VMware VCAP-DTD Exam: What to Expect

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I sat and passed the VMware VCAP-DTD exam. This is one of VMware VCAP or VMware Certified Advanced Professional exams. The DTD exam is specifically about desktop design, which on a product list would correlate to VMware View and vSphere. The exam is for architects and engineers that have been working with VMware’s EUC products for more than two years.

VCAP-DTD Exam: Just the Facts

The exam is comprised of 115 questions and you are given 195 minutes to complete the exam. If English is not your native language you will be given an extra 30 minutes. The scoring range is from 100 to 500 points and to pass you must score at least 300 points. There are three distinct types of questions on this type of VCAP exam:

  • Multiple choice questions – You will be presented with a scenario or question and you will be asked to pick a single correct answer or select three items from a longer list. These questions are much longer and more in-depth than what you would find on the VCP-type exam.
  • Drag-and-drop questions – These are usually scenario-based types of questions. For example, you might be asked how you would perform some task. You would then be given a number of steps that you may or may not need to use them all to accomplish the task. You then need to drag them to the column on the right and place in order. These can take a good amount of time to complete and there are a bunch in the exam.
  • Design items – You will be presented with six different scenarios for which you will create a design layout using the included design tool. This design tool is like a simple version of Visio. These design items take a lot of time, so you need to manage your time accordingly. There is a sample one on the VMware education site for each VCAP, and I highly recommend you test it. This will help you get accustomed to using the tool.

Blueprint to Success

When looking to study or prepare for any VMware certification exam you will want to review the exam blueprint. These blueprints are created by VMware for each of their certifications and they contain a list of study items. These items are all the possible topics and technologies that you might be asked about in the exam.

My Experience

The first thing to get out of the way is that there are a lot of questions. While 195 minutes may seem like a lot of time, it works out to about less than two minutes per question. And remember that a good amount of these questions are drag-and-drop or the six design items. So you need to read quickly and make your choices to keep moving along or you will run out of time. I find it difficult with these long exams to not lose interest towards the end.

This exam is design focused, but I warn against thinking it’s all theory or high-level items. Many design decisions require you to understand what types of settings can be adjusted to make a technology work better or adapt to constraints.

If you have been working with VMware View for a while, I recommend you take a serious look at the exam. It’s a good test of your skills, and your completion of the exam will let the world know you understand View at a deep level.