Are you preparing to take the AWS Associate Developer exam? In this article, I will share with you my personal journey and provide valuable tips and resources to help you pass the exam with confidence. From booking the exam to studying effectively, I will cover the key steps that contributed to my success.

To begin, it's essential to set a target date for your exam. By having a deadline in mind, you create a sense of urgency and motivation. I recommend booking the exam in advance to secure your spot and commit to a specific timeline.

When it comes to choosing study materials, there are various options available. Membership platforms like A Cloud Guru and Cloud Academy offer comprehensive courses, while independent creators like Adrian Cantrell, Stefan Maierhofer, and Andrew Brown provide valuable resources. Personally, I opted for Andrew Brown's course on ExamPro due to his active involvement in the AWS community and the quality of his content.

During my preparation, I dedicated two to three hours each workday, totaling approximately 20 to 30 hours of studying over three and a half weeks. I found it effective to have the course content on one side of my monitor and my exam notes on the other. By organizing my notes by AWS service and including links to relevant documentation, I could easily access the information I needed.

Speaking of documentation, don't underestimate its power in your preparation. AWS provides comprehensive documentation that is frequently updated. Make sure to utilize it during your revision process. Forest Brazeal, the creator of the Cloud Resume Challenge, emphasizes the importance of reading the docs in his article "The Career-Changing Habit of Reading the Docs." I highly recommend checking it out for further insights.

Keeping track of the remaining days until the exam and regularly reviewing the exam guide are beneficial practices. AWS offers a hidden gem of documentation in the certification prep page. It provides a summary, exam guide, white papers, FAQs, and other valuable resources specific to your exam. Make sure to bookmark this page and explore its contents thoroughly.

Additionally, creating a list of practical exercises to reinforce your learning is an effective strategy. Set aside separate sessions to tackle these exercises and put your knowledge into practice.

While the journey to passing the AWS Associate Developer exam may seem challenging, with proper planning, dedication, and the right resources, you can succeed. Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of this series, where I will share more insights and advice to help you excel in your certification journey.

Keep pushing forward, and remember that preparation and perseverance are the keys to success.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our series on passing AWS certifications.

Exploring Exam Preparation Tools and Strategies

In my journey to passing the AWS Associate Developer exam, I discovered various tools and strategies that proved helpful in my preparation. In this article, I will share with you some of these valuable resources and approaches to enhance your exam readiness.

One tool that greatly facilitated my hands-on experimentation and practice was the A Cloud Guru Playground. As part of their top-tier membership, the playground offers a convenient environment for manual experimentation and exploration. It lasts for a limited time, typically around four to six hours, after which all resources and services are automatically removed. This feature ensures that you won't encounter any unexpected costs while providing a hassle-free platform for learning. Furthermore, the playground allows you to log in to different cloud providers, expanding your practical experience beyond AWS.

While the playground is a nice-to-have, setting up your own AWS account for experimentation is equally viable. However, it's crucial to ensure that you can easily delete any resources you create to avoid unnecessary charges. Tools like Cloud Nuke can assist in cleaning up your account effectively.

Now, let's dive into the ExamPro platform. Although I won't provide an exhaustive review, I want to highlight a few features that made my learning experience enjoyable and focused. Unlike some membership platforms that can feel overwhelming with excessive features and distractions, ExamPro prioritizes simplicity and focus on exam preparation. When accessing the certification course, you'll notice a progress bar indicating your completion percentage and a breakdown of modules and flashcards completed. This tracking feature helped me gauge my progress and stay on schedule. Additionally, creating flashcards for each module allowed me to reinforce my learning and tailor the flashcards' frequency based on my needs.

ExamPro also offers cheat sheets, both for each module and a master cheat sheet that consolidates key information from all modules. These cheat sheets were particularly valuable when reviewing critical points before the exam, as they provided concise summaries without overwhelming me with unnecessary details.

During my study process, I opted to read the training articles at double speed. Andrew Brown, the creator of ExamPro, delivers the content efficiently and concisely, making it suitable for faster consumption. However, it's worth noting that Andrew's explanations remain thorough and comprehensive, ensuring a solid understanding of the topics covered.

As the exam date approached, I adjusted my strategy to maximize my preparation time. With only three days left, I focused on revisiting the services that I felt less confident about, such as VPCs, subnets, and gateways. This allowed me to refresh my understanding and solidify my knowledge in those areas. Additionally, with just one day remaining, I shifted my focus to practice exams. While the ExamPro platform provides some practice exams, I also sought out other resources to gain additional exposure to different question formats and reinforce my exam-taking skills.

By exploring various tools and adapting my strategy as the exam date neared, I was able to strengthen my knowledge and increase my confidence. In the next part of this series, I will share more insights and advice to help you further excel in your AWS Associate Developer certification journey.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our series on passing AWS certifications.

