VCAP6-DCV GA Design Exam Experience

After a month of pure dedication and late nights, I passed the VCAP6-DCV Design Exam!!

Exam Overview

  • The exam is 3 hours long, my exam center would not allow water so make sure you are fully hydrated before you go in
  • There are 18 questions made up of drag /drops and design (Visio style drawing) questions. There are no multiple choices
  • You need a score of 300 to pass, although this is almost meaningless as the exam questions are weighted depending on certain criteria
  • The exam is negatively marked, in other words, you lose points if you do something incorrectly. (Drawing too many HBAs might make you lose marks for example)
  • It’s around £300 / $400 although you can get 20% off if you are a VMUG Advantage subscriber


I’ve spoken to many people and happily continue to do so after passing the exam. Most people (including present VCDX’s) are failing their first and second attempts so it’s not for the faint-hearted. You need to know almost every vSphere feature including vSAN and all the soft skills such as VMware’s definitions of Requirements, Risks, Constraints and Assumptions. The best advice is to go through everything in the blueprint, there are thousands of pages of material but all the information you need to pass is in that material. Remember, this is an advanced exam and a prerequisite for Implementation Expert so it’s not going to be like the VCP exams. Keep in mind that the exam is currently for vSphere 6.0 so any vSAN questions etc should be at that release level too.

Most of the people that I have spoken to are somewhat frustrated with the exam in that it is open to ambiguity. My advice here is to draw your designs how you would in the real world, think about how you would create the solution in the vSphere client and draw it out with that in mind. If you fail, then go to the blueprint and read everything under the section that the exam score report tells you to focus on.

UPDATE: VMware is remarking most people’s failed attempts, results should be in your education portal sometime after November 20th so ensure you check before rescheduling the exam.

Unlike what has been reported with the BETA, the exam was almost totally stable. There were a few seconds where it froze and it takes a few seconds to go back to review a previous design question but other than that I didn’t have any real issues.


Read my detailed blog on my preparation here, review all the links at the bottom of the page.

Good luck to everyone taking the exam and feel free to reach out to me on twitter if you need any advice.