I Passed the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam! Reflections from a non-technical viewpoint


Today I am happy to announce that I passed the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam! I passed!! Yayyy!!!! :) After almost a whole month of studying I’m so relieved. In general I am not such a technical person, so this was a big achievement for me. AWS stands for Amazon Web Services.  In short, they supply the infrastructure and technology for companies to run their business efficiently, affordably, and globally in the cloud.

Me right After I left the Test Center. Victory selfie ;)

I decided at the end of January that I will try to get this certification in order to expand my knowledge of AWS so I can feel more connected to the company which I work for. I’ve been working for Classmethod for 3 years as general office support, English copy editor and website management and organization for classmethod.de.  But somehow, I avoided learning about AWS. It was about time I got a better understanding of how AWS really works.

For preparation and studying I did the following:

  • First, I gathered resources and put them in my bublup folder. I like this service, it’s free, easy to use and a great tool to help you visually organize projects.
  • I did the entire AWS training course for Certified Cloud Practitioner.
  • I read some blogs and watched a couple of youtube videos from people who have taken and passed the test. I recommend Free Code Camp’s course. Which is an amazing, and a MUST WATCH additional resource for anyone looking to pass this exam.
  • I did a practice test.
  • I made lots of screen shots, took meticulous notes and made lots of flash cards. ( I love taking notes, I learn a lot by physically writing things down, I like to use my hands, this is a personal preference)
  • I read a couple of white papers.

More importantly though,

I had support and encouragement from my colleagues Ito-san and Tran-san. I am not really great at self-starting, so having support from people with more expertise really helped.

They gave me great advice, such as screen shooting the practice exam questions, and doing hands on tutorials so I can see the services in action.

For three weeks everyday (except on weekends) I studied. Sometimes it got a bit boring and challenging because things tend to sound quite similar, so it was a little confusing, EBS ,EFS, EC2, Elastic IP, Elastic Beanstalk which is not EBS, etc.  But I had a goal to pass. It really helps to have a target to aim for.

The day of the exam finally came. I left my house super early, but made sure I had a good breakfast first.

However, I had trouble finding the place because there was construction going on around the building, and I didn’t get the friendly and helpful e-mail from Mr. Kricke in time about going an alternate route to get to the testing center. Luckily for me though, I found a nice lady who helped me.

According to the e-mail, and Mr. Kricke's instructions, this is the best route to take to get to the AWS test Center

Get off at Warschauer Strasse, and not Ostkreuz

The Actual Exam

The exam itself is formatted nicely, there is a timer, but it’s not distracting, you can flag questions you are unsure of, and go back to them at any time. Editing and submitting your answers is straightforward.

I felt generally prepared for the test. However, the exam had questions about services that were not really covered, and maybe not even mentioned in the training courses. To pass you need 70%, so you have to be ok with getting some stuff wrong.  I really had to read the questions carefully, some of them are tricky, but also some of the questions have clues in them to guide you to the answer.  Most importantly I tried to not put too much pressure on myself while taking the exam.  I tried to be relaxed, but still be present.

It’s quite a long exam, 65 multiple choice questions. Sometimes I got tired, so I allowed myself moments to just close my eyes and regroup/refresh myself. However, it was important for me to feel confident in my answers. Going back to the questions I flagged also really helped. Whenever I got stuck, eliminating answers I knew were wrong helped.

Towards the end I was starting to doubt myself a bit, which is probably normal. But I told myself even if I didn’t pass, it was still a very good use of my time. One of my favorite sayings which I always go by is “investment never wasted.”

If I didn’t pass, I still walk away with more knowledge about cloud computing and cloud infrastructure than I had in comparison to the start of the month.

BUT, Gott Sei Dank I passed! And in this old building in Berlin that joy was immense. Mr Kricke gave me a chocolate to celebrate my victory :)

Vielen Dank!