During this process I have published a few objectives as I went along, somewhere a long the way I realised there are already a lot of study guides out there and a lot of them are really good! But there are not so many that also shine a light on exam strategy and taking in account the amount of tasks / work that you have to complete within the given time, is having some kind of strategy or time management something that could make all the difference.
So I will write up all study guides I used and additionally I will give some info regarding time management and exam strategy, keeping the non-disclosure agreement I signed in mind.
Study guides I used, some I read back-to-back more the once.
- VCAP5-DCA Study Guide of Paul Grevink
- VCAP5-DCA Diaries of Paul Grevink
- Professional VMware vBrownbag VCAP5-DCA sessions (Nick Marshall has put them alligned per objective on his blog)
- Virtual Langer VCAP-DCA study guide
- TheSaffaGeek VCAP-DCA Objectives
- Wahlnetwork VCAP-DCA 5 Study sheet (a check list to verify your knowledge)
Some tips and pointers to use as sort of exam strategy. First of VCAP5-DCA is a "open book" exam, this means you have all VMware product documentation (products which are subject to the exam). All documents are available as PDF documents. I opened up one of the documents in Adobe Reader at the start of my exam and used the "advanced search" to search thru all PDF documents within the product documentation folder.
Second as it is a advanced exam it is not only the vSphere c# client you are asked to preform the tasks in the exam, in some tasks VMware will state which way you are obliged to use if not stated you can use either of the ways you know. These ways can be using either the c# client, vMA, PowerCLI or vCLI.
One of the much used "esxcli command" has a very complete help option by adding "--help" it will show the options you have to complete the command. But there is also a way to "search" thru all commands namespaces by using "esxcli esxcli command list" all available namespaces will be shown. By adding "| grep namespace", replace namespace with what ever you are looking for (example; snmp, storage or network) and it will list all related namespaces.
Further more a quick reminder about the "esxcfg" command, most of these command when run from the vMA are the same except you run it as "vicfg".
And for the last tip, as you can go back and forward thru the questions in the DCA exam (note, you can't in the DCD exam!) you need to use this to your advantage. As soon as your exam starts, scan thru all questions and write down which questions need time for things to be created and which questions are real administration tasks. Then check which create tasks you can run already (some depend on other tasks), take care of these. After start working on your administration tasks, when you hit a creation tasks and you need to wait for it to complete, check for a administration task which you could run while you are waiting.
Hopefully the study guides will help you study and the exam tips will help you prepare for your VCAP5-DCA exam. Good luck to all pursuing this certification !