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Andy Baizon

My AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Journey

My experience taking the AWS CCP Certification Exam

This post was originally posted as a thread on Twitter, published via Typefully. It has been unrolled, formatted using markdown for posting on this site, and edited slighly to read better in this format.

I recently completed my AWS CCP. Here’s how I started, a few things I learned, and some tips to help anyone who wants to go down the same route.

Believe me, it’s worth it!

Homer Simpson Studying

I started my study for my AWS CCP with no prior experience with cloud technologies. I had recently gotten a job delivering cloud-based software, and wanted to start off on the right foot (note: the job I do doesn’t require this at all, but it gives me an edge)

I started with a cursory google of what to do, and what to expect, which helped:

A) Calm my nerves

B) Give me an idea where to start

Afterward, I went to Pluralsight, which has to be one of my favourite resources out there, and I’ve found works best for the way I learn. This Pluralsight Course* is amazing; not only is it easy to understand, comprehensive and informative, but it’s such easy watching. I consumed an hour or so a night for a couple weeks, and took detailed notes.

*I’m fortunate enough that my employer pays for a standard Pluralsight license, but I enjoyed the course enough that I would have paid personally.

My license doesn’t include labs, but I was able to work without them.

During my spare time I got to grips with some of the AWS services, and have spun up a few projects of my own, but I also worked through some of the community’s projects too! This is a great one by @victoriadotdev.

In terms of actual study material (after I’d finished the course), I went with:

  • Quizlet question packs
  • Udemy question packs & practice exams
  • Pluralsight practice exam questions
  • My notes from the Pluralsight course

Don’t underestimate the power of question banks!

Ultimately, you have to do your exam sometime. To force my hand and ensure I study, I booked my exam for just over a months time. I opted for the Pearson Vue online exam (which has super strict terms, you can’t even have a glass of water on your desk but w/e) with a 100min length.

The setup for the exam is fairly straightforward, you have a locked browser session, screen, webcam & mic recording. You’ll need two forms of ID, and you must take photos to prove your environment is clear - you can only have one monitor too. Make sure it’s quiet, if there’s anyone talking in the background, it’s an instant fail.

✨Exam time!✨

Let’s talk about the exam itself. It’s multiple choice, 65 questions total. You can knock out a practice exam in about 12-20 mins at a decent pace. Should you do this in the real exam? probably not. Did I? you betcha.

It’s fairly intense in the moment, but if you keep calm and collected, you’ll do fine.

My biggest piece of advice is to read every question thoroughly, make sure you PICK TWO if applicable, and flag anything you’re not sure about. You’ll be able to review your flagged questions.

Once you’ve reviewed your flagged questions, and you choose to end the exam, it ends. No fanfare, nonothing, the app quits. Super disconcerting.

For newer CCP exams, your results are available on the certification portal 24 hours after your exam ends. I got an email later too

If you pass, celebrate! Put your badge everwhere! Revel in your new-found certified-ness and plan for the next exam

Celebration Gif

And that’s it. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Finished Gif