Preparation Journey - AWS SysOps Administrator - Associate level

Review By: Vijaya Karthick Swaminathan



Expiry Month


Expiry Year


Time taken to Prepare

45 Days

Resources Used


Detailed Review Of Preparation

1.    I cleared my AWS SysOps Administrator - Associate exam with a score of 819. Below is my prep journey:

a)      This is my 4th AWS Certification till date after Certified Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect - Associate & Developer - Associate exams - cleared them in the same order.

b)      I used Stephane Maarek's Udemy Course -

c)      And Jon Bonso's practice exams (

d)      I DID NOT use any other course/practice tests.

e)      I don't have any work experience with AWS. So, I had to lots of hands-on on the different services that were taught in the course.

f)       It took me around 5 weeks for my entire prep.

g)      Since the test centers around me were not open due to COVID-19, I attended the exam online through Pearson VUE. PSI was not providing an option to attend the exam online till the date I booked the exam.

h)      I had ESL+30 accommodation enabled for my AWS exams. In case you're not aware of ESL+30 -> if you're not a native English speaker, AWS allows us to request for ESL+30 (English as Secondary Language + 30 minutes) accommodation, which allows an additional 30 minutes in addition to the allotted exam. So, the total allowed exam time for AWS Associate level exams is 130+30=160 minutes.

i)       Since ESL+30 was enabled for me, Pearson VUE system did not allow me to schedule the exam. To book for an exam with ESL+30, we must call them over phone (more info here - and when I did, I had to wait for more than 45 minutes twice and was hung-up during my second call without my issue getting addressed. So, I finally decided to do this exam without ESL+30.

j)       To get your ESL+30 cancelled, you must raise a request to AWS from the certmetrics website (where you would schedule for your appointment). My request was closed within 12 hours.

k)      The exam questions were so tricky. Please make sure you do a lot of hands-on. We must understand what each service is for and what they can & cannot do.

l)       Also, I felt this one as the most difficult Associate level exam. This was my lowest score out of all my 4 exams.

m)    I strongly suggest you attend the exam in the test centers, if they're open nearby your location, where you can have ESL+30 minutes (for non-native English speakers). I felt 130 minutes were not enough for this exam, since there were 65 questions in total and we have only 2 minutes for answering each question. I finished answering all my questions only with around 2 mins left. So, I could not revisit the flagged questions.

Benefits From Certification

  • Pay Hike
  • Promotion
  • My Job Needed It
  • Knowledge is Power