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How to Prepare for Amazon Cloud Computing Certification

Amazon AWS CertificationCloud Computing is one of the hottest fields offering plethora of job opportunities. Until recently, employers had no yard stick to measure the knowledge of the qualified professionals in cloud technology. As a result , many times they happen to recruit professionals who needed extra coaching to perform thier designated tasks. This involves extra cost and time to the organization. So they prefer to recruit candidates who are certified in Cloud Technology.

Sensing this need, Amazon has come up with AWS Certifications – Amazon Web Services Certification. Possessing a AWS Certification is  proof of possessing adequate skill and technical knowledge for designing, deploying and managing applications on the AWS Platform.

Before embarking on preparing for the exam, knowing about the various certifications and its uses is very important. This article speaks about the AWS cloud certification types, its benefits, process to apply for the exam and provides tips on preparing for the exam

Types of AWS Certifications

There are three types of certifications under the AWS umbrella. They are

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  2. AWS  Certified SysOps Administrator
  3. AWS Certified Developer

Each of these certifications have three levels of proficiency: Associate, Professional and Master. Currently AWS Certified Solutions Architect certifications is only certification available at the Associate level.  Associate levels of AWS  Certified SysOps Administrator and AWS Certified Developer available for beta certification.  The higher levels would be introduced in the future. Skills mastered by procuring any one of these certification are a definitive way for the IT professionals to prove to the future employers that they have ability to place the organization on a competitive position on the cloud.

Why  AWS Cloud Certification?

To obtain the AWS Cloud Certification, the candidate would have to appear for the exam and clear it.

On clearing the AWS cloud exam, the candidate would get a a badge  which when pasted on the resume would give instant visibility and recognition. For the employers its a matter of prestige to have AWS certified candidates on their rolls as this proves their technical strength and credibility.

 What does AWS Certification consists of ?

The AWS – AWS Certification Architect examination lays emphasis on 4 major areas. They are

  1. Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems : This is the core area of testing carrying 60% weight-age. This section primarily tests the candidate’s ability to design  an application on top of AWS and the
  2. Implementation/Deployment carrying 10 % weight-age : This section tests the various deployment management scenarios like reboot, termination and includes concepts such as Auto Scaling, Custom AMIs, EBS backed AMI and S3-Backed AMI , data stored in EBS, ephemeral storage, etc.
  3. Data Security  carrying a weight age of 20% : This section mainly concentrates around the data encryption techniques and data protection
  4. Troubleshooting: This section carries a weight age of 10% and deals mainly with disaster recovery and recovering from common errors in AWS

Applying for the AWS Exam

AWS is a online certification exam.  The certification test is administered by Kyterion centers located all over the world.  Registration can be done online to procure an appointment.  The cost of the exam is $150.

On clearing the exam the candidate would get a badge which can be embedded on the CV. This re certification has to be renewed once in 2 years by appearing for re-certification.

Those unable to clear in the first attempt should wait for a minimum period of 30 days to reappear.

Preparing for the certification

For preparing for any certification examination, there is no substitute to real time hands on experience. For obvious reasons, not everybody can have the privilege of working on the technology. Therefore, they can resort to reading suggested exam material in lines of the syllabus prescribed in the website Aspiring candidates can also go through the white papers on the AWS website and join the AWS training courses.  Apart from AWS, there are plenty of books available on Cloud Computing and study guides specifically for the examination certification as well.  These study guides provides

  • Real-world scenarios to test the candidate’s understanding of what has been learnt in the context of service solutions.
  •  Thought provoking questions to challenging the intelligence and  thinking
  •  Includes practice exam questions.
  • Important information and real world examples organized around the actual day-to-day tasks and challenges that one would encounter in the field of IT Management.

The purpose of these certifications is to test the understanding and practical knowledge of the concepts of the candidates.  Therefore, the secret to cracking the exams is to learn and prepare from the application of the various concepts in real time scenario.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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