Welcome, everyone! As I embark on my cloud preparation journey, I've decided to share my experiences with you through this newly established channel. It's an opportunity for us to come together as a community, exchange insights, and support one another. Whether you're contemplating a transition to the cloud or have lingering questions, I hope to serve as a relatable example for those considering this path.

In this article, we'll dive into my recent completion of the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. I understand that many of you are here specifically for that topic, so let's jump right in. We'll cover various aspects, including my introduction, how I stumbled upon this certification, available options and paths, exam preparation techniques, booking the exam, and a vlog sharing my experience. But before we delve into the details, let me provide a brief introduction about myself.

With around 15 years of experience in the IT field, I pursued my master's degree in the UK and completed my bachelor's degree in India. I've worked in the education sector in both the UK and India, and I've even had the opportunity to be part of an esteemed EMR company based in the US. Currently, I reside in Canada. It was during my professional journey that I began to recognize the immense value of cloud technology, igniting my interest and motivating me to pursue the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification.

My initial exploration began with fundamental cloud-related questions, gradually leading me to the realization that AWS is a leading provider in the market. Curiosity piqued, I stumbled upon an article by Andrew Brown, whose concise introduction caught my attention. Although he had an extensive 13-hour article, I opted for a shorter, more recent one that provided a basic overview. Spending four hours on this article left me intrigued and captivated by AWS technology. This prompted me to consider pursuing the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification to gain a deeper understanding of its offerings.

To prepare for the certification, I conducted thorough research to understand the types of questions typically asked in the exam. And I'm confident that you, too, have undertaken this research or are currently in the process. Now, let's explore the resources I utilized during my preparation.

First and foremost, I created an AWS account in the free tier. It's crucial to attach your credit card for verification purposes, but make sure to configure your billing section with a budget forecast. By setting up alerts, you can keep track of your spending and avoid any unexpected charges. I highly recommend regularly monitoring your AWS console to stay within your budget and avoid any billing surprises.

Continuing our journey, let's explore the wealth of resources available to you as you prepare for the exam. Stay tuned for my upcoming vlog, where I'll discuss these resources in detail. Remember, it's essential to approach your exam preparation with a well-rounded strategy, utilizing a variety of materials to reinforce your knowledge and skills.

In our next article, we'll delve into the specifics of exam preparation, sharing tips and insights to help you succeed. Stay engaged, subscribe to our channel, and be part of our growing community. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. Let's continue on this shared path towards AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner success.

Preparing for AWS Certification: Paths, Resources, and Practice Exams

Continuing our journey toward AWS certification, let's delve into the various paths you can take and the resources available to aid your preparation. While I'll touch upon the topic of not utilizing the free tier in this section, I'll provide more information about it later. For now, let's focus on the AWS certification itself and the different paths you can pursue.

AWS offers a tiered certification structure, comprising Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty levels. Interestingly, the Foundational level does not require any prerequisites and serves as a great starting point for beginners. You have the flexibility to choose the certification that aligns with your career aspirations. For example, a Solutions Architect role is highly sought after in North America, particularly in Canada, where the average base pay can reach an impressive $114,000 or more, depending on your expertise.

For those like me, new to the world of cloud technology, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an excellent entry point. It provides a fundamental understanding of the services AWS offers. From there, you can progress to the Associate level and eventually aim for the Professional level certifications. The Associate level typically requires about six months of preparation, while the Professional level demands a couple of years of professional experience before attempting the exam. Additionally, AWS also offers specialty certifications for those who wish to specialize in specific areas.

Now, let's address recertification, a topic that concerned me initially. The good news is that AWS certifications remain valid for three years. Moreover, when it comes time for recertification, you'll receive a 50% discount on the next exam. This arrangement adds value and alleviates the need for frequent retesting.

Moving on to the preparation phase, I'll share my personal approach and the resources I found valuable. As mentioned earlier, I started with Andrew Brown's four-hour course and read through his article multiple times. Udemy also proved to be a treasure trove of affordable courses, with prices ranging from $20 to $25. Given the introductory nature of the Cloud Practitioner certification, I didn't feel the need to invest excessive time in lengthy training materials. Andrew Brown's course and articles provided a solid foundation.

To gauge my preparedness, I purchased Stephen Maarek's set of six practice exams. Priced at $27.99, these exams were challenging, with a passing score of 70%. While I managed to pass three of them with scores ranging from 75% to 76%, the remaining three proved to be quite difficult, and my performance fell short. However, don't let this discourage you. These practice exams are designed to thoroughly prepare you for the actual certification exam.

During my actual exam, I completed it in one hour, despite having 90 minutes available. Taking the extra time to review and ensure the correctness of my answers was essential. After all, I didn't want the $99 exam fee to go to waste. I highly recommend taking practice exams like Stephen Maarek's multiple times to familiarize yourself with the format and content.

In the next section, I'll share further insights into my certification journey, including tips for exam day and additional resources to enhance your preparation. Stay tuned as we inch closer to AWS certification success!

Expanding Your Knowledge and Scheduling the Exam

In the final segment of my journey towards AWS certification, I want to touch upon a few more important aspects. Firstly, let's explore additional resources that can aid your preparation. WizLab and Cloud Guru are two options worth considering. These platforms provide valuable content and courses to further enhance your understanding of cloud technologies. WizLab, in particular, offers an array of useful resources that you should check out.

When it comes to investing in your learning journey, I would personally recommend considering a subscription to Cloud Guru. While Udemy courses can add up in cost over time, with prices ranging from $30 to $45 per course, Cloud Guru offers a yearly subscription at $279 (USD). That equates to around $340 per year, which is a reasonable investment for comprehensive and consolidated learning. I opted for the Personal Plus subscription, as it not only offers a wealth of cloud-related content but also provides sandboxes for hands-on practice in AWS, GCP, Azure, Kubernetes, and Linux fundamentals.

Remember, there is a vast array of cloud technologies to explore, and having a centralized platform like Cloud Guru can streamline your learning process. It's an efficient way to access a wide range of resources and keep up with the latest developments in the industry.

Now, let's discuss how to schedule the certification exam. The process is straightforward. Visit the AWS Amazon certification section and click on "Schedule Exam." You'll need to create an account first. Once you have an account, you can search for the Cloud Practitioner certification and choose either PSI or Pearson VUE to schedule your exam. Simply select the testing center that is most convenient for you.

Regarding the choice between PSI and Pearson VUE, I must note that experiences may vary. While some individuals have reported noise and cramped conditions at PSI testing centers, I don't want to base judgments solely on one feedback. It's essential to research and read reviews specific to the testing center near you. Pearson VUE has been my preferred choice, and I've had positive experiences with their facilities during my exams.

Now, let's address the preparation timeline. Depending on your background and experience, the Cloud Practitioner exam can be completed within a relatively short period. Personally, I finished my preparation in just two weeks while managing other responsibilities. If you already have a good understanding of cloud technologies, you might be able to complete your preparation in one week. Even if you're a beginner or currently studying in college, one week should be sufficient. The exam itself is considered relatively easy, so I highly encourage you to take this opportunity and prepare for it.

Wishing you the best of luck on your AWS certification journey. Remember to approach your studies with dedication and determination. With the right resources and a solid preparation plan, you'll be well-prepared to excel in the exam.


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