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Interested in taking the AWS Cloud Practioner Certification exams soon? Here are some tips to enable you to prepare for and pass the exams. They are based on my personal experience from successfully taking the exam this month.
What is AWS Cloud Practioner Certification? Who should take the exams? Why is it relevant?
The Cloud Practioner Certification is a great first step in learning about Amazon Web Services (AWS) and cloud computing generally. It is the first exam in a number of certifications provided by AWS to become an expert in building and deploying applications on the AWS cloud.
As a beginner developer, the certification is a great way to tell potential employers that you understand cloud technologies. By studying for the exams, you get to learn about different AWS services that may be used to deploy apps over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing and the ability to scale up or down quickly to meet up with demand from the users. The exam is not only for techies. Non-technical roles within the tech sector (sales, marketing, operations, product managers etc) may also take the exams to gain fundamental knowledge of app deployment on the cloud.
Preparing for the exams
1. Read about the certification
Reading about the exams enables you to understand the benefits of the certification and the structure of the exam. On the AWS resource page for the certification, focus on reviewing the exam guide, languages offered, exam delivery methods, and exam pricing. The exam guide details the AWS topics that will be included in the exam and the learning objectives for each of these topics.
2. Schedule the exam in time
Registration for the exam can be carried out on the AWS training and certification page. It is important that you give yourself sufficient time to prepare for the exam before your exam date. I recommend about 3 weeks of intensive studying for beginner developers or individuals without previous AWS cloud experience.
3. Register for AWS FREE digital course
AWS provides a free digital course to train you for the cloud practitioner exam. It is really good actually. It focuses on the main topics that are covered in the exam and explains the main benefits of commonly used AWS services for computing, networking, storage, databases, security etc. The course duration is 6 hours but no pressure if it takes you longer to complete. The learning content is quite a lot and contains a lot of new knowledge for you. I recommend about 1 week to complete this course. Ensure that you complete this course before taking the exam.
4. Attend AWS virtual live classrooms
If you are a part of the AWS Partners Network, you have access to a number of virtual live classrooms specifically for training on this certification in real time. They are really great because the training instructors adopt a handheld approach to delivering the training. All of your questions on all the exam topics will be answered. You can register for a 1-day training (up to 6 hours long. It can be quite exhausting) or a series of training in 3 parts (about 2 hours per session part across 3 days).
5. Practise taking the exam questions
Apart from studying content for the exam, you should also practice taking exam questions to familiarise yourself with how the exam questions are structured. I recommend purchasing an AWS cloud practitioner practice Exam course from Digital Cloud Training. This gives you access to a question bank of about 700 questions that are very similar to the type of questions asked in the real exam. The answers and explanations to the questions are provided as well. You are ready for the AWS Cloud practitioner certification exams if you can consistently score above 80% in these practice exams. AWS provides about 20 FREE practice exam questions as well.
6. Summarise your learning using notes
As you go through learning content while preparing for the exam, make a summary of the important lessons learned from each of the exam topics. Since this certification tests your knowledge and understanding of the benefits of the AWS cloud, how it operates with respect to availability, security, costs and reporting, and commonly used Amazon cloud services, being able to describe these in simple terms using specific keywords is extremely crucial.
7. Useful exam preparation resources
Here are some PDF resources that may be useful to your preparation
During the exams
8. Read all of the instructions very carefully
Do not assume anything. Ensure that you read all of the exam rules in order to avoid being disqualified from the exam. The exam can be taken remotely or in person depending on your location. If you are taking the exam in person, please visit the exam centre in time to carry out on-site registration procedures. If you are taking the exam remotely ensure that you have steady internet and power supply throughout the exam duration. Also, ensure that your personal computer is compatible with the online exam software.
9. Take your time to read the questions
The exam duration is 90 minutes. The questions are in multiple-choice and true or false format. The exam questions might be worded to throw you off guard. Read through each question and all of the answer options carefully. For each of the answer options, ensure that you are able to clearly state why it may or may not be the correct answer. Ensure that you have enough time to go over all of the questions at least twice before the exam duration is complete.
Immediately, after you submit the exam, you will be informed if you have passed or failed. Your exact exam score will be emailed to you a few days after the exam.
Following through with all of these tips got me a score of 869/1000 in the exams. The pass mark for this certification is 700. I spent about 1 - 2 hours during weekdays for about 3 weeks preparing for the exams. I did not have a lot of previous experience with software development with AWS but I was quite knowledgeable about the concept of cloud computing already. Of course, I understand that different realities for studying availability and learning speeds may influence the time committment required by individuals to be successful on the exam. But I hope this gives you an estimate for an ideal time required to prepare for the exam.
I hope this blog post is helpful in your AWS Cloud Practioner exam preparation. Please leave a comment, emoji or share if yes. Good luck with your exams. Let me know how it goes.
Cheers! 🎊 🍻 🎊 🍻 🎊 🍻