Today I’m going to share my experience in preparing for the AWS Certified Cloud Developer Associate Exam. At Indellient, there was this amazing opportunity where a new AWS Study group was just starting out and I always wanted to know more about AWS, so I joined it.
Table of Contents
- Tip 1: Use Study Groups to remain Accountable
- Tip 2: Try a Change of Scenery
- Tip 3: Some things Need to be Memorized
- Tip 4: Reschedule if you Aren’t Ready
- Tip 5: ESL Students are Eligible for Extra Testing Time
Preparing for AWS Certification
AWS Certifications of Associate & Professional levels can be a little intimidating as they cover a lot of topics (like seriously – a lot). I’ll be completely honest: it took me about 7-8 months of part-time study ranging from 0-10 hours of study per week. I used Stephan Maarek’s Udemy course and the practice exams for the preparation. The study group at Indellient organized lectures by weeks which was helpful to guide us through 32+ hours of video lectures. Going through a comprehensive course and half a dozen practice exams should be enough to prepare for the exam.
Tip #1: Have a Study Group to Hold Yourself Accountable
If we talk about challenges, the major one was staying consistent in my studies. Fortunately, my manager mentioned that an AWS Study Group was about to start, so I joined it. There were about 7 people in it in the beginning and the details were well planned, such as which lessons to complete and a Slack channel to discuss any ideas or questions.
With full-time work, taking out time to study can be a little tiring. Members of the study group kept pushing each other by meeting bi-weekly and discussing any interesting topics or project experiences they had using the AWS Services Section they completed. To be honest, on a regular basis around 2-4 people would meet from the group and that was enough to keep the momentum going forward.
Tip #2: Try a Change of Scenery when Studying to Get in the Zone
Working and studying at home didn’t really work for me, so I used to go to a nearby Tim Hortons to study while sipping a Double-Double.
Tip #3: Some Things Just Need to be Memorized
Another challenge was memorizing pure numerical details about AWS services such as the difference in IOPS for io1 vs io2 storage drives. My favourite one was error codes for an application load balancer. Taking notes helped me walk through the details that needed memorization most. The notes helped me to understand the concept, mainly because of the effort invested in taking notes by hand. Self-testing after completing a lecture, which involved going through the chapter quiz and FAQs, gave a boost to the overall understanding of the concepts. The latter helped me retain a lot of minute details about various AWS Services and their nuances.
Tip #4: It’s Ok to Reschedule if You’re Not Ready
There’s this interesting thing I did to trick my mind. I booked the exam in Dec 2021 to push myself through the remaining content, and guess what – two days before the exam I knew I wasn’t prepared and was 100% going to fail. I rescheduled the exam for Jan 2022. This time I had to prepare it well, those 30 days were the most productive because of a self-created deadline that was missed. It worked!! I passed the AWS Certification, the first one in my study group. Could I have done better? Hmm, most probably, maybe next time 🙂
Tip #5: ESL? Ask for More Time on Your Exam
If you’re not a native English speaker, then you can get 30 minutes of extra time on the AWS exam. More details are available here: https://aws.amazon.com/certification/policies/before-testing/#Requesting_Accommodations
I hope this helps you prepare for your next Exam. If you have any questions or just want to discuss any creative ideas, then feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’m very lucky to have a supportive study group at Indellient and can’t wait to achieve my next certification!