The VCAP6 Design exams (DCV, CMA 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.
Each design exam consists of a different number of drag and drop and design items, 2 examples are below:
Drag and Drop
- The Scenario: Be sure to read it a few times to make sure you understand what is being asked.
- Show/Hide Scenario: There are a couple scenarios that have additional content (in image form) that you will need when answering the item.
- 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.
- Source Buttons: These are draggable buttons that you left-click hold and drag over the text of the targets.
- 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).
- Instruction Sizes: You can view the instructions in narrow (default) or wide.
- Zooming: You have the options to zoom in and out or fit to the width of the instructions window.
- 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.
- Action buttons: You can start over (will ask you to verify), undo your last placement or create items via the category menu.
- Category menu: Here is where you will find the objects and the connectors needed to fulfill the requirements
- Objects: These object icons will help you visually represent your design.
- Connectors: When required, use these to connect objects.
- Cut/Trashcan: Use the cut button to cut an existing connection and drag unneeded objects into the trashcan.
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:
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:
Seemed like a pretty simple feature to add, you’ll find it in the upper left hand corner of the exam:
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!