how to register for an exam using an oracle exam voucher

Up until August 2022, everyone used PearsonVUE to register for the exam. Now, you sign up for an exam differently if you are taking it in English. If you are taking it another language (ex: Chinese or Japanese), you still pay thru PearsonVUE (see blog post on sign up process.)

Don’t worry. The exam is still administered through PearsonVUE.

For English exam takers, buy your voucher

  1. Go to the page to buy an exam (ensure you plan to take the exam within 6 months; vouchers expire)
  2. Scroll down to the box for “Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Technology Exams”. Click “view details” to confirm your exam is still in the list
  3. Click “Add to cart”. It shows up as “Oracle Technology Exam Subscription” (it’s not a subscription though. You still get one attempt
  4. Sign in/pay

Sign up

Next you receive an email with a link to activate.

I’ve already taken the exam so don’t know how one registers for the exam through PearsonVUE after paying. If anyone does, let me know and I’ll add that to the blog post!

How I recommend studying for the Terraform Associate exam

Related pages:

First of all, the exam is $70 and change. This means there is no need to spend much (or any) money studying or to overstudy. You can always take it again without laying out a lot of money if needed.

There are a number of ways to study depending on your preferences and what you have access to. Regardless of what you choose, read the official exam page so you know what to expect.

Option 1: Resources from HashiCorp

HashiCorp has web pages references that they say are useful for the exam.

All three are fine for learning. Just be aware they have a lot of info you don’t need to know. I recommend using another resource for review the day before even if you use this initial.

Option 2: If you have access to ACloudGuru

There is an ACloudGuru course online. It is about 8 hours of content including labs/quizzes. I didn’t try it because i was studying mainly offline. However, I did use them for the AWS cert. The material was good/consistent enough that I feel comfortable recommending site unseen. There’s a free one month trial if you aren’t a customer.

Option 3: Whizlabs/IPSpecialists

There are 25 questions online for free. This is a subset of what is in the book. The quality/lack of consistency is representative of the book. You can see if that bothers you before spending any money.

Option 4: Medium blog post

The title of this medium post says this is 250 practice questions. It is in the sense that there are question marks. Not in the sense of practice questions. What it does do well is serve as an awesome review of what you need to know for the exam.

Option 5: My study notes

Like option 4, this is a good way to review.

How I studied for the Terraform Associate Exam

Related pages:

I passed with a score of 75%. (70% is passing.) I didn’t review all my answers because I was starting to feel dizzy. I might have gotten one or two questions right had I finished review. But passing is passing, so I’ll call it a win.

Also see my experience taking the exam online.

My overall exam impressions

Putting aside the discomfort with taking the exam from home, I think it is a good exam. There’s a lot of testing of concepts/understanding and not a lot of memorization. For example, there was no need to memorize the command line options for each command; something I wasted time on. There were a number of questions about the best way to do something in a scenario. Most of the questions were pick one of four. A few were pick 2 or 3. Some were true/false. And two were typing in the answer. Both were things that one could reasonably be expected to know.

Studying for this exam definitely got me to understand Terraform and I have confidence next time I write/edit/review scripts, I’ll know what I’m doing. Another nice thing about cert exams is questions that I’m unsure of (and I can remember) I look up the answer to and remember for a long time. I still remember something I got wrong on the Jenkins exam and I took that 6 years ago! I do know what I got wrong on 2.0 and 7.0 so that was effective.

Status: Pass 

Overall Score: 75% 

Breakdown by content area: 

1.0  Understand infrastructure as code (IaC) concepts: 100%
2.0  Understand Terraform’s purpose (vs other IaC): 50%
3.0  Understand Terraform basics: 71%
4.0  Use the Terraform CLI (outside of core workflow): 66%
5.0  Interact with Terraform modules: 83%
6.0  Navigate Terraform workflow: 83%
7.0  Implement and maintain state: 50%
8.0  Read, generate, and modify configuration: 81%
9.0  Understand Terraform Cloud and Enterprise capabilities: 100%

My score report

My experience with Terraform before starting studying

I reviewed a Terraform script for one of our systems and “paired” with a teammate on parts of another one. Both of them happened during the “mandatory full time work from home” for over a year experience. My brain wasn’t in great shape for a lot of that period so it didn’t click. My goal of taking this cert was to understand the principles and re-learn everything.

Offline studying

My ideal was to do as much of the studying as I could offline on the subway on a plane. (I had two round trip flights in the last two months.) This meant books were ideal.I had read Terraform in Action earlier in the year so re-read the relevant parts.

IPSpecialist has two $10 books – the study guide and 150 extra practice questions. Both were listed as 2022 (which is important because the exam changed recently.) The books had a ton of errors and looked like they were written by committee. But they were cheap and let me study a lot offline so I’ll call them worth it. (I also hadn’t realized IPSpecialist and Whizlabs were the same company.)

Online studying

I did the 6 official practice questions. (got 5/6 day of the exam, but that was the second time I’d seen the questions). I also skimmed the official review docs the day of the exam.

Running Terraform

Other than watching my teammate run Terraform, I have no hands on experience. (That will change soon.) I took the exam without ever directly running Terraform.