AWS certification practice exam: what to expect

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers nine certifications that cover the major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Administrator. Exams are offered at the associate and professional level for specialty topics (advanced networking, big data, security) as well as cloud practitioner, designed around AWS basics for l business roles outside of IT.

If you’re getting ready to take an AWS exam, there are many factors to consider about the process. In this post, we’ll show you what to expect so you can be successful.

You Have the Skills. Now What?

You’ve chosen the right AWS certification for your goals and you’ve taken Cloud Academy’s Amazon Web Services interactive labs, video courses, and practice quiz questions to hone your skills. Now you’re ready to take an exam and earn a certification.

Here’s what you need to know to be exam-ready.

Types of Questions
If you have been studying diligently on Cloud Academy and taking practice quizzes and preparation exams, you should have a firm grasp of the subject material. Each AWS certification exam covers a large amount of material and you’ll need to have a solid understanding of every topic to be able to test with confidence.

AWS certification exams feature questions in multiple choice or multiple answer formats. Each question covers a real-world scenario and may include graphics or charts for further elaboration.

Multiple Choice questions present 4 or more possible solutions to the scenario, with one single best answer.

Multiple Response questions present 4 or more options and ask you to select 2 or more of the best answers. This means that there will be several correct answers.

Questions are intentionally written to be ambiguous to test the depth of your knowledge. Read them carefully (but quickly) and never make assumptions beyond the information presented in the question.

Exam Format

All AWS Certification Exams come in the same format, which shows you one question at a time, similar to the preparation exams you’ll find at Cloud Academy.

When you are presented with a question, you will have the option to “mark for later.” Once you have navigated through all of the questions, the system will display a list of every question that you answered. Each question will show the option you selected as letter(s). Any question “marked for later” will be displayed with an asterisk next to it. At this point, you have the opportunity to quickly revisit the questions you skipped or to check your work.

AWS Certification Costs

Associate Level AWS Certification Exams cost USD $150, and the Professional Level exams cost USD $300.

AWS Certification exams:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate and AWS Certified Developer-Associate

Cost: $150

Format, Time: 65 questions, 130 minutes

  • AWS Certified Developer-Associate

Cost: $150

Format, Time: 65 questions, 130 minutes

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Associate

Cost: $150

Time: 80 minutes

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Cost: $100

Time: 90 minutes

  • AWS Professional and Specialty Certification Exams

Cost: $300

Time: 170 minutes

Associate-Level AWS Certification exams cost $150 and cover 65 questions over 130 minutes. In 2018, AWS released new associate-level exams for AWS Certified Solutions Architect and AWS Certified Developer. The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Associate exam will be updated in September 2018. The current SysOps Administrator exam runs for 80 minutes and costs $150. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam lasts for 90 minutes and costs $100.

The Professional- and Specialty-Level AWS certification exams cost $300 and allow 170 minutes of completion time. The following Professional-level certification exams are currently available:

— AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Professional

– AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional

AWS Specialty Certification exams are available for Advanced Networking, Big Data, and Security.

To start your path to certification, explore our up-to-date content and hands-on labs for all AWS certifications here.

Test Environment
PSI Services is the official testing service for AWS certification exams. As of August 30, 2018, all new AWS certification registrations must be scheduled through PSI. The last day to test with Kryterion/Webassessor is July 31, 2018. You can view a list of available testing centers around the world and schedule your exam by visiting the official AWS Training and Certification page.

You will need to show two forms of personal identification for admission to the exam. Primary identification forms include valid and current government-issued driver’s license and passport; secondary identification forms include debit/ATM cards or a second primary ID form.

The security procedures for AWS exams are very strict and prohibit personal items (notes, phones or laptops, backpacks, notepads), food, or drink in the test area. Eyewear, watches, or GPS tracking devices worn into the testing area may also be subject to inspection. You may request a pencil, paper, or whiteboard from the exam proctor. The full admission requirements and security procedures are outlined in the first steps of the exam scheduling process.

After the Exam

After taking the exam, the system will immediately display your results on the screen. AWS uses a statistical method to determine if you pass, so there is no single passing score, and passing scores are subject to change. The best approach is to study as much as you can to achieve the highest possible score.

If you need to retake the exam, you will be eligible to do so after 14 days.

If you pass, congratulations! Within 72 hours of passing your exam, you will receive anAWS Certified logo, e-certificate, and a digital badge in your AWS Certification Account. Digital badges may be used to share your status on LinkedIn, Facebook, and any social media sites. A transcript of your exam results will be available in your account within five business days of completing the exam.

Cloud Academy provides excellent preparation materials in AWS learning paths, courses, hands-on labs, and quizzes (all at various levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced). The quizzes are optimized for standard and mobile use, so review when you have time. You can also check out our AWS certification page and see which certification track is right for you. Good luck!

Originally published at on July 11, 2018.

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