About 2 weeks ago I passed the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP510) exam. Since I already had VCP410 I decided to be fast and upgrade without following any courses (for those working on it this can be done until the end of February). I must say the exam was quite the challenge. I must agree with everyone else: comparing it with VCP4, this one is truly harder.
The exam itself is in the same format as VCP4, this means 85 multiple-choice questions and 90 minutes time (an extra 30 minutes if English isn’t your native language). I think about 60-70% of the questions require you to choose multiple answers (being 2 or 3 answers). This is where the hard part comes in. I noticed that as soon as you read the question you better know the answer without even reading the possible answers provided. A lot of the answers are formed in a (very) misleading way.
Another small but important note about the questions: use the “mark for review” button! It is there for a reason. If you want you can also review the whole exam but this might influence your answers and eventually your final grade (remember you need 300 / 500 for a pass), it is better that you only review questions on which you are not sure at first.
I must honestly say that I have the luck on running a (very) small homelab (2 servers and a NAS with NFS/iSCSI) and a testing lab at the company which I work for. I highly advice people to experiment with ESXi 5. I am not saying it is needed but it’s a big advantage to have some hands on lab experience.
During my preparation I mixed my time with reading the documents listed in the Exam Blueprint, watching Trainsignal videos and playing around in the lab. I can also recommend Scott Lowe‘s book: Mastering VMware vSphere 5.
Another useful thing is running some practice exams which can be found on various websites such as Simon Long‘s blog.
As a final note: a very nice collection about the whole VCP5 experience can be found at VLADAN’s “Resources To Prepare VCP 5” page. He has a collection of people posting their experience and some other useful links like practice exams, communities posts,…
Let’s sum it all up:
- Follow the Exam Blue print
- Read Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 book
- Watch Trainsignal videos
- Run practice exams
- Read experiences by other people
- Try to get hands on lab experience
I wish you good luck in becoming VCP 5.
My next aim/step(s): VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD (coming soon).