The first thought that comes to my mind when I hear the word cloud is AWS (Amazon Web Services). After recently passing my Azure Fundamentals exam, my interest in cloud technologies has further increased - especially the cloud security aspect. Thankfully, I had the perfect opportunity to expand my cloud knowledge when I started my current college program at Western Governors University.
My program, Network Operations & Security, required that I took the AWS CCP exam for one of my classes. Also, in my most recent position, I'm responsible for the security of an AWS environment and this further made the exam the perfect certification at this moment.
After 12 days of studying and around 40 study hours, I was able to sit for this exam and pass on my first attempt. This blog covers my experience with the exam and all the study resources I used.
Check out my Youtube Video on How To Study and Pass this Exam
WHAT IS COVERED IN THE EXAM?
According to AWS, these are the domains covered in the exam
Domain 1: Cloud Concepts
Domain 2: Security and Compliance
Domain 3: Technology
Domain 4: Billing and Pricing
Neal Davis - Udemy
This udemy course from Neal Davis was my first resource. Neal Davis covers the basics of AWS that are required for the Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam and a little more. This course incorporates both theoretical and Hands-on Labs for an in-depth understanding of each section and service. I highly recommend creating a free AWS account and going over all the hands-on labs alongside Neal as this will really help you get a feel of what it is like to work with services in the AWS console. At the end of each section is an exam-cram to summarize everything in the section as well as a quiz to test your knowledge. Neal also provides a bunch of notes and one free practice exam with the course (very helpful!).
Stephane Maarek - Udemy
This udemy course from Stephane Maarek was the second course I used. Stephane's course was more consolidated and specific to the exam. Stephane also has hands-on labs incorporated with his course which I also highly recommend to follow along for the re-inforced learning. At the end of each section, Stephane also has a section summary to cover everything in the section and also section quizzes to test your knowledge of the section. Finally, the course ends with a free practice exam to give you a taste of what to expect on the real exam.
FreeCodeCamp.org - YouTube
This 3 hour long video on YouTube was another great resource. Although a little outdated, the content is still very relevant fo r the current AWS exam. The great thing about this video is that it's highly condensed and touches on just the very things required for the exam. This was the last resource I used as a revision to go over everything one more time. What makes it even better? It's free!
Practice Exams - Udemy
These practice exams by Neal Davis were super beneficial in testing my knowledge and covering my loose ends. On average my scores ranged from the lower 70s to higher 90s across the 4 out of 6 available practice exams that I did. The practice exams were a good representation of what to expect in the exam. Another great thing about Neal's practice exams is that it tells you why each answer is wrong or right which really helps solidify the knowledge.
Once I knew I was going to be studying for the exam, the first I did was go to youtube and Reddit to find other people who had passed the exam I watched a couple of videos and aggregated some study resources. After this was when I decide on Neal Davis and Stephane Maarek. I made sure to only choose a few so that I could focus on them and avoid a resource overload.
The next thing I did was create a study schedule for Neal's course over the first 4 days and then Stephane's course over the next 5 days. While going through each course at 1.5x to 2.0x speed, I made sure to do all the labs and take notes on key services and their functions.
After completing both courses, I watched the freecodecamp youtube video for a quick summary and then watched all the exam cram videos from Neal and section summary videos from Stephane. This helped me really keep the material fresh in my brain.
Finally, I attempted Neal's free practice exam first and then did the same for Stephane. I took notes on key concepts I was missing, did a little revision, and then went through the first 4 practice exam from Neal's practice exam course.
EXAM EXPERIENCE & CONCLUSION
This was my very first AWS certification and I truly enjoyed studying for it. This exam is my entry point into the world of AWS and AWS cloud security which is something I'm very interested. I will definitely be working on some cloud-related projects to improve my knowledge and skills in the cloud domain.
I took this exam via PearsonVue in the (comfort of my) restroom - it's just something about it...don't ask why. It was a 65 multiple choice question exam and I completed it in less than 30 mins.
After this exam, I'll be going for the AWS SysOps Administrator exam and finally the Security Specialty exam. I don't know how soon but I have them on my radar.
If you have any questions or need some more guidance with this exam, Join our Discord community and we'll be glad to put you on the right track!