Keep learning, experimenting, and preparing for success.

My AWS Associate Developer Exam Experience: Practice Exams and Exam Day

As my exam date approached, I decided to invest in additional practice exams to further solidify my knowledge and enhance my exam readiness. After hearing positive reviews from the community, I purchased John Bonso's practice exams on Udemy. The pack of practice questions for the AWS Associate Developer exam cost me around $19. However, here's where I made a significant mistake.

With just one day left before the exam, I started feeling anxious as some of the practice questions proved to be incredibly challenging. I had initially assumed that the practice exams would consist of a set of questions and corresponding answers. To my surprise, the practice exams were more comprehensive, resembling a course in themselves. For every question, John Bonso not only provided explanations for the correct answer but also delved into the reasoning behind it. Additionally, he offered links to relevant documentation for both the right and wrong answers—an amazing feature. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I could only go through one of the four practice exams included in the pack.

In hindsight, I recommend allocating more time to thoroughly engage with the practice exams. Instead of leaving just a couple of hours, I would suggest setting aside 10 to 15 hours. This allows ample opportunity to delve into the answers, gain valuable insights, and extract maximum value from the practice exams.

As the exam day dawned, I realized that my chosen schedule might not have been ideal. I had booked the exam for 7 am, thinking that taking it before work would be advantageous. However, in hindsight, I pondered whether it would be more beneficial to take the entire day off work and schedule the exam for later in the afternoon. This would provide additional time for revision before the exam itself.

Before I delve into my exam day experience, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude. If you find value in this article and appreciate the work I'm doing, I kindly request that you like and share it on social media. By doing so, you can help others discover this channel and embrace the world of cloud computing.

On the day of the exam, I found myself waking up at 4 am to engage in some last-minute practice questions and ensure I was adequately prepared. Setting up for the exam, particularly if you're taking it from home, is relatively straightforward. You need to clear your workspace and take pictures of the room as per the exam requirements.

During the exam, proctors may occasionally ask you to adjust your camera if they notice any unusual noises or movements. While this didn't happen during my exam, it's essential to be aware of this possibility. One peculiar rule during the exam is that you're not allowed to speak out loud. This posed a challenge for me as I often read questions aloud to better comprehend them. However, I had to overcome this and adapt to the silent reading approach.

For the associate exam, you have approximately two hours to complete it. In reality, you might need only around an hour or 45 minutes to answer all the questions if you progress swiftly. As you go through the questions, you have the option to flag them for later review. However, I recommend against flagging questions during the initial pass. Instead, it's more efficient to go through every question and skip those you cannot answer immediately. Once you reach the end, you can start a comprehensive review, working your way back from the first question.

My AWS Associate Developer Exam Experience: Last-Minute Preparation and Final Thoughts

One factor that I believe contributed to my success on the exam was my focused last-minute preparation. I made sure to dedicate my time to areas where I felt less confident. This approach proved to be effective in solidifying my knowledge and improving my overall performance.

Now, let's address some of the questions that were asked on social media. One frequently asked question is how much time it took me to prepare for the exam. As mentioned earlier in the article, it took me approximately 20 hours spread over three and a half weeks. However, it's important to note that I already had a deep understanding of several AWS services due to my eight years of experience with Adabas. For beginners, I would recommend allocating at least two to three months of dedicated study time to increase the chances of success.

Another common question I received was about the cost of the exam. The exam itself had a fee of $150, and the ExamPro course cost $24. Additionally, I invested $19 in the Udemy practice exams by John Bonso. In total, my expenses amounted to around $189. It's worth mentioning that there are plenty of free resources available online, so it's not necessary to purchase additional materials. Don't feel pressured to spend money if you have access to quality free content.

Moving on to general advice, I attribute my success in the exam to having hands-on experience with AWS. Building mini projects that touch upon the key services covered in the exam can greatly enhance your understanding. I suggest working on three specific projects. The first one involves building a serverless architecture, utilizing Lambda functions, DynamoDB, AWS SAM, API Gateway, and CloudWatch. The second project focuses on deploying an architecture on EC2, incorporating load balancers, Route 53 routing, and monitoring with CloudWatch. Lastly, creating a static site using S3, CloudFront as a CDN, and Route 53 for DNS can be a valuable learning experience.

Remember that the exam questions often consolidate multiple services, so it's crucial to understand how they work together rather than in isolation. To support your learning journey, I plan to publish one comprehensive article per month, where I will take a different exam. As per the social media votes, the next exam I will tackle is the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam. I encourage you to stay tuned, subscribe to the channel, and join me on this exciting endeavor.


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