I’ve been meaning to post something regarding the VCAP-DCD beta since I took it last month, but time has eluded me!
I am a design architect as my day job, so this exam should be pretty complimentary to what I do. Going through the study material in the blueprint was an experience all by itself. I downloaded around 130 papers, probably over 5000 pages in total. I don’t believe there is any easy way to study for this exam if you are not already doing this role. From the experience of doing the exam, 95% of the questions I answered based on experience (or guessing), and 5% was thanks to studying before the exam. I have to say the VMworld 2010 material has been very useful, and the session by Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart helped me through at least 1 question!
If you want to transition into a design role, then the blueprint is essential reading to get you focused and get an idea of what you’ll be doing. I think a lot of people would benefit from the study material of this exam. A course that covers all the topics would be essential (the current Design Workshop course is not quite detailed enough).