Three months ago, I started researching Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) because I heard it is a powerful tool for any organization. I began my inquiry by watching official AWS videos, and I really enjoyed the material. After I had a good understanding of the AWS offering, I learned that AWS also provides certifications to demonstrate competence using its services.
The entry-level certification is the “Certified Cloud Practitioner,” and its next-level-up is the “Certified Solutions Architect – Associate.” While the former recommends six months of experience in AWS, and the latter recommends more than one year, I passed both exams within a few weeks on my first attempt.
I discovered online that many people struggle to pass the Solutions Architect Exam, even with years of experience, and as a result I thought I would share the training and study process that worked for me. This is a brief outline of how I earned my certifications:
1) I purchased a subscription to acloud.guru, which is a leader in cloud certification training. I then watched all the applicable videos each night for 3 weeks. I also followed their recommendation to practice building a Virtual Private Cloud (“VPC”) from memory;
2) I watched videos on YouTube via Andrew Brown on Free Code Academy;
3) I took 6 practice exams from Jon Borso. After I completed his exams, I retook them to see if I could answer each question in less than 1 minute;
4) I reviewed Jon Borso’s “cheat sheets” to study major aspects of each AWS service;
5) I read several FAQs from the AWS official literature on each service; and
6) I took an official AWS practice exam the night before the official exam.
I recommend that once someone can pass one of Jon Borso’s practice exams, he or she should sign up for the official exam within one week afterwards. During the week up to the exam, continue to retake Borso’s practice exams until you can score 90%+.
While this won’t guarantee a passing score, it should significantly increase your chances. I hope this helps anyone who is interested in AWS certification.