Before I start writing the review let me inform that i don’t have any prior experience on using AWS services and in my first attempt i failed this AWS exam. I gave the exam after attending one week course and studying some material. I only have theoretical knowledge and I believe thats the reason I could not clear in my first attempt. Good that i realized my mistake and made some changes in the way I prepared for this exam and passed in my second attempt.
To pass the exam one should have hands on experience. Even if your current job doesn’t involve any AWS services, better to create an AWS account and start using their services. At least better to have hands on experience with some important services which are widely covered in the exam like EC2, Lambda, RDS, EFS, VPC, S3, EBS, IAM, ELB, Route53, and cloudwatch. Not all are covered under free tier but its better to pay rather than fail the exam, however I suggest to enable the billing alerts for your account before using these services. For my account I setup cloudwatch alarm to send notification if my bill exceeded 10USD.
Other than the above mentioned services which are widely covered, should also have knowledge on services and topics like cloudformation, elastic beanstalk, dynamoDB, couldtrail, config, systems manager, inspector, WAF, shield, cost explorer, budgets reports, cost & usage reports, SQS, SNS, SWS, opswork, athena, KMS, kinesis, directconnect, storage gateway, snowball, snow mobile, snowball edge, API gateway, redshift, organizations, service control policies, personal health dashboard, service health dashboard. These services not neccesary to have hands on experience but should have knowledge on different types and used cases.
Pay special attention to:
- I read on internet that better to learn how to create vpc with atleast two subnets (one public, one private)
- Associate IGW, create natgateway (Not covered under free tier as this requires an elastic IP)
- Create custom routes (main routing table not recommended to have public route), custom NACL (Do not use default NACL it will allow all inbound and outbound traffic by default rather create a custom NACL and only allow those ports required)
- Create Security groups
- Deploy EC2 in each subnet and see how the communication works between EC2’s and over the internet.
- All this I mentioned should be done by memory. If you can do all of this without following any instructions any question related to networking is easy to answer which covers 14% in this exam.
Along with this preparation, I also bought the course on udemy from Jon Bonso, AWS sysops associate practice exams. Total 5 exams. The best part about this practice tests is the explanation he gives for each option. He explains with proper reference from AWS site why its the correct answer and also explains why the option is incorrect and what i is used for. There is huge scope of learning when we go through review exam. While doing the review test better to write down the important topics instead of just reading, another important thing is not to give the same exam right after the review. You wont get the exact same questions from the practice test but similar questions. Most of the services and topics I mentioned in above are covered in this course with proper explanation.
Author: Franklin Pulltikurthi is life long learner who likes to keep up with the technology. You can find him on LinkedIn.