Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Practice Tests for VCP

There are more than 25000 VCPs worldwide, and more people "join the club" every day. Certification is big business, and not just to those that get the certification. There's company after company on the internet that will sell you brain dumps and practice tests, but I would advise to be careful if using them to help you study and pass the VCP exam.

The attraction is obvious, you want to get an idea of the kind of questions you're going to get when you take the real thing. The danger is that the questions you see are not representative of the real thing, or more worringly the test you are using has invalid questions or the wrong answers!

From my experience, practice tests are never perfect, they all contain errors in varying numbers - I've seen some that had as many as 25-30% of the questions that were wrong or invalid in some kind of way. This means that you could be studying from pratice tests that are designed to help you pass but could actually help you fail.

All of the resources you need to pass the exam can be found in various places on the VMware web site:

The exam blueprint which will tell you what you need to know and where to find it:

The VI3 documentation which will provide you with the answer to every question:

The official mock exam which will show you the exam and question format:

The mock exam is produced by the same team that produce the real exam, some of the questions have previously appeared in the real exam.

VMware are not stupid, they know that unofficial practice tests exist, and there's not exactly a huge amount they can do to stop them. From conversations I've had with some of the guys and gals at VMware, they review these practice tests and when they find questions that are identical to those in the real exam they remove them from the real exam. BUT if practice tests contain incorrect or invalid questions they deliberately leave those questions in the real exam - they want to catch out anyone who is memorizing practice tests.

There is another way of focusing yourself on the exam, you could come and attend a preparation workshop with us at Global Knowledge:

The workshop will help you develop a technique to help you pass, there are lots of practice questions that we go through on the day, and the session is run by a VMware Certified Instructor - and although the regular passing score is 70 we have to get 85!!


  1. Thanks, great post...
    One question: what does it mean "and make sure they stay in the real exam"? As you can guess, I'm not a "native english speaker"...


  2. Hi Alberto, I've re-written the "VMware are not stupid" paragraph - thanks for the feedback :-)

  3. I agree that using those "practice exams" where people clearly took the exam and remembered exact questions to dump them online OR even cheated somehow to obtain them is wrong. I used the following resources for my recent 550 exam and they were more than adequate. The Official VCP cert guide which follows the blueprint exactly, Sybex VCP 550 guide which also follows the blueprint but adds some useful tips and such, some printed out vmware info such as ESXi maximums, comparison of editions, licensing info, etc....the things you really need to memorize for the exam. Then I bought the Pearson Vue practice exams and those were very close to the actual test although NOT exactly. The whole point is to certify people who have hands-on and truly want to represent themselves and VMware in the best light. And, if you don't have hands-on forget even trying to take these exams. Real-world experience is a MUST!! When you don't cheat your way through it makes it a bigger accomplishment plus doesn't water down the certification. After all, you are taking this exam because it is valuable. If anyone can take the exam and pass then what's the point of having an exam....the more valuable the cert, the higher the salary you can command so think about it before you take shortcuts.