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AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner - Resources / Guide

Ganesh Swaminathan
Cloud Enthusiast interested in topics around Technology Infrastructure, Python, Containers, AWS, Azure, GCP, K8s and Deep Learning |#AWSCertified CSAPro | #AWSCommunityBuilder
Updated on ・6 min read

AWS Cloud Practitioner is the entry level certification covering foundations of "Cloud" and introducing some of the major benefits of running in AWS and some key services like EC2, S3...

There are a number of resources online for studying for this exam and below is an aggregated list of some of the resources I have either personally used or have found highly recommended from trusted sources.

List of Learning Resources

AWS provided resources

Resources provided by AWS themselves for this certification exams are given below (there are similar resources for almost ALL certification exams).

AWS Certification Site

You will find all the details related to the course here.

Exam Guide For the Certification (PDF)

Must read document covering all the details about the exam.
The content outline in the above Exam Guide is extremely useful as it outlines the scope of what you really expected to know
Content Outline from Exam Guide

Sample Questions

I recommend you keep this for later for when you have finished one or two of the courses listed below. There are 20 sample questions with answers to serve as a taster for the actual exam.

AWS Online Free Training - Cloud Practitioner Essentials course

AWS have a free training course covering the "essentials" you need to know to pass this exam.

The exact same course is available on multiple platforms - you can choose one based on your preference if you already use any of them

Cloud Practitioner "Power Hour"

AWS ran a series on Twitch called "AWS Power Hour : Cloud Practitioner" covering a lot of the Cloud Practitioner material over 6 weeks. This was run in combination with a "challenge" to get certified by their "re:Invent" conference that ran through December 2020.
While this actual series is finished - most of the content (except some labs) are still available online via this Resources page

Sample contents from just one episode is below :

Episode 1 contents

Exam Readiness Live / Webinar sessions

AWS host many "live" events and these include "Cloud Practitioner Essentials Day" and "Exam Readiness - Live - Cloud Practitioner".
These are usually free / live events spread across different time zones and sometimes in languages other than English.

Whitepapers

There are 3 whitepapers recommended for Cloud Practitioner Exam

Overview of Amazon Web Services - PDF
How AWS Pricing Works - PDF
Technically not a "whitepaper" but listed in the whitepapers list and a very important resource - Compare AWS Support Plans

Practice Exams

There is an AWS practice exam you can purchase for USD 20 but I recommend you skip this one. I have not used this myself or know of anyone who used this for this exam. This maybe due to the fact that for USD 20 you do not get a full length exam set of questions and there is very limited feedback on the usefulness of these. There are many online providers offering a lot more practice exams for under USD 20 that are recommended instead of this one.

You can also find 30 practice questions from the AWS "Power Hour" Resources covered above available at this link for free. I don't know how long this will stay hosted but it worked when tested in July 2021.

Please do NOT seek out free or paid for "exam dumps" as they are not worth it at all.

Other Free / Online Resources

The best free resource (i.e., not from AWS) is the course by Andrew Brown of ExamPro hosted by FreeCodeCamp.org on their YouTube channel. The 4 hour course is fairly comprehensive and I have recommended this before to anyone new to AWS and some have gone on to take the exam and pass it.

Paid-for Resources

I have personally used Stephane Maarek's courses and Jon Bonso's (Tutorial Dojo) practice exams for my Associate / Professional Exams. These courses cost me about £12 each from Udemy.
I did not use these resources for Cloud Practitioner but they both provide such high quality AWS exam preparation resources - so there is no reason why these would be lacking in any way...

Stephane Maarek's Course

Note for anyone buying from Udemy is that there are always voucher codes and/or SALE every few weeks - so never pay more than say USD 15 or equivalent for these courses. Stephane also makes some offers regularly and you could get back the cost of your exam or get the course for next to nothing. Subscribe to newsletters or follow them on social media to get these offers.

Tutorials Dojo Practice Exams

I used to buy these courses from Udemy but there are some added benefits from buying these direct (listed in the linked page).
With these practice exams, you get a very good flavour of the actual exam questions and the platform also allow you to find out what areas you are weak on and focus on them. Tutorialsdojo also have some free practice exams and other Tutorials they are starting to host - checkout their main site for all details as this changes rapidly.

A Cloud Guru

A Cloud Guru is a very well known training service with lots of Cloud related courses and they acquired another famous training service, Linux Academy, in 2019. The combined platform is really powerful but a bit expensive for those who just want to take the cloud practitioner exam.
If you are planning to get a few certificates in the Cloud domain - then these are working investing in. Many employers often offer these to their staff for training or reimburse training costs.
Their new Cloud Practitioner course is also free through July 2021 (limited time offer and may have expired when you read this but do checkout the link above).

Book

If you are the type who learns from electronic / paper books - then there is just one main recommendation

AWS Cloud Practitioner Study Guide

Image of book

The only concern I have with recommending this book is that it was published in June 2019 and since then there have been a lot of changes to AWS services. This is not a huge worry for the Cloud Practitioner exam but something to keep in mind (typically any changes older than 6 months are included in the exam).
Registering the book also provides a couple of practice exams and some flash cards (I have not used these features to comment further)

I had access to this book via O'Reilly online learning platform and found the exam questions in each chapter useful.

Hot Tip! If you are planning to get online O'Reilly access - do note that ACM membership costs about $99/year (or cheaper if you are in a country where they offer discounted membership) and that gets you full access to all books and learning material on O'Reilly. This is compared to the typically $499/year access to O'Reilly directly. There are some features that you don't get access to via this method (Live training, Katacoda, Sandboxes etc) but you get pretty much ALL books, recorded videos and all learning paths.

Got any Feedback

This post is part of an ongoing series I started and more certifications resource guides will be available shortly! Follow this main post for updates.

I would appreciate any constructive feedback or retweets!

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