A quick overview of the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam

What is it for?

According to the exam blueprint, this "examination is intended for individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively demonstrate an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud, independent of specific technical roles addressed by other AWS certifications" (my emphasis). Essentially, it’s a kind of foundation level certification, not specific to a particular technology role. I'm thinking that good target audiences could be (pre-) sales, marketing, or anyone who needs to be able to talk about the key value proposition of the Cloud (and specifically AWS). More on this once I've taken it.

What was it like?

The cost of the exam is a hundred dollars, with a duration of ninety minutes and a total of sixty-five questions. I had a race with my good friend Matt Bishop to see who could finish it first. I was gutted to finish about three minutes after him (to be fair he started ages before me!).

Questions concerned the value proposition of the (AWS) cloud, AWS pricing, support tiers, and some of the key features and services of AWS.

OK, but, you know, the structure?

Usual exam structure - multiple choice answers, if there are multiple parts to the answer you'll be told how many check boxes to check. My earlier comments about the PSI testing engine still apply.

How hard was it?

For me, not hard. I didn't take it to prove anything; I took it so that I could see what it's like so that I could explain it to our internal team and blog about it to you, my loyal reader.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also wanted the AWS Certified socks.

Having said that, there were a number of questions that made me pause to think before answering.

According to the blueprint, the Business Essentials, Technical Essentials and the new AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials online course a recommended preparation, reinforcing the entry-level aspect. I don't know what the content of the new online course is, but I would say that the two ILT Essentials courses wouldn't teach you everything you need to know to pass the exam.

Final thoughts 

I think this is a great exam to demonstrate core technical understanding of the AWS platform. Historically, the entry-level technical exam would have been the CSA exam but that is too technically deep for some requirements.

I thought the questions were clearly and fairly written. The ones that gave me pause for thought are probably because of my in-depth knowledge of platform. I heard that the beta was only open to people without any previous AWS certifications, which makes sense.

I am going to very much encourage at least some of our sales team to take this exam. I'm trying to convince my colleague who's out at the conference with me to give it a go (if nothing else, she might get some socks...). The socks are very comfy (I am wearing them as I type).


You know better than to ask by now, surely!

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