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Opeyemi Jokanola
Opeyemi Jokanola

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How I Aced my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (AWS CCP) in 2 Weeks

One of my goals for 2022 is to acquire a Technical skill as I am always looking for ways to give myself an edge, and demonstrate that I have the ability to learn new things quickly and effectively. Due to the fact that AWS is one of industry-leading Cloud Services Provider, I decided that the AWS CCP was a good place to start.

The Certification

It is worthy of note to mention that this certification demonstrates a foundational understanding of Cloud principles, AWS Services, and other aspects of the Infrastructure as a Service platform that AWS offers, including billing, pricing, and security. It is also the first step in achieving higher certifications, such as the Solutions Architect Associate, which is my next target. There are no requirements for taking the exam in terms of prior certifications or experience — you only need to put in the time and effort, and pay the $100 fee, to write the exam. You can learn more about AWS Certifications here.

Preparation

I decided to go all in. I studied for about 5–6 hours everyday over the course of 2 weeks in order to prepare adequately for the exam. One thing I realised about the exam is that you either understand the question and know the answer, or you don’t. Guessing can be difficult at times,but it doesn’t hurt to do that when you are stuck.
I did some research and found some resources which I will share. In addition, kudos to the ANUG Community (AWS Nigeria User Group) for organising tutorials for those writing the CCP exam. The sessions I attended assisted me to reinforce my learning (still ongoing). I also came across Mukhtar Kabir Telegram group where he posts daily quizzes. PS: I don’t recommend taking the exam on such a short time frame, as it is stressful and overwhelming. There are lot of information to consume, and it takes a while to digest.

Resources

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Exam Prep:AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
AWS CCP Official Practice Test(Free)
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Training Full Course
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner by Stephane Maarek
Whizlabs Practice Test(Free)
Mukhtar Kabir Telegram Group

What to Focus On

There is so much to learn and digest when it comes to understanding Cloud Computing and how AWS provides what is known as “Infrastructure as a Service.” The CCP exam is highly focused on definitions, acronyms, and distinguishing between different offerings. With lots of acronyms, you can become lost very quickly.
The exam requires high attention to detail. This is due to the fact that there lot of services AWS offer, and some of them overlap. It is important to eliminate the options into reasonable choices — don’t just click the first answer that you see and assume that you’re good. Read the question more than once and go back again if you’re not sure.

Study Techniques

As with many things in life, studying for this exam comes down to one thing — iteration and reinforced learning. Watch as many tutorials and walkthroughs as you can, jot down as much as you can, and take as many practice exams as you can.

What to Expect

I decided for convenience, to take the exam from home through PSI. The exam is 120 minutes in duration (65 questions) and can be taken from any room where there is reliable internet, reliable power supply, great lightning and good webcam. You will also have to provide a valid means of Identification, no one else should be in the room, no wristwatch, mobile phone, ear pods and any other thing the virtual proctor deems inappropriate. It took me about 45 minutes prior to the exam to go through the security checks and receive clearance from the proctor. You will have to restart your system and close all application before your exam can launch.
Once I started the exam, I tried my best not to second-guess myself, and completed the exam as fast as I could. I flagged some questions that I wanted to review and came back to it once I was done.
You will not receive the certificate immediately, as the proctors must review the recording of the exam to ensure that there was nothing dishonest taking place. Then, you will receive an email, a PDF, and a nice badge to post to LinkedIn to verify the credential.

Last Minute Tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind before taking the exam.
-Make sure that you are doing practice exams so that the concepts are fresh.
-If you answer incorrectly during a practice exam, mark the question and the answer for later review.
-Take study breaks. Some of the material is dense, so it helps to get away from it for a few hours.
-Make sure that your workspace is prepared — no notes, no monitors, no open windows, and no leaving the room. You don’t want to lose $100 because PHCN decided to cut power in the middle of a particularly difficult question on the difference between AWS RDS and AWS Aurora.
-Make sure that you go into the exam energized and focused.
-Don’t second-guess yourself.

The Final Thought

The AWS CCP exam was certainly more difficult than I had anticipated. Learning more about AWS, and Cloud Computing in general, has given me a newfound appreciation for the mind-blowing progress that has been made in technology, and how fast things move in the industry. Passing the AWS CCP is just the tip of the AWS Glacier (You get it?).

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