Studying for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam? Keep reading for what to expect as Janeice DelVecchio and I share our tips for passing the exam on the first try *and* making the best use of your time. Also see:
- Janeice & Jeanne’s AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Study Guide
- My exam day experiences
- How I studied
Official Study Guide/Outline
Amazon has two pages that describe the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam. While they are mostly the same, they link to different versions of the whitepapers they recommend you read!
The current exam page links to the 2018 versions of the whitepapers. (It also links to the study guide pdf that still references the older versions of the whitepapers.) The older exam page links to older whitepapers. The older one also includes a 2012 paper that they no longer recommend. We aren’t 100% sure, but we think Janeice got a question that was covered in the newer versions of the whitepaper and not the older one.
In any case, be sure to read the exam PDF that covers the format and what to expect.
Janeice & Jeanne’s Study Guide
If you only get one thing out of this post, I hope you download this PDF!
- Starting with this unofficial 34 minute video helped us tailor our study. If you prefer learning by reading, skimming our study guide serves the same purpose. If you prefer learning by video, this is a brief one!
Free practice exams
- Amazon offers 10 questions with the study guide. They represent the easier end of difficulty of questions on the actual exam.
- Whizlabs offers 20 questions free They also represent the easier end of the questions on the actual exam.
Optional: Whizlab mock exams
Janeice and I both like learning from mock exams. We both recommend Whizlabs ($15 for 3 practice exams) if you do as well. Whizlabs gives you information on the right/wrong answers and groups your score by category as well. It covers about 75% of the topics on the exam.
Personally, I find that actually exercising my brain to think about the material in a sample exam format helps me more than anything else. It also lets me use the questions as a sort of “flash cards.” Finally, as a mock exam author myself, thinking about questions this way, really gets me focused on the key points!
Other resources that we used (tried to incorporate into study guide where possible)
- AWS Cheat sheet – diagram and glossary
- Glossary of terms
- Extra reading on elastic load balancer and application load balancer
- Extra reading on auto scaling
- Extra reading on S3 vs EBS
- Extra reading on RDS Multi AZ vs Read Replica
- Extra reading on Trusted Advisor
- Extra reading on how to save money
- Extra reading on IAM
- Extra reading on compliance
- If you like learning from video, here’s a good one on the pillars of architecture
- If you want more text about the well architected framework
Other resources that exist (but we don’t recommend)
- Amazon offers a 30 minute online exam for $20. There’s only 20 questions, so that’s a lot of money per question!
- Udemy mock exams – I bought this for $10. (The price seems to range from $10-15 depending on the discount of the day.) At first, it seemed better than Whizlabs because there were twice as many exams. While the English isn’t great, that didn’t impede learning. The reason for not recommending it is that some of the questions were *way* out of scope for the exam. It’s one thing to ask harder questions to “toughen you up” for the exam. It’s another to distract you by asking about concepts you don’t need to know.
- ACloudGuru – This is a course with video and quizzes.
It’s $100. That’s what the exam costs. I think taking the exam and failing would be a better investment of $100 because at least you’d know what to study!It’s Scott recommends this site heavily. It’s also available for $29/month. There is a 7 day trial. I’d want to save that in case I ever want to take the associate exam though! While I haven’t used this site, it appears better for the associate level where it includes mock exams.