I recently completed the requirements for the VMware Certified Professional 5 certification. Achieving certifications isn’t a priority for my current employer (a VMware customer) and as such it had been over 10 years since I last attempted an IT certification. I passed the exam on the first attempt but the questions were a lot harder than I had anticipated. I wanted to point out a couple of very solid resources I used to study for the exam.
First, I watched the 7 part brownbag series on the VCP 5 exam. You can find these episodes here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/. Each one is between 1 and 2 hours long, so put them on your iPad and kick back when you have a chance. This was my first experience watching the brownbags — but it won’t be my last. These are very solid technical presentations and I highly recommend subscribing to in iTunes.
Next, I read through the VCP blueprint from VMware MyLearn. It lists all of the content that could appear on the exam. It is a very short paper, but worth a look. I printed a copy and was going to use it as a check list to figure out what I needed to study…until I found something better.
Finally, I found and used the study guide created by Josh Coen and Jason Langer. It is a 130 page PDF document that is organized by objective just like the VCP blueprint. You can find it here: http://www.virtuallanger.com/vcp5/. This is better than the blueprint as it includes content about each objective and references the associated supporting document you should review.
Here is a bit of free advice. When you study for the exam, don’t discount anything you see in the blueprint. I remember thinking…Oh, nobody would ever use this feature so I don’t need to know it for the exam. That is simply not true. If the feature exists — and more specifically exists on the blueprint — you’ll want to know the material for the exam. Additionally, and this will sound fairly straight forward, be sure to study those things you do NOT know. If you only use vSphere Distributed Switches be sure and study the limitations and use cases of standard switches. If you only use NAS storage be sure to study block storage. Knowing these things will greatly help in passing the exam. Good luck!