How I passed the 3 AWS Associate certifications in 1.5 months~

Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Registered Members
I embarked on the journey to get the three associate AWS certifications in the middle of February 2017. I had previously attempted the AWS:CSA and failed last February, 2016. Here was my score:

Overall Score: 58%

Topic Level Scoring:

1.0 Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems : 57%
2.0 Implementation/Deployment: 50%
3.0 Security: 63%
4.0 Troubleshooting: 60%

I failed this because I did not prepare and only studied 3 days prior to the exam trying to cram as much into my brain as possible. I was not dedicated and was constantly rescheduling until I tried to reschedule with 72 hours of the exam which would incur a 50% penalty. Figure I might as well attempt it since it wasn't coming out of my pockets.

My motivation to get the AWS CSA was reinvigorated this when the role I wanted at work requires more AWS usage (DevOps)

I saw the acloudguru videos on sale and bought the CSA one. I spent about 3 weeks watching the videos. whenever I can. Throughout the course, they mention a few times that the Certified Developer associate and SysOps associate is not much harder to get once you get the Certified Solutions Architect (only major difference being a deeper concentration on DynamoDB for Developer and SysOps having deeper concentration on a few areas). So I ended up purchasing the CD and SA courses as well through acloudguru.

I took the exam on March 4th and passed. I didn't feel quite confident that I passed during the exam, but I felt comfortable with the material as there were no real surprises there. Most if not all of the material were covered in the acloudguru videos.

Here is my score breakdown

Overall Score: 76%

Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems : 72%
2.0 Implementation/Deployment: 83%
3.0 Security: 72%
4.0 Troubleshooting: 100%

I felt pretty good after the pass and decided to immediately start studying for the Developer Associate. I felt pretty confident that I knew the material after about 4-5 days of studying and set the exam a week following the previous exam.

During the exam, I felt it was a bit tougher than some people made it seem. Everywhere I read that this was the easiest of the 3 exams. It could just be my lack of preparation (1 week after CSA), but this was my lowest scoring pass.

Overall Score: 70%

Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 AWS Fundamentals: 83%
2.0 Designing and Developing: 63%
3.0 Deployment and Security: 62%
4.0 Debugging: 90%

I've always read that the SysOps exam was the hardest of the 3 associates so I decided to schedule my exam 2 weeks after I passed my Developer. This is the one I studied for arguably the most. I would be studying any free time I had I felt. I read the AWS docs whenever there was a question/subject I didn't understand fully. I read blogs from many different people who had study guides and I'll list a few of them after.

During the test, I felt super confident that I had passed half-way through. I didn't even review all my answers; that's how confident I was. Here is how my score broke down:

Overall Score: 83%

Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 Monitoring and Metrics: 75%
2.0 High Availability: 87%
3.0 Analysis: 77%
4.0 Deployment and Provisioning: 100%
5.0 Data Management: 100%
6.0 Security: 75%
7.0 Networking: 71%

I personally really like acloud.guru and have purchased their Docker series as well as their professional DevOps and Solutions Architect series. The next certification I'm going for is the DevOps Engineer - Professional after I do the docker series.

Here are the additional resources I used for these exams in addition to the acloudguru videos:

Jayendra's Blog -
https://aws.amazon.com/documentation/
A space for core programmer
Amazon Web Services Home – sys.out.print
https://acloud.guru/forums/ - acloudguru discussion forums

I'm gonna keep going strong on this momentum and see if I can complete the 2 AWS Professional Exams before year's end. Wanted to share my tale as a bit of inspiration. Let me know if you guys have any questions!
On the plate: AWS Solutions Architect - Professional
Scheduled for: Unscheduled
Studying with: Linux Academy, aws docs

Comments

  • newmovenewmove Posts: 108Registered Members
    You have motivated me. I'm currently studying for the CSA
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    Congrats! That's pretty impressive to get those all in 6 weeks.

    Apart from the videos and reading docs/blogs, how much hands on with AWS did you do to study? How much AWS background before you started to study?
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • scoobydoesscoobydoes Posts: 25Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations Sounds Good!!! Awesome accomplishment! I need to get back to my AWS journey, you've inspired me icon_smile.gif And thanks for the run down and how you accomplished it.
  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Registered Members
    newmove wrote: »
    You have motivated me. I'm currently studying for the CSA

    Great! Mission Accomplished :thumbsup:
    OctalDump wrote: »
    Congrats! That's pretty impressive to get those all in 6 weeks.

