After months of prepartion, I felt that I was ready to take this certification exam, which I did this past Friday. Without revealing any of the questions presented to me during the exam, I wanted to share my observations with the rest of the potential test takers. Here goes:
The exam was administered in an open room
I was given a plastic sheet and a dry erase marker which I could use during the exam to help solve problems
Consistent with what I've read on various forums (this one included), the exam IS much harder than the practice exams
Having said that, the practice exam is still worth taking, although the presentation format WRT the Map Reduce programming scenarios differs slightly, and that caused me some issues (and probably points)
Regardless, I enjoyed finally testing my knowledge against Cloudera's expected knowledge of someone at this level
The exam was fair, with the exception of one or two theoretical (or less than practical, from my viewpoint) questions. There was a good balance of questions from all areas of Hadoop, and the difficulty level was nicely distributed (like a good partitioner!)
I had no problem with the functioning of the exam software
Earplugs were provided, in the event surrounding noise became a problem (in my case, it didn't)
Overall, as far as taking tests go, it was a highly enjoyable experience, and I'm glad I did it.
Unfortunately, I missed passing by 1 point: I got 69% and the minimum is 70%. However, since I have only book knowledge and not real-world experience (which is a necessary prerequisite for the course), I am pleased with the outcome nonetheless. I do not plan on re-taking the exam, since I am bit burnt out from reading several books recommended for the exam and doubt I would do better, since lots of the exam was material not covered in any of the books I read.