Last year I wrote a blog post about my online proctored VMCE 2020 exam experience. Since I took the VMCE 2021 exam a few days ago I do not want to spare you an updated view on my experience associated with the exam. You can find the post about the 2020 exam right here.
Instead of hiding the new badge until the end of the post I am going to tease you with the nice VMCE 2021 Badge right from the start this time.
At this point a short disclaimer. I took the VMCE 2021 exam as part of the „VMCE Fast Track to v11“. This offer is (available til 31.12.2021) exclusively for people who already have the VMCE 9 certification or the VMCE 2020 certification. Alternatively, people who have attended a v10 training are also eligible.
The „Fast Track to v11“ is a self-study bundle including the following components:
- The latest Veeam Availability Suite v11 Configuration and Management (VASCM) courseware
- 13 days access to VASCM Labs for practicing and exam preparation
- VMCE 2021 Exam Specification Guide
- Access to the „Haslund Knowledge Check“
- Exam preparation videos
- VMCE Exam Voucher to take the exam at Pearson VUE
Using this option allowed me to upgrade my VMCE 2020 to the current version without attending the classroom/remote Veeam Availability Suite: Configuration and Management course.
After this short introduction right to the exam itself. To sum it all up: Same procedure as last year!
Part 1: Read the bluepirnt
Nothing changed so far. To make sure you study the right things for the exam, read the blueprint! Last year I was able to provide you with a link to the public accessible exam guide. This time I have not found a publicly available version of it. The VMCE 2021 study guide, as for now and as far as I know, is only available through Veeams Logical Operations portal. Therefore, anyone who has taken the prerequisite course or purchased the Fast Track should have access to the exam guide.
As a short summary I can say, and I think that much I can reveal at this point to those who do not have access to the Exam Guide yet, of course the new functionalities of v11 will be taken into account in the exam. So don’t forget to take a look at the „What’s new in v11?“ document during your preparations. Especially the topics backup to the cloud but also the topic object based recovery are very exciting.
Part 2: Learning and preparation for the exam
I took the same approach for VMCE 2021 as I did for VMCE 2020. Do some practice exams and focus your study on the modules or areas where you identified your weaknesses.
There are already some good sources of practice exams:
- The official VMCE 2021 Practice Test (link can be found in your Logical Operations portal)
- VMCE practice exam – Veeam Certified Engineer by Rasmus Haslund
- VMCE 2021 Practice Exam by Rhys Hammond
Due to some slight mismatches in my time management (e.g. the elephant in the room: Log4j) I was only able to take the official VMCE 2021 Practice Test this time. Having passed the exam in the meantime, I can only warmly recommend everyone to take the time and fight through the practice exam at least once. You will not regret it as part of your preparation.
Part 3: Registration for the exam
Really nothing special here. Exact same procedure as with the VMCE 2020 exam. Took the remote proctored road again. Having your Veeam Pearson VUE account and the exam voucher from the Fast Track bundle ready or a credit card ready and you are done in minutes.
Part 4: Take the exam
As far as I can remember, the procedure has not changed here either. However, this time, taking photos of the room and ID document worked without any problems with the iPhone’s rear camera. Therefore, I didn’t have to find a creative way to photograph my ID, but could simply place it on the table in front of me and photograph it.
After a brief room tour and a detailed view of my desk, the exam started right away. From here on, it was the usual look and feel of the GUI from the test centers and last year’s online proctored exam.
Part 5: The exam itself
As you might have guessed, the wheel was not reinvented here either. Classical multiple choice with 50 questions. Partly one answer is searched (radio buttons), partly several correct answers must be given (checkboxes). For questions with several correct answers the number of correct answers is indicated.
Again, I found that none of the questions was posed in such a way that it should mislead you and also the time you have for the exam is again sufficient.
One point that I would like to emphasize at this point is the fact that the questions are, in my eyes, closely oriented to practice and could have been asked almost one-to-one in any customer situation. I was not asked questions like „What is the second footnote on page 673 of the manual?“ which I appreciated.
It is always a relief after clicking the „End Exam“ button to be able to read the magic word „Pass“. I have to say that despite the short preparation and interim considerations to postpone the exam again, in the end I really enjoyed it. The Practice Exam is a great preparation, all resources from the Exam Guide are as always exemplary and the course material is also good. Unfortunately, and this is really a big regret, at this point in time there is no textbook in the course materials as I knew it from the 9.5 course. I never used it in my preparations for the old exam, but always found it to be a very good reference book that complemented the Help Center and Best Practice Guide.
After ending the year 2021 with the VMCE 2021 it might be nice to start the new year with the VMCA 2022? So let’s see what’s next. Stay tuned!