot stress enough how real world experience of the product will help, get yourself a small lab so that you can play with the new features. Learn how some of the key performance metrics and get familiar with ESXTOP.


  1. I still had my vSphere 4 study cards so I went over those just for a refresher
  2. I used Scot Lowes Mastering vSphere 4 book which I though was ace so I purchased his new one as soon as it was out. Again it was a great resource.
  3. David Davis and the Trainsignal crew have produced some great vSphere 5 videos and they are worth every penny.
  4. Duncan Epping and Frank Denermans Clustering book is a must for any admin. Its clearly more advanced than the VCP level but it is the only book to read and you will know clustering inside out after a couple of reads!
  5. Finally there are so many great resources out there for free on the Web. My favourites are listed below.

The brown bags are great and I plan to use them when I get round to the VCAPs.

Simon’s practice exams are ace and they certainly gave me a good feel for what was to come.

This site has a great list of resources that far out do my little list!