Back in April 2019, I started studying for my AWS certifications, but I never went through with it. I had purchased study materials, and only had a couple of chapters to finish but, I got caught up with other things, and next thing you know - 2 years had gone by! The thing people say where you have to set a date, and commit to it by purchasing the exam? I highly recommend it.
So I picked up where I left off in April of this year, purchased some practice exams and finished the course. Fortunately I had taken notes, so going over them was a great refresher. I did all the practice exams, and while I didn't do great in them, the exams had really good in depth explanations. I took the practice exams again and scored higher than 90% on them, which really boosted my confidence. I felt ready to take the real exam.
For the examination I went with Pearson VUE, and did it online. They seemed to have more available, immediate dates for this exam. The experience felt very smooth, although I was pretty nervous since this was my first one. I finished it with a lot of extra time to go over the answers I flagged for review, and then I finally submitted it. After a couple of more questions regarding the exam accommodations, the screen said I had passed the exam.
After this, I prepared for another certification, and passed it. Then another, and another, until I achieved the 11 available certifications on August 31st.
For most of these certifications, I took the online courses by Stephane Maarek that can be found in Udemy. For the practice exams, I purchased the ones provided by Jon Bonso. Besides these awesome resources, these are some things that really helped me:
The questions can be tricky and sometimes a small detail changes the whole scenario. IE: Did the question mention real time or near real time? If it is near real time, the answer might involve using Kinesis Firehose and not Streams.
When in doubt I start ruling out answers, and read over the best contenders and the question again.
It felt a bit silly doing this, because technically you already did the practice exam, and went over the in depth answers. I definitely tripped over the same stone twice, and it helped me go over the areas I was weakest in.
Some questions felt really complicated, I thought the best approach would be to flag it and do it at the end. That way you don't spend too much time on a question. Remember that's just one question and you have a limited amount of time to answer all of them.
I spent a lot of my free time studying for these, and at work we had a study group that also kept my motivation.
The exams can be pricey, so that 50% discount goes a long way.
The certifications exposed me to a lot of services and solutions I wasn't aware of, so I'm really glad I ended up taking them. I could apply the knowledge on my job, and on personal projects too. I left the specialty certifications for last, and at that point I was only going to take a couple of them, but I took all of them because I felt like being a completionist.
If you have any questions regarding any specific exam, please reach out and I'll be happy to chat.