VCP 5 Beta Exam - a Pass - but it aint easy

I received an email today

September 7, 2011

Dear VMware Beta Candidate

Congratulations!  You have passed the new VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP5)

certification exam. Thank you for your participation in the beta exam.  Your input and participation were invaluable to this process.

We will be adding this certification to your transcript within the next three weeks.  You will receive an email notification with additional instructions once your education transcript has been updated.  Physical certificates will be sent after your shipping address has been confirmed.  Please contact certification@vmware.com if you do not receive your notification.  Please include your Candidate ID from your exam score report.

Thank you for participating in the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP5) beta exam and congratulations once again on becoming one of the first VCP5s!

I think this is the last time I will take a Beta exam. It is a lengthy and not trivial process.

Let me run you through the flow of a Beta Exam.

  1. Beta is announced.
  2. Hope you know someone - that will get you in on the Beta of that product.
  3. Play with the product on your lab.
  4. Close enough to GA of the product - depending on the case a beta Exam will be come available.
  5. Pray there is an available slot in the tight timeframe that the beta is open - usually 7-10 days.
  6. Book the Exam - almost always it costs money (less than a regular exam)
  7. Look over the blueprint - and rely on your experience and knowledge of the product, because there is no-one who can help you out here. You are on your own.
  8. And this is the worst - sit for about 4 hours - going over 100-200 questions, some of them are so whacky - some are intentionally wrong and some plain stupid. This is the worst part of the whole process. Sitting for that amount of time is not an tedious and exhausting experience.
  9. And then wait - 6-8 weeks after that - to see if you passed or not. Usually people that have taken the live exam after launch get their results before you do.

I do feel that participating in a Beta Exam is something that is beneficial to the candidate in a way - you are actually saving money. But this should also be perceived as a service to the community - because you are acting as a "guinea pig" for VMware to help refine the exam when it goes live and offered to the masses.

I said after this one - I will not do any more beta exams, it takes too much energy - but getting a pass mark - it always gives the extra boost. Let's just say - I will decide next time it comes up what I will do.


Congratulations to all those who passed the Exam!!