N.B. Correct as of 2021!
The AWS Cloud Practitioner is a foundational level exam that is important for an overview of AWS as a whole and arguably one of the most important exams you can take at the moment if you’re interested in a career in cloud engineering or devops. https://aws.amazon.com/certification
I studied for this exam over six months ago and then was sidetracked by taking the Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam that I had to complete at the Linux Foundation. I finally completed the Cloud Practitioner exam recently and thought I’d share my path to passing the certification.
Firstly, I took the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course. It is a six-hour course that prepares you to take the exam and obtain the certification. It might have changed since I took it but only in terms of keeping up with the change in delivery of skills training at AWS and to add new features. I really, really liked this course. Along with Google, I think they deliver some of the best training I’ve seen. Along with this training I also took the LinkedIn Learning course Prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam by Hiroko Nishimura. This was a really nice course and very well presented but was aimed at total beginners rather than people who are already working in IT. I also took Michael J. Shannon’s course on Percipio to prepare. His course was aimed a little better in my experience but I preferred the deliver style of Hiroko if I’m honest. Although if I’m honest I think the AWS course itself is still the best and contains more than enough information in order to pass the exam.
BUT! I also viewed example questions on YouTube (you know how to use YouTube don’t you?) and bought the Udemy course by Neal Davis AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner 500 Practice Exam Questions. This was fantastic. I only had time to complete about 4 of the mock tests but not only do you get to review your answers at the end, he has provided lots of cheat sheets and information about the answers to help you revise. I would say the exams provided were harder than the real thing but not by very much. You really do need to know a fair bit of detail about the services provided by AWS to answer the questions. Particularly, deploying different types of software or migrating to the cloud etc.
I took the exam with Pearson Vue having taken several exams at home before. I can truthfully say this was the best experience I have had. The mobile app was a bit funny about uploading the pictures of my workspace but that was all. I also had to borrow a family members laptop in order to take the exam as I don’t use Windows or MacOS. But the executable that Pearson Vue sent worked flawlessly and the instructions from Amazon also made sense to me. I checked in half and hour earlier and had my ID and work area ready to go. You have approximately 90 mins to complete the exam and it took me about 30 mins to finish. It is multiple choice unlike the practical LFCS or CKA exams and you can flag questions for review. I did this but I didn’t change anything in the end.
The only odd thing I found was that the exam tells you whether you have passed or failed after a brief survey. And then it just closes the software… That’s it. No email or anything. Nothing to say that they’re not viewing you anymore. No goodbye!
I received a digital Credly badge in an email the next day which was great because it put my mind at rest. I was checking the AWS account page for confirmation that I had passed and it almost looked as though the exam had never happened! Anyway, I still believe that this is a great exam to take if you’re looking to move into a career at a company that utilises cloud computing, which is basically every large business in the world at the moment. I chose this for work reasons. If you choose an exam make sure that it’s relevant to where your job is or might be i.e. Google or Azure are alternatives and have their own certifications available.