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Get Certified: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01)

In this blog post, you will find some personal suggestions about how to study for exam CLF-C01 and get AWS Certified as Cloud Practitioner.

For the Azure Fundamentals certification, see

Most of the material is made available for free by AWS and includes online courses, live streams with Q&A, additional study material, practice tests (small charge), and more.

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AWS Certifications

Sound Investment

Although many SAP professionals, BASIS administrators, and ABAP developers are still working in a predominantly on-premises environment, the future of cloud computing is approaching fast.

SAP partners with all mayor cloud providers (the “hyperscalers”) and this includes Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Few people have regretted investing in AWS.

Why Bother?

Achieve professional credibility and personal satisfaction, that’s how AWS summarises why you might want to consider to get certified [AWS Certification e-book].

Whether or not you get a promotion or wage hike, studying for a certification provides an effective way to learn new skills. It sets a goal, helps to stay focused, and rewards the effort.

For AWS, the certification benefits include

  • 50% exam discounts (for your next exam)
  • Free practice exam (idem)
  • Access to the AWS Certified Global Community on LinkedIn (group)
  • Access to AWS Certified Store (for swag)

Certification Program

For general information about the AWS certification program, see

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Cloud Practitioner Exam

How Hard Can It Be?

Although Foundational, the exam is still challenging as it covers a broad scope with questions about many of the AWS services. This is exactly also the reason why you might want to consider preparing for the certification as it will help you to get familiar with the Periodic Table of Amazon Web Services.

Exam Guide

Everything you need to now about the exam is clearly listed on the exam page of the WAS certification website. This is also where you can schedule your exam.

The Cloud Practitioner certification is valid for 3 years.

The link to the exam guide contains information about the what you need to know and relative weight.

The exam page also includes some sample questions (with explanation).

Credly

Like SAP, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and other vendors, AWS uses Credly (f.k.a Acclaim) for cross-vendor overview, record keeping, and social media sharing. This requires your agreement, of course.

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How To Prepare

To prepare for the exam, all you need to do is follow the recommendations from AWS.

Although you can get (additional) preparation from online platforms like Pluralsight or LinkedIn Learning, should you prefer this format, for this entry-level exam the AWS-provided content suffices.

Global Challenge

For some additional motivation, you can sign up for the Global Challenge to receive additional tips and reminders.

This includes links to self-paces labs for hands-on experience.

Live Stream

Instead of online learning, you can also opt for the live show with Q&A on Twitch

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From the Bookstore 

Cybex (Wiley)

For those that prefer to read books, there is a study guide for the exam from Cybex.

The challenge for publishers is to keep up with the rate of change. The 1st edition is from 2019 . Although you might prefer a book and marker for some oldskool studying, for the references you still would need to go online.

As all the learning material is made available for free by AWS, you might want think twice before purchase.

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Online Training

AWS

To prepare for the exam, AWS offers a free 6-hour online course.

Coursera and edX

The same course is also available on two popular MOOC platforms, should you prefer this format.

Pluralsight, LinkedIn Learning, Cloud Academy, …

For those with a subscription to an online learning platform, you can also decide to watch their exam prep courses.

Note that just watching the videos may not suffice for the exam. Easy come, easy go. As it takes less effort to watch videos compared to reading the docs, you may also have more trouble retaining the information.

Make sure to do some practice test and make some notes to properly digest the material.

YouTube

For those without a subscription to an online learning platform, you can also decide to go for some binge watching on YouTube. Although there is a risk to waste precious time, there is also some good material available for free.

Note that AWS also hosts exam prep live shows with Q&A on Twitch

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Practice Test

AWS

To deflate the hoopla around practice exams, AWS generously provides practice exams to assess your readiness. These exams are provided by the same companies that act as proctor the real exam (PSI and Pearson VUE). If you are looking for a good dry-run, look no further. There is a small charge.

Kaplan/Cybervista via Pluralsight

Pluralsight partners with Kaplan/Cybervista, which provides free access to a practice exam (and other study tools).

Cloud Academy

The AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Preparation learning path includes a preparation exam.

Non-official Practice Tests

The Google search engine returns a few million results when searching for “AWS Cloud Practitioner exam questions”. Many website offer dubious material at a charge (old exam questions with incorrect answers) with little to no educational value.

The more serious efforts can be found on platforms like Udemy (Über for online learning), usually reasonably priced and with clear explanations. You might want to check the reviews and look up the course instructor on YouTube or LinkedIn before purchase.

Note that for the a similar price you can take an official AWS practice exam. Before purchase, make sure the material on Udemy does not infringe on the conditions of the program. Caveat emptor!


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