For sake of self achievement, I planned to get RHCA for some time since 2011 and hopefully this could be done before end of 2013, if everything go smooth.
Last sunday, I just finished EX436 which is my 2nd RHCA exam out of a series of 5. The score was 268 out of 300 which is pretty good enough for me. The major focus of EX436 is clustering and storage management which is an area that I have some experience on but would definitely love to improve. The exam itself is pretty interesting, challenging and fun. Like other famous RHCA blogger out there, I have the comment that the exam is not really tough given that you are well prepared with the topics.
For those that would like to take this exam, no doubt the best bet would certainly be joining the training class provided by Redhat :-) . But for those that want to save some bucks, you gotta work on your own and a good start would be to revisit the Course Outline here (link). For me, I basically stick with the official Redhat guide of clustering, GFS/GFS2, Multipath, Fencing, LVM and CLVM(all can be found here) and keep practice on my own lab. And, base on latest outline, you may also want to check with XFS and Gluster ( I am not sure how can you find resources from redhat site though). For me, I didn't practise XFS and Gluster in my own lab as I was sticking with previous Course Outline which didn't include XFS and Gluster at all (!!!). So it is a big surprise when I saw those questions in the exam. However, due to my job duties, I did have few exposure on them and luckily those exposure helped me to survive in the exam.
People may interest to know the distro or exact version in question, but due to N.D.A agreement I can't say which version it is here :-) . What I would say is , clustering, GFS/GFS2 don't have a major different on RHEL5/6, at least from exam perspective. For me, my lab was based on RHEL 5 and i didn't subscribe to any Redhat subscription service (I copied all rpm based off the ISO and create my own repository tree as well as yum repository configuration files to allow the lab machine to fetch the required packages).
My another advise is to stay calm during the exam. During my exam, I was stucked on a particular task and was going a bit nervous, this lead me mistakenly reboot my host (!!) at the middle of the exam. For those that already took RHCSA/RHCE exam, you may know that your exam system is on a VM that sit on a physical machines dedicated to you. So in my situation I was rebooting my host that caused all my VM suspended and then at that point I didn't know what could happen. You know, the worse case would be a re-image of all exam VM and I have to rebuild everything in the remaining 2 hours out of 4 hours exam duration. Luckily all my VMs are still there after the host reboot and the only impact was a 15 minutes downtime on my exam environment (million thanks to the examiner who helped recovering my environment though).
The upcoming exam for me would be
EX442 Red Hat Enterprise System Monitoring and Performance Tuning Expertise Exam
EX333 Red Hat Enterprise Security: Network Services Expertise Exam
EX401 Red Hat Enterprise Deployment and Systems Management Expertise Exam
Hopefully I would be taking EX442 on Sept if everything go smooth. EX442 was well known among RHCA-er for its complexity so I would look forward to give a try on it.