The process to prepare for an AWS certification is always the same, but yes, logically the content and difficulty of the exams will be different. And of course, there will always be nuances, but let’s keep an open mind.
More than one year ago, I wrote this other article in Spanish, about
How to pass any AWS certification. At this moment I had 5 AWS certifications and I had passed 6/6 AWS exams (1 renewal exam). There you will find much more information, but I want to have here in my blog the updated version with the most useful information.
Now, 22 of October of 2023, I have 2 more AWS certifications, and 8/8 in AWS exams.
These are just numbers, but
I know how to prepare the AWS certification exams, and if you are reading this article you probably want to know why I wrote something like this and why you should trust me.
This is the process I always follow to prepare any AWS certification:
1/10: Find the proper certification for you
The first step is choose your certification. Probably you already did it.
Access to the AWS certification website, and check all of them. You have to review:
- Level of the certification
- Area of the certification
Next step is access to the specific certification and read all the information included in the official page. It includes the exam guide to validate if this certification is suitable for you and whether pursuing it aligns with your goals.
2/10: Find your WHY: Motivation is the key
Do you truly want this specific certification? Do you need it?
If you don’t have a very good reason, you might find it challenging to stay committed.
3/10: Create a study plan
Set a target date for the exam and allocate study hours accordingly to create a structured plan. When creating your study plan, it is important to
be realistic about the amount of time you can commit to studying. Be sure to factor in other commitments, such as work, family, and social obligations.
It’s important to stick to this plan as much as possible. Don’t worry, if necessary, you can reschedule the exam for a later date, but it’s crucial to have a target date in mind.
4/10: Take the official AWS Exam Readiness course
This course provides an overview of the certification and highlights the key topics you should study.
You can do it either through on-demand digital training or by participating in a webinar.
Note that this course only provides a high-level understanding, so additional study is required. However, AWS explains the most important aspects of the certification, making it essential!
You should try to study everything included there.
5/10: Choose the main training course that will prepare you for the certification
It must be specific to your certification.
There are many options available, including official courses, online video courses, book courses/preparations (not available for all certifications), and in-person training.
In my last exam, I skipped this step because I wanted to experiment if I could prepare for one certification without any specific course. My conclusion is: if you have limited time and don’t want to invest a significant amount of time searching for various resources to cover all exam content, yes, the specific certification course is necessary. It is going to save to you a lot of time.
6/10: Practice using the AWS console to gain hands-on experience
Practice is the best way to learn and gain real experience.
Avoid relying solely on studying tests or theory—you must know how to use the theory in practice!
Yes, you can pass an AWS exam without the practice, but then, what is the point? You won’t know how to do anything, and you’ll likely forget everything…
7/10: Read the recommended whitepapers for your certification
AWS Whitepapers are in-depth technical documents that provide detailed information about specific AWS services.
These whitepapers may be extensive, but it’s crucial to read the ones recommended on the certification’s official page.
8/10: Read the recommended FAQs
The services listed in the FAQs section of the certification are the most important services for this certification selected by AWS. You should check it.
The AWS FAQs are a great resource for getting clarification on any topics that are confusing. The FAQs are also a good way to learn about common misconceptions about AWS services.
You will fill many gaps you might have.
Is this step required to prepare an AWS certification? No, but it is highly recommended.
9/10: Take your own notes (and study them)
Taking your own notes is a great way to retain information. Be sure to review your notes regularly, and add to them as you learn new things.
Another option is to find comprehensive summaries online, but be cautious not to rely solely on them and avoid taking shortcuts, though it may be tempting.
10/10: Practice with exam-style questions (tests)
Practice exams are a great way to get used to the format of the certification exam and the types of questions that are typically asked. Be sure to take practice exams under timed conditions to simulate the real exam experience.
You have a lot of options.
So, you’re thinking about getting AWS certified? Good for you! It’s a great way to boost your career and learn some cool stuff along the way.
Just remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Don’t just focus on passing the exam. Take the time to really understand the material and how it applies to the real world.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of resources available to help you prepare, from online forums to study groups.
With dedication and hard work, you’ll be a certified AWS professional in no time!