Important Tips on AWS BIG Data Certification:

I started the Linux Academy (LA) Big Data training course and reviewing AWS white papers and FAQs on the same day.  In my opinion, the questions on this AWS certification exam were tough. 

It’s really important to focus on HOW AWS technologies integrate with each other along with understanding specific use cases and technologies for AWS end-to-end solutions throughout exam domains (collection, storage, processing, analysis, visualization, and security).

Linux Academy – 2-3 hours for 14 Days

I completed the Big Data Specialty course training on Linux Academy (LA) from start to finish in approximately 2 weeks. 


As always, the labs were great and saved me from spending a significant amount of money in my own AWS accounts.  I really enjoyed the LA scheduling feature that provides daily email reminders of what courses I needed to finish to stay on track with my time line.  


As this certification is nearing its end of life, some of the LA training content was dated which forced me to spend more time on reviewing the newest whitepapers and online resources provided by AWS.    

AWS White Papers & FAQs  1+ Hours for 21 Days    


There is a large amount of content in the white papers and FAQs.  For all content possible, including developer guides, I downloaded them in PDF form.  As I read through the PDFs I would highlight and annotate the important topics and key words that I needed more clarification on.    


There is a large amount of information to digest.  I recommend breaking up your sessions so that you can retain more information instead of pushing through until you complete an entire white paper or FAQ section.    

AWS Exam Readiness – Big Data Specialty (Digital) 1 Day


Information and instructions provided in this digital training was very important for passing the exam.  I highly recommend spending your time learning exactly what the instructor describes in this digital training course.  If you have questions, make sure to review any white papers or FAQs for further information.  


Several topics are covered very quickly.  This forced me to review the white papers and FAQs in more detail than I would’ve previously anticipated.  

WhizLabs Practice Tests – 1-2 hours 4 days


I took 2 practice exams.  The free version (15 questions) and one of the full practice versions.  Questions on the practice exams were challenging and helpful to review.  Post review – They provide descriptions to the answers along with hyperlinks that point directly to the AWS content for reference. This was fantastic for reviewing and preparation purposes.   


There were multiople questions and answers that appeared to have missing words.  This made it challenging to understand questions and answers.  As stated above, it was very useful for learning, once I submitted my answers and reviewed the descriptions and followed the hyperlink to the AWS reference. 


If I were to weigh the importance of resources for preparation it would go as follows: 

  • Linux Academy Big Data Course: 25%
  • AWS Exam Readiness: 25% 
  • AWS Whitepapers & FAQs: 40%
  • Whizlabs Practice Exams: 10% 

When I finished the 170 minute exam, I only had about 15 minutes left on the exam timer.  I hope others find this exam review and prep useful.  Thank you for your time in advance. 

Author: Ryan Cosner is a data-centric, avid problem solver, and a firm believer in team work, and a growth mind-set. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn here.