    Apart from the videos and reading docs/blogs, how much hands on with AWS did you do to study? How much AWS background before you started to study?

    For the acloudguru videos, there are labs associated with every topic that would require it. You can follow along with the videos or just watch them. Following along in your own AWS account reinforces some of the knowledge from the videos.

    Would I say that you HAVE to have AWS hands on experience? No, but it certainly helps.

    I would say I had basic AWS knowledge prior to this venture. I knew of some of the services and how to spin up an instance, but nothing much more than that.
    scoobydoes wrote: »
    Congratulations Sounds Good!!! Awesome accomplishment! I need to get back to my AWS journey, you've inspired me icon_smile.gif And thanks for the run down and how you accomplished it.

    Sweet! :thumbsup:
    On the plate: AWS Solutions Architect - Professional
    Scheduled for: Unscheduled
    Studying with: Linux Academy, aws docs
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,717Mod Mod
    Congrats!!! That's an awesome accomplishment in that amount of time. You're actually inspiring me. I have ACG's videos for the CSA and they're really good.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • talhaansaritalhaansari Posts: 6Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    You sir have given me extra motivation.
    I have booked for 75$ SA exam on 12th of april.
    Already gone through 70% of the acloud guru course.
    I have strong background in network and security with ccna,ccnp,mcse and cissp(failed got 691 on 3rd of april).
    Do I need to study the whitepapers or I can pass just with the acloud guru videos.
    Honestly I don't find anything that much difficult in those videos and performing the labs on aws.
  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Registered Members
    You sir have given me extra motivation.
    I have booked for 75$ SA exam on 12th of april.
    Already gone through 70% of the acloud guru course.
    I have strong background in network and security with ccna,ccnp,mcse and cissp(failed got 691 on 3rd of april).
    Do I need to study the whitepapers or I can pass just with the acloud guru videos.
    Honestly I don't find anything that much difficult in those videos and performing the labs on aws.

    The acloudguru videos has a section dedicated to the whitepapers. I personally didn't read the white papers and only watched the videos which summarized it. The test itself is not hard; just the breadth of it is wide
    On the plate: AWS Solutions Architect - Professional
    Scheduled for: Unscheduled
    Studying with: Linux Academy, aws docs
  • sillymcnastysillymcnasty Posts: 254Registered Members
    For any added motivation, I have all 3 as well. icon_cheers.gif
  • talhaansaritalhaansari Posts: 6Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Damn aws exams are easy.
    Passed sa last Wednesday devops today and have booked sysops for 28th coz everyone said it is the most difficult of the 3 so 2 extra days of prep.
    Btw just for passing exam acloud is fine but I would recommend linuxacademy as they go in much more detail compared to acloud.
  • UKIkarusUKIkarus Posts: 26Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm seriously looking into going for AWS-SysOps, is it particularly difficult? and does devops require a STRONG understanding of a higher level programming language? as I imagine it requires that you know how to develop solutions for use with AWS, I mean I have enough knowledge to throw together an app that'll do what I want with a bit of searching online but I wouldn't say I'm a guru in any particular language.

    While I'm on the topic of SysOps/DevOps, what would you guys say is a good area to look into for supplementing AWS certifications? Ideally I'm looking to go towards server infrastructure in general with a view to branching off into the cloud as demand is increasing and it has me curious.

    Should I go MCSA/MCSE or something else? and I guess it wouldn't hurt to throw in some Linux accreditations while I'm working on it?

    Any help/opinions are much appreciated as I'm trying to map out a path to the goal, but never really known how to best get there.

    Need some sort of idea so I can get started and sink my teeth into this :) (I should add that I feel I have a fair bit of knowledge/experience in the areas required of me so I'm not jumping in absolutely clueless, I just want to enhance my knowledge and hopefully get some accreditations in the process)
  • keane234keane234 Posts: 11Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
  • Teddyp15Teddyp15 Posts: 16Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Very inspirational. Thanks for sharing!
  • pencilpotpencilpot Posts: 12Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well done and that is excellent info thank you. it will help with my study :)
  • pencilpotpencilpot Posts: 12Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Great motivation im going to aim for a simular timeline 🖒
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