Taking the VCAP-DCA Exam….

In this post, I wanted to post about my experiences of taking the VCAP-DCA exam.

Simply – there are 3 given certainties for this exam:

  1. You will need to have taken and passed the VCP4 exam, in order to qualify for this exam.
  2. You will need to study the VMware VCAP-DCA exam blueprint (published by VMware here: Exam Blueprint).
  3. You will run out of time when taking this exam!

So, what is the exam?

It’s a 4-hour hands-on exam, with real servers in a remote environment in which you answer questions in the exam. In the process of taking the exam, you have to switch between the exam questions and the remote environment, flicking between the two to complete multi-facet questions.

Who is it aimed at?

This certification is one of VMware’s new mid-level ‘Advanced Professional’ exams, as a stepping stone to the VCDX qualification. VCP is a pre-requisite for VCAP exams, and completion of both VCAP exams is a pre-requisite for VCDX.

How do I take the exam?

You need to register with Pearson Vue via their VMware Exam website, and request authorization to take the exam. Only some Pearson testing centers offer these exams (“official” centers only will deliver this exam) – search for them here. Note: Pearson are notified by VMware about candidate eleigability for taking the exam. With this in mind, you will have a different “VMware Advanced” testing ID which will be seperate from other – VCP et al – certifications held with Pearson. The UK exam fee is £300 per exam.


There are lots of resources available online that list resources you should study, but always start with the official exam blueprint. Unlike VCP certification, there are no pre-requisite courses for taking the VCAP exams. VMware list the suggested courses on their certification page here. I will add resources to my ‘Interesting Links’ page over time, as I come across more interesting resources.

Taking the exam

Arriving on the day, you need photo ID, and a photo is taken of you before you enter the test room. You aren’t allowed to take anything into the test room with you – no coffee, water, watch, chewing gum, not even tissues! This is a very strict policy, so if you take the test when you have a cold – don’t expect to be allowed any leeway with taking medicine in – because it won’t happen!

Premium Tip: Time! You will not have time to answer the questions at the speed you would normally work at with a test or home lab vSphere environment. There are 40+ questions in the exam, and each one is a task or process in a real environment. Speed is the key, so practice administering your home revision lab at lightening speed!


The last ‘bummer’ thing about this exam is getting your results – it takes 2 weeks (10 work days) to get results via email, and a further 2 weeks to get the result added to your exam transcript. Gone are the feelings of leaving the test centre knowing your result for this exam at least!

Lastly – Good Luck! If you are taking this exam, I wish you all the best.


About Jeremy Bowman
VMware-certified Solutions Architect, Virtual Systems Designer / Administrator, Mac-Enthusiast.

One Response to Taking the VCAP-DCA Exam….

  1. Pingback: Taking the VCAP-DCD Exam…. « Virtual Blogroll

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