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7 AWS Certification Exam Tips From a Certified AWS Cloud Practitioner

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Being a new kid in an industry filled with many possibilities and technologies, I was always eager to learn new things. One particular thing I was always interested in was this platform called Amazon Web Services (AWS).

If you’re unfamiliar with it, AWS is a cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and packaged Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. This platform offers tools such as compute power, database storage, and content delivery services that allow you to quickly and easily create multiple standardized solutions.

My AWS Certification Journey

Knowing its importance as a market leader, I've always had a great desire to learn how AWS works, what services they provide, and what they include. On my first job, I was lucky to get to work on a project where I implemented solutions using AWS resources. This made me eager to look into certification opportunities, which I only found when I joined Appstellar.

Therefore, my AWS certification journey began when I started working as a Backend Developer here at Appstellar.

With Appstellar being an AWS partner and offering AWS solutions to clients, I knew I had to start working on strengthening my skills and deepening my knowledge of AWS. Lucky for me, as it happens, Appstellar has a Growth Program that offers many career advancement opportunities, one of them being getting certified by AWS. Hearing this was music to my ears!

After months of practicing on my own and with some help from my fellow stellars, I was finally ready to take my AWS exam and get certified.

AWS Certification Benefits

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In a fast-paced industry such as cloud software development, you as a developer need to stay up to date with the latest trends in the market. You need to find the best ways to design, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud; and trust me, having a few certifications under your belt makes this process a whole lot easier! And I don’t mean having those gold badges; I mean the knowledge you get from the trainings.

Aside from the knowledge, there are also some other benefits that come with the AWS certification.

1. Cloud computing is the future

Businesses that move to the cloud can scale and adapt quickly to market changes, resulting in reduced costs, greater business agility, accelerated innovation, and streamlined operations. This is why there is such great demand for cloud developers.

2. Greater hireable position:

Considering that AWS controls 33% of the cloud market, obtaining an AWS certification gives you a significant edge in putting yourself in a highly hireable position.

According to ACG's State of Cloud Report

  • 82% of hiring managers say cloud certifications make a candidate more attractive.
  • 87% of hiring managers value hands-on experience and certifications over a university degree when evaluating candidates.

3. Potential higher income

Certifications are a way for you to advance your career. The more advanced you are, the higher your salary will be. AWS Certifications can open many doors to top-paying jobs. In the 2021 IT Skills Salary Report, Global Knowledge found that AWS Certification is among the top 5 highest-paying certifications.

4. Access to AWS community

After getting certified by AWS you get access to the AWS Certified community. This is an amazing networking opportunity.

5. Exam discount

After getting your 1st AWS certification, you’ll get a 50% discount voucher on your next AWS certification.

6. An advantage for freelancers

If you’re a freelancer, having an AWS certification serves as an advantage and gives you the opportunity to acquire more online projects.

Where to Start?

As a market leader and provider, AWS offers 12 credentials that cover the basics and the advanced topics of its services.

In my opinion, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification is a great place to start if you're new to AWS. This certification proves that you have a basic understanding of AWS services to support cloud operations across various industries.

AWS Exam Tips

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Preparation is the key to passing the AWS exam. So before taking it, here are 7 tips I want you to know based on my experience of passing the test to become an AWS-certified Cloud Practitioner.

1. Get familiar with AWS fundamentals

If you have a general knowledge of how the web works and you’re thinking about getting an AWS certification, the first thing you need to do is to familiarize yourself with AWS as a platform, and get familiar with its services, features, and terms.

2. YouTube videos are your friend

What helped me a lot to prepare for the exam was watching YouTube videos. One of my favorite YouTube channels to learn from is Be A Better Dev. Their videos provide incredible insights into AWS.

The video _ Intro to AWS - The Most Important Services To Learn_, in particular, provides an incredible explanation of how AWS operates on the web and its core services, as well as why and what solutions they offer when used.

3. Take courses and practice exams

One of the best ways to prepare for the AWS exam is by taking courses and then taking practice exams to test your knowledge and understand how much you’ve learned.

Courses

The exciting part begins once you have a firm understanding of AWS! The course Ultimate AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner provides an outstanding AWS breakdown and is completely focused on preparing you for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam.

The best way to get the most out of this course is to practice everything you see on screen. Moreover, try to acquire the most information by testing different services and modifying them yourself outside of what is taught in the course. This allows you to understand what each service has to offer and how they operate.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s always better if you conduct additional research outside of what is provided in the course to fully understand each service. ** Practice exams*

After completing the study materials, I highly recommend taking practice exams and timing them to get a genuine sense of what the exam process will feel like under time pressure. I found practice exams super helpful because they gave me an insight into the exam structure.

To really ace your AWS certification exam, I urge you to take these 6 practice exams on Udemy. They’ll provide you with all the information you need before taking the test.

4. Read the AWS guidelines

The security process can take up to 30 minutes. Make sure you’ve carefully read the AWS exam guidelines provided in your email beforehand to avoid any issues while going through the checking process.

5. Have good lighting

I don’t want you to make the same mistake that I made, so I cannot stress this enough when I say that you need to have good lighting!

During the exam, everything will be checked through your laptop camera, that’s why lighting is so important. When I took the exam, the weather outside was dark and gloomy, so it was quite difficult for the camera to capture all the needed details for the check to be approved, so I had to repeat the process multiple times.

6. Have a strong Wi-Fi connection

Make sure you have a fast and stable connection, but also make sure to have a backup plan in case you’ll have a connection downtime or an electricity cut. Better safe than sorry!

7. Focus on what you know

Skip the questions you’re unsure about and fill out the ones you know. This allows you to finish all the questions you’re 100% sure of and gives you time to think about the ones you’re not confident in.Once you’re done answering the questions you know, you can go back and give the others that you’re unsure of and give them another try.

What Happens Next?

Once you submit the exam, you will be logged out of the platform and your results will be emailed to you within 5 business days. In my case, I got the results the next day.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification was a good starting point for me, but it definitely won’t be my ending point. As a part of the Growth Program that Appstellar offers, there are so many other AWS certifications I plan on getting. You can benefit from this program too, if you join our team. There is no easy way to pass the exam. The only way to do so is by practicing, practicing, and then practicing some more. Follow all the tips that I gave you in this article, and you’ll ace your AWS exam!

But remember that at the end of the day, knowledge is what matters most. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t pass the exam on your 1st try. Take some time to review and practice everything, and once you feel that you’re ready give it another try.

Good luck acing it!

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Meridian Asllani

Full-Stack/DevOps Developer

Meridian is passionate about what he does and always strives for self-improvement. He is an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and a HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate.

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