VCAP6 Design Tips, Tricks and New Features

The VCAP6 Design exams (DCVCMA and DTM) have been GA for a couple of weeks now and I wanted to make a post about some of the tips, tricks and new features in this lastest version of the design platform. This personally was my first Design exam build on the VMware Certification Team and I wanted to be sure that we incorporated a lot of the candidate feedback into this new revision. VMware’s Beta program is a great tool for us to gather that feedback and implement new features that can assist candidates. First thing first, lets get you familiar with the format of the design exam.

Features

Each design exam consists of a different number of drag and drop and design items, 2 examples are below:

Drag and Drop

  1. The Scenario: Be sure to read it a few times to make sure you understand what is being asked.
  2. Show/Hide Scenario: There are a couple scenarios that have additional content (in image form) that you will need when answering the item.
  3. Instructions: As with the scenario, be sure to read this a couple of times, there are hints that will help usually in the NOTE: section.
  4. Source Buttons: These are draggable buttons that you left-click hold and drag over the text of the targets.
  5. Targets: You should drag the source buttons over the text of these targets, not the red bar to the left (you can drag to the red bar, but the placement on the text is more accurate).

dd_example

Design

  1. Instruction Sizes: You can view the instructions in narrow (default) or wide.
  2. Zooming: You have the options to zoom in and out or fit to the width of the instructions window.
  3. Requirements: Here is everything you need to create your design. Be sure to follow the design requirements as they are written, they are scored based on the requirements.
  4. Action buttons: You can start over (will ask you to verify), undo your last placement or create items via the category menu.
  5. Category menu: Here is where you will find the objects and the connectors needed to fulfill the requirements
  6. Objects: These object icons will help you visually represent your design.
  7. Connectors: When required, use these to connect objects.
  8. Cut/Trashcan: Use the cut button to cut an existing connection and drag unneeded objects into the trashcan.

 

Tips/Tricks

Manfred Hofer over at vBrain.info, wrote a great blog post about his experience on the 3V0-622 (VCAP6-DCV Design) beta exam. While there are some requests we have to turn away, such as Manfred’s request to add a dictionary (the exam package would be too large to send to our testing centers), we did add a “copy and paste” feature. Now if you have taken exams at Pearson VUE centers before, you’ll find that ctrl+c and ctrl+p shortcuts are disabled as well as right-clicking. So we came up with a way to implement it without those particular shortcuts.

Copy last object/connector

In previous design exams, you’ll find it is a bit time consuming when you need to create 7 web vms by clicking create > virtual machines > web vm 7 times (21 total clicks!). You can now click the + key on your numpad (NOTE: only works on numpad) to drop another copy of the last object/connector you placed. Here it is in action:

paste_feature

Rebuilding previous designs

After you do your first passthrough of the design exam, you might have some extra time to review your answers. You can go back through all your previously created designs and view them at any time. When you first get to a design or drag and drop, it will initially look incomplete. However, a pop-up will come up letting you know that it is being rebuilt to exactly the way you left it and disappear when it’s done:

rebuild_feature

Calculator

Seemed like a pretty simple feature to add, you’ll find it in the upper left hand corner of the exam:

calculator_feature

 

We’re always looking to bring our candidates a unique and challenging experience within the realm of a proctored exam. If you have a feature request or just general feedback about the exam, please comment below. If you would like to play around in the old design environment (before the above features were added), check out virtualtiers.net. And as always, good luck!

 

20 thoughts on “VCAP6 Design Tips, Tricks and New Features

  1. Would you be releasing an exam UI demo similar to that of VCAP5-DCD Exam UI demo? It would nice to play around with design tool before taking the exam.

      1. ETA, this would be really helpful. It has been good couple month now. I appreciate you have other things going on, BUT 🙂

        1. Yu,

          Unfortunately I stopped working for VMware back in October, so I can’t port the new version as I don’t have the source code to do so. My apologies for not updating. It’s not too much different than what’s on virtualtiers.net, other than the ability to replicate with the “+” key the last item dropped on the canvas.

  2. Thanks for sharing, it is really informative for the exam.
    I have given Design exam but I did not understand one thing which could be deciding factor for the exam.
    Design requirement gives some instruction to follow but I have noticed for few components it is saying to do connection but for some it is not. So my question is do we need to do exactly as design requirement says to connect OR for example if question says service dependency, so we need to connect VMs or other components to each other or only follow instruction.
    If we place any object over another object like VM over ESXi host and we move ESXi host but VM do not move, does it mean I have not placed VM correctly on top of ESXi host ?
    I was not able to clear exam due to all these confusion. Please guide me as I am going to reattempt exam soon.

  3. Thanks for the tips that really help to save time in the exam!
    The browser has been crashed 3 times during my exam yesterday as I was trying to use all required hardware as requested and make the necessary connections and it ended up too many objects and components, so I left many things to avoid this crash.
    I wonder if we could use only few components ( ESXi hosts, HBA,..) to achieve the same goal instead of many as the task from my perspective is time consuming and repetitive!
    Thanks again for the tips!

  4. Hi Jordan,

    Thanks a lot for your great efforts and support, Would you please give some light and advice on the above inquiry from AJAY as it is very interesting (Design requirement gives some instruction to follow but I have noticed for few components it is saying to do connection but for some, it is not. So my question is do we need to do exactly as design requirement says to connect OR for example if the question says service dependency, so we need to connect VMs or other components to each other or only follow instruction).

    Thanks to help!

    1. Assume each question is coming from a different client. You don’t carry over instructions or design items over from other questions. ALWAYS follow the instructions for each item as if it’s a brand new question.

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