In this article, I am going to discuss the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. Cloud Computing is one of the most fast-moving technologies in today’s world. With the rising demand for cloud computing platforms, more and more companies have already started using the cloud or are in the process of moving their infrastructure to the cloud. When the question of cloud vendors comes in, AWS is mostly preferred by major companies, also Azure is on the second list after AWS. With this demand, companies also continuously look for talented individuals who can help them lift and shift their infrastructure all already advise them with their existing cloud infrastructure.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a certification exam offered by Amazon which certifies that the professional is introduced to the basic concepts and services of AWS. This is an entry-level exam for those who want to start or demonstrate their existing knowledge in AWS. I have personally applied for this exam which I passed successfully with a score of 892 out of 1000 and in this article, I will talk more about the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam and the preparation modules that I went through in order to pass the exam.
Figure 1 – Passed the AWS CCPExam
How to prepare for the exam
Although this exam is one of the easiest exams for certifications in AWS, it is always a good idea to prepare yourself before appearing for the exam. There are a couple of courses and materials available online, both free and paid. There are also multiple materials and whitepapers available from AWS which are quite helpful for the preparation. The basic concepts that are being tested in this exam are as follows.
- The AWS Cloud value proposition
- Important services provided by AWS and common use cases
- Basic security and compliance on the cloud platform
- AWS Pricing Models
You can read more about the certification from the official guide. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification will cost you around 100 USD + 8 USD (Tax) and it can be appeared from a testing center or remotely from work or home. Considering the present scenario, I have taken the exam online from my home. There are two agencies that help in taking the exams remotely. You just have to have a piece of software installed on your machine with good network connectivity.
Totally, there are 65 multiple choice questions of which 70% needs to be correct in order to successfully pass the exam which means you need to correctly answer at least 46 questions to pass. From my experience, I can say that if you have worked with AWS or any other cloud, you should be able to achieve a good score easily with some preparation. You will also have 100 minutes to complete the exam, which I think is sufficient to complete.
Resources and materials to prepare
As you can see in the figure below, there are a couple of certifications offered by AWS, the AWS Cloud Practitioner is one of the fundamental ones. So, in order to prepare for that, you don’t need to have much hands-on experience with the services.
Figure 2 – AWS Certifications (Source)
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Official Guide – As already mentioned, you must review this document properly before even starting to prepare for the exam. It provides an overview of the domains and the types of questions that you can expect in the examination
- AWS Well-Architected – This is one of the most important topics that you should definitely pay attention to. Although the concept is quite easy to understand, the questions are often tricky and you might end up answering incorrectly. There are five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework which explains all the best practices that you should follow while designing applications in the cloud
- AWS Shared responsibility Model – This is mostly focused on the responsibilities that are shared by AWS and the customer. Mostly these focus on the security best practices that should be observed and who is responsible for maintaining that
- AWS Support Plans – When you use AWS, you usually start with the free tier where you do not pay anything apart from the services that you have used. However, if you need some support from AWS, there are several plans like Developer, Business and Enterprise that offers various levels of support
- Free Sample Questions – AWS also offers a few sample questions to get started. You are advised to view these, although these questions are quite simple
In addition to these, you are also advised to go through a few of the official whitepapers from AWS. However, these whitepapers are extremely lengthy and I did not read these with much attention. You can also read the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner e-book but again, it is too much detailed.
A few more topics where I felt most of the questions were focused were as follows:
- Basics and fundamentals of cloud computing with AWS, the access control IAM, S3 buckets, EC2 instances, and its pricing models, Autoscaling of EC2
- Database services offered by AWS, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Aurora. Non-relational databases like DynamoDB and Redis
- Network related services such as Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Virtual Private Networks, NAT, Internet Gateway, Transit Gateway
- Services related to monitoring and auditing such as CloudTrail, CloudWatch
- Best practices related to AWS Security and Compliance
- Concepts of Availability Zones, Regions, Edge Locations and how each of the services is related to these concepts
- Services which are free and paid services
- AWS Serverless services like Lambda
How to schedule the exam
You can schedule the exam by navigating to https://www.aws.training/ and create a new account. You will then be navigated to the Certmetrics that manage the certifications for AWS.
Figure 3 – Certmetrics for AWS Certification
Once you are in the portal, you can click on Schedule New Exam and follow the steps to schedule your exam using an agent. I have selected to proceed with OnVue and they need us to install a special software using which you will be taking the test. It is highly recommended to download the software and test it using if all works fine on your machine prior to taking the exam. Your microphone and web camera must be working fine as you will be monitored by a proctor online during your exam duration.
Another important piece of advice is to clear and prepare your desk the night before the exam. This is will you keep ahead of the mess and start early as possible. During your exam, I was asked to show the surroundings of my desk a couple of times to verify that there were no means of malpractice.
In this article, I have explained in detail the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner examination and how to prepare for it. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam is an entry-level exam for professionals who want to enter the AWS cloud computing market by demonstrating their knowledge related to the various services and information related to billing for the services.
Once you are done with AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, the next steps are to prepare for the Associate Level certifications. AWS offers two paths for this lever, you can either choose the AWS Certified Developer Associate or the AWS Certified Solutions Architect. Once you pass the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam successfully, as a benefit you get a coupon code that will offer you a 50% discount on your next AWS Certification exam or even recertification of the same exam. Also, you will get a free practice exam voucher for your next exam. I wish you good luck with your upcoming exam.