My Cloud Certification announcement is a viral post as far I am concerned. I haven't seen such a response on any of my posts or shares. There were two paths in which the discussion went on and continues to go on while I am writing this Blog.
One : "Is learning important?" ,
I believe learning is a life long journey and it makes you feel younger. You need to pursue excellence and success follows. Certification is just a proof of concept. Real test is how you implement your knowledge in the real world.
Two : "Great, you are certified now. Can you share how can I get certified?".
I tried different versions to answer this. As we are speaking about the exam, it might be easy to write it as Q&A.
Here we go.
Q1. How did you manage to study for the exam?
A: Every one in this world gets 24 hours a day. Nobody gets less or more. You and me are no different. You need to plan your time and stick to the plan.
Coming to the preparation of AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam, you might need at least 200 hours of study time and 600 hours of lab at the minimum. This might take any where between 2 months to 4 months, depending upon how well you manage your time.
Q2. What did you refer to prepare for the exam?
I studied AWS courses. Purchased monthly subscription of A Cloud Guru. Tested trial versions of Linux Academy and Cloud Academy courses on "AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate".
AWS courses, A Cloud Guru training material and Beta exam were the best of all.
AWS Training courses are must study. Whichever the training program you like to take, you must recheck the AWS whitepapers and FAQ. I took AWS Well-Architected Training and AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials courses from AWS
A Cloud Guru training material is one of it's kind. It is like one of your friend, who is subject matter expert in AWS cloud, is sitting next to you and explaining you. He (Ryan Kroonenburg) tells you a topic and shows the concept directly on AWS with few clicks. It is a sort of on job knowledge transfer than a learning program.
Q3. Do have any tips for exam?
Most important tips :
1.Do more labs.
Do not just rely on theory. With theory alone, it is difficult to remember the concepts. When the question comes on the exam, you will be confused, if you haven't practiced well on AWS cloud. It is important to practice a lot.
2. Do not rely on your practice exam scores.
Even though I like A Cloud Guru beta version more, practice exams on Linux Academy and Cloud Academy are more or less similar. You have to consider these exams to improve your thinking and to give an understanding of how the exam look like. They are important to build your confidence on the subject. Please be mindful that you have scored 95% in the practice exam does not indicate any similar score on real exam.
I repeat my first tip again. Do more labs to absorb the context and concept.That helps.
3. Complete your studies the day before exam, have a sound sleep and attend exam in the morning.
AWS exam tests your architectural thinking. You can't think properly, if you don't sleep well before the exam. Complete your study the day before exam, eat good food, sleep well and write the exam in the first slot of the day.
Any doubts in the above three, do a reschedule. Questions are already confusing, do not give your mind more trouble. Have less stress, you will be able to clearly think on the exam day.
4. Read AWS Whitepapers and FAQ
No matter whichever the course you have taken, it is important to revisit the AWS white papers and FAQ pages before the exam. Those are the mandatory concepts you must understand and practice on the AWS console.
5. On the exam day, manage time effectively.
Time management is very important in this exam.
Quickly answer the questions where you have direct answer and move on.
When you are in doubt, go by elimination of wrong answers and mark it for review.
When you do not know the answer completely, pick one randomly, mark it for review.
Once you completed all the answers, review questions and spend time on the questions with doubt first followed by the questions where you do not know the answers.
You can follow this method while you are practicing as well. However there is a significant difference in practice exams and AWS exam.
Hope this helps! Keep Learning and Stay Young !
(Note: My original article was published on Linkedin)