Passing the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam

Passing the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam
Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

There are many free resources available to help you pass the exam. Below are the ones I used to pass mine.

edX, edX is a massive open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. It has a bunch of free (especially if you don't care about the certificates of completion) courses you can follow on many topics.

I completed the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course, which gives you a great overview of the topics and a base level of knowledge to prepare for the exam. I did feel that some topics could benefit from a deeper explanation, but it is an essentials course so true to its name. Having said that, each chapter ends with a resources page for you to explore topics more deeply. If you follow those links and read the white papers, you will also get that additional insight.

One topic I felt wasn't covered too deeply in the edX course was ECS vs EKS vs Fargate, so I used the video below to provide me with more information.

Generally speaking, YouTube has a bunch of AWS Cloud Practitioner videos, but I tried to stick with more official sources this time around. It does help to hear the same topic covered from multiple different angles so augmenting the lessons with what you can find on YouTube for free isn't the worst idea I think.

Another resource I used was AWS Skill Builder. Skill Builder provides 500+ free digital courses, 25+ learning plans, and 19 Ramp-Up Guides to help you expand your knowledge and prep for AWS certification. They also have a dedicated AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam Prep course.

Definitely keep referring to the official exam guide to make sure you have covered all topics: https://d1.awsstatic.com/training-and-certification/docs-cloud-practitioner/AWS-Certified-Cloud-Practitioner_Exam-Guide.pdf

Next up was mock exams, just like learning a programming language when you have an actual project to work on helps validate and expand your knowledge by fixing and troubleshooting the issues you run into, doing mock exams does the same thing. You can verify your knowledge and use the mistakes you make as triggers to dig deeper on those areas.

I happen to have an O'Reilly Online Learning and Training subscription (not free) so I could use their Pearson Practice Tests.

Some of the questions are a bit iffy, but I found that running through the whole set of 258 questions a few times showed me where I needed to drill down a bit more.

Second mock exam resource I used was A Cloud Guru (also not free). They have six sets of 65 questions to help you test your current understanding of the topics before attempting the exam.

Since I had access to O'Reilly anyway I also did the mock tests in the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam Guide by Rajesh Daswani.

Now people learn best in different ways, and what works for me might not work for you. This also extends to the physical environment in which you study. I like to force myself to be in a situation without distractions. I have a relatively quiet home office, but it still provides some distractions. So I regularly go to the public library to focus purely on the task at hand. The background noise also helps with focus. I even use https://coffitivity.com/ at home when working to provide that background murmur.

You can take the exam remotely from the comfort of your own home but I opted to take it at a PearsonVue (Global Knowledge Mechelen in my case) exam center instead. Driving to the exam center put me in the right state of mind to sit the exam, and the center is really nice, cooled, and quite. Having other people around you taking exams also makes the whole thing more real imho.

This is a foundational exam, so not too hard to beat, but also not something you can pass without preparation (maybe if you are working with AWS on a regular basis you can). However, using the resources above should allow you to more comfortably sit and take the exam and come out with a passing score. Good luck!

Filip Verloy

Filip Verloy

Field CTO EMEA @ Rubrik Inc.
Belgium