Thursday, 1 October 2009

Review of VCP4 exam

I know I've posted other things about the VCP4 exam over the last couple of months, but now I've had the chance to take it for myself - so here's my thoughts on it:

The format is familiar to anyone who's done a VCP exam before, in terms of the exam interface and the question/answer style, see my VCP3 posts for the detail on that. As with previous VCP exams, it's a "rapid fire" type of exam: read the question > think of the answer(s) > select the answer(s) on the screen > next question please!

What I would say is that there are a large number of questions that require multiple answers - you are always told how many answers are needed, and you can normally tell why some of the "wrong" answers have been included relative to the correct answers, but some of those questions are still quite challenging.

The single biggest tip, as I've been saying for a long time about VCP exams, is study the things in the Blueprint document!

I can confirm:
  • You WILL get tested on the topics in the blueprint document, all of them
  • You WILL need to know some very detailed and specific pieces of information
  • You DO need to understand the products in the vSphere suite

As others have said on their blogs and the VMware community forum, VCP4 is a tougher exam than VCP3 - it does require a broader, but also deeper level of knowledge than before. VCP4 is a lot less about memorizing facts and figures (like those in the Configuration Maximums document) and a lot more about actually knowing how a particular feature works, or what it's designed to do. I like it, I think it's a good exam that will really show that you know your stuff about virtualization, and of course about vSphere.

For the record, I passed, but then as I've been a VCI for over 3 years and I work with the technology every day I fully expected to, my students rely on me being able to do what I do, and know what I know! Whilst the regular passing score is 300, I needed to achieve the instructor passing score of 350 - and I was delighted to do that with ease - I'm a fully-paid up member of the 400+ club!

My other VCP4 posts on here will REALLY help you to get yourself ready for the exam. There is one other new page that has just been published on the Global Knowledge site, the content of which was created by me: VCP4 Certification

Don't forget that I also run VCP exam preparation workshops for Global Knowledge too - packed full of exam tips and tricks!

Best of luck to all those doing their VCP4!


  1. Hi Scott,
    I could only see VI3 exam preparation workshop on the GK site. Will you be offering VCP4 exam prep soon?
    Our training budgets are on hold, so would possibly fork out the funds to do this myself. I am already VCP in VI3 and would like to get my VCP4 before the end of the year, i.e. before the requirement to do a relatively more expensive course kick in.

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I'm currently developing our VCP4 exam prep workshop - keep checking my blog or the GK site for updates.


  3. HI Scott,
    Why is the pass mark so low 300 ( is that 30%)with V310 if I remmeber right it was 70 out of 100?
    Can you clear this up for me please, has I plan to upgrade before the end of the year.

    Leo - UK

  4. Hi Leo,

    The scoring system for VCP4 has changed. The 300 score is the equivalent mathematically to the 70 on the VCP3 exam - in other words the VCP4 exam is just as easy/hard (depending on your point of view) as the VCP3 was.

    The maximum score on the new exam is 500, but there is also a minimum score you can get of 100 too!

    So the 300 mark isn't "low" - it just looks it... best of luck!


  5. Hi Scott,

    100 is the pass mark?
    how many questions are there?

    Thanks again

  6. Hi Leo. 300 is the pass mark, as per the body of the article and some of the other comments already added above :-)

    You'll find more on my site.


  7. Hi guys,

    I'm so sad to say that I didn't pass my VCP4 exam :-(
    Luckily, I signed-up for the free 2nd shot re-take, but
    I need to take it before Dec. 31st.

    I'd like to clarify one thing, though, on a couple of
    questions that I encountered. Both questions didn't
    have the right answer listed, but there was no choice
    saying "NOne of the above". Is it OK if I leave it blank?

    Thanks in advance, for any info you can provide.

  8. Hi Conrad, in my experience every question will have an answer - some questions will only require one answer, some will require multiple answers. Are you certain you read the questions and answers correctly?

    Best of luck for the re-take :-)


  9. Hi Scott,
    With all the popularity of the VCP program what do you believe the outlook is for the coming year/ DO you feel the market will become saturated? I am an MCSE, MCTS working in IT for 12 years. Is the VCP rating worth its salt?


  10. Hi slegsonly, I should find out the latest VCP figures in the next week or two, I know there has been a significant increase in VCP3 holders in the last few months, and there are many out there who already have their VCP4, due to the various deadlines VMware set around both verstions. I can see VCP becoming a foundation-level certification, I can't say anything else yet but there are plans for higher-level certifications which should freshen the perception of VMware certifications generally. VCP is still currently THE certification to have if virtualization is your thing, only VCDX "beats" it and that's very high-level. I'm a three-time MCSE and three-time VCP too.

  11. Thanks Scott, I'll be checking in for your insights.

  12. "You DO need to understand the products in the vSphere suite" - what products do you mean?