Good morning! I recently studied for, and thankfully passed, the Veeam VMCE exam. Thought I’d do a write-up of my experience and share my opinions of the exam prep process, all within Veeam VMCE NDA, as well as post a Study Guide I created during my studies. If you wanna skip the ‘mumbo-jumbo’ and get the Study Guide, then just scroll to the end of this post and download the PDF from the link.
I began my studies a couple months ago digging hard & heavy into the VMCE Handbook from the Official VMCE class. As I do with all my technology certification studies, I go through each section and begin taking my own personal notes to highlight/accentuate items to help me remember them (i.e. I create a Study Guide). Once I finish, I go back through the Guides (in the case of the VMCE, the Handbook), and add to or modify my Study Guide where needed. Also, don’t forget to look through the VMCE Practice Labs document as there are several snippets of info in it as well.
Once I’ve gone through the Handbook a few times, I’ll take some practice tests, which are usually readily found online, to show me weak spots I need to focus on. The few practice tests I took are from: Veeam University (https://veeam.university/vmce/practice/), here on Rasmus Haslund’s site (https://www.perfectcloud.org/practice-exams/veeam-certified-engineer-v9/), and one from Rhys Hammond (https://rhyshammond.com/vmce_9-5-practice-exam/). All are worthy tests to help you see where some of your weak points may be. A recommendation – do NOT memorize any of the practice test questions. They are NOT on the exam. But they are a good gauge to show you what areas you need to focus more attention in your studies. Don’t focus on the questions per se, but rather the “points” being asked. For example, if a practice test question references limitations but only has a few limitations listed, try to recall most or all limitations then check your recollection against the Handbook. Make sense?
My prep a couple days before I took my exam…
My plan for the exam was to take it at VeeamON in Chicago. In addition to the Conference pass, I also purchased attendance to the VMCE Test-Prep 1-Day Course, which was held on Monday at the Conference, to further help prepare me for the exam. During the Test-Prep Course, I heard several comments about how the VMCE exam was “too hard” or how a lot of questions “weren’t fair”. Let me share my take on comments on tech certification exams as a whole – organizations who offer certification exams for their technology have the right to ask any question they want, and in any manner. That being said, it is also my belief that questions for tech certs should be asked in as “direct” a manner as possible, and not in a ’round-about’ kinda way. Questions should be long enough to share what information is needed to answer the question, but also, when appropriate, not be two paragraphs long with information irrelevant to the question. As far as the Test Prep Course, if you decide to take it, don’t go into it with the expectation the trainers will give you actual exam questions. What they will do is share a little bit how questions are decided upon, what kinds & types of questions are on the exam, and some *suggestions* how best to take the exam. I say “suggestions” because everyone is different. A test-taking process that works well for me, may not be the best for you, so take their suggestions with a grain of salt. For me, I’m not sure the Test-Prep Course was too beneficial. It certainly didn’t need to be a whole day offering. But I did get to know a couple trainers better, and I liked learning how some questions are decided upon, and about what information trainers have in front of them when folks try to dispute questions.
On Tuesday morning of the Conference, I signed up for my exam. I chose to take it just before lunch, giving me a little more time to cram study, yet not having to wait till the end of the day to take it.
As most of you may know, the exam has 50 questions, and you have 70 minutes to finish (90 minutes for non-English speaking, if I recall). A passing score is 70% or higher (85% for trainers). The questions are randomized, meaning if you do not pass the exam, the next time you take the exam you may or may not see some or all the questions again. In other words you may see all different questions on exam retakes. When I arrived at the testing location at the Conference, the same procedure is followed as with any official PearsonVue testing location – 2 forms of legal ID are required, and all items need to be stowed away, with only your ID allowed on your person during the exam (in case you need to briefly leave for whatever reason). Since it had been a little while (2yrs) since my last exam, I decided to take the test engine practice to re-familiarize myself with how the PearsonVue test engine works. It didn’t take me long to remember how to navigate through. Once I completed the practice, I accepted the NDA and was on to my exam. For me, I carefully read through every question, answering all of them, while flagging ones I wanted to review when I finished question 50. I think it took me about 35-40 minutes to finish my first pass through of all the questions. Afterwards, I decided to go ahead and review all the questions, instead of just the flagged ones, since I had time. After reviewing, and making only 1 or 2 question changes, I “finalized” my review and ended my exam. <fast breathing!> This is always the part where I’m the most nervous.. the 3-5 second wait for the “Congratulations, you PASSED” to be flashed on the screen, or the unwelcomed “…you FAILED…” message. Thankfully, I got the PASSED message. I ended up doing very well… an 84%! My overall experience in taking this exam was a good one. The exam is not too entirely difficult if you put the time in to study & practice, and is completely fair. I think older versions of the exam may have indeed been “unfair” or “too hard”, but I can’t do a comparison because this was my 1st ever VMCE exam. What I can say about this exam as compared to other vendors (e.g. VMware, Cisco), the questions were direct, easy-to-understand, and in my opinion indeed fair.
I’ve attached my Study Guide below for those looking into taking the exam for themselves. Feel free to share or blog about my Study Guide. It’s for the tech community! But please remember to reference the author if you do share it with others. And, if you notice any errors, please comment below & I’ll get them corrected as soon as I can.
All the best in your pursuit of Veeam VMCE! Cheers!