For the last month I had been preparing for the VCAP7-CMA Design exam and I am very glad to say I passed on my first attempt.
Oddly I found it slightly easier than the VCP7-CMA but that I suspect is down to the fact I spend a lot of my time designing and implementing solutions for customers as opposed to day to day administration of any given solution.
So what was the exam like?
60 questions, multiple choice with some drag and drop type quiestions. It has been said before and I will reitterate it, I am so very glad VMware decided to remove the “visio” style questions as they were a horrible GUI experience and (in my opinion) got in the way of finding out if the examinee actually has the knowledge required to pass the exam.
Following a good exam discipline is important and I knew I was nervous, so I made a concious effort to flag any questions I was not sure on and also made sure I went through all of the questions again at the end (assuming I had time, which in this case I did)
Reading the questions thoroughly was a key discipline for any of the answers, often I would have to re-read the questions just to be sure I understood what was being asked. In the exam you are given paper and pens to make notes if you need to do so.
So what would I recommend you focus on in terms of study materials?
Most certainly the exam guide (you can find it here) it containts a nice list of test questions to get you into the thinking of the exam and what is required. Also the reference URL list a the end of the document is full of gold material. Finally the following areas are worth a close look.
Obviously I cannot provide a long list of things that I encountered in the exam but the above should give you enough to focus on and study. If in doubt refer back to the exam guide.
Given the Design exams have this “new” format there is less focus on what was the master deisgn questions etc, but I will suggest you flag or park any questions you are struggling on and return to them when you have completed the rest of the questions in a manner that you are happy with.
If you are taking the exam in the future I wish you the best of luck!