How to prepare for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

In one of our earlier post we have detailed about which AWS certification is suitable for you ?

If you are from System Admin or DevOps background the  AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification will be a good plus for you.

If you are  an absolute beginner on AWS you can start with free labs from AWS . To practice further you can create free AWS account. These two actions will get you started on AWS.

Beware that if you go beyond free tier limits you will be billed. Best practice is to create a billing alert.  This alert can save you from unexpected bill shocker.

If you want to learn further you can opt for either classroom course or online course. The classroom course is generally expensive and range between USD 600 to 2000. While the online course can cost you anything between USD 10 to USD 300 depending on which course you choose.

Our personal opinion is that you should go for online courses as they are cheaper and if you follow their labs honestly(yeah not just seeing him do it but actually doing the labs yourself 😉 ) they can be as good as classroom training.

In online courses we found courses from two providers acloudguru and linux academy  to be good. Earlier the Linux Academy course was only available through their site using a monthly plan but the same course is now available on Udemy too. The acloudguru course is already available on Udemy from longtime.  Though both these courses are available to purchase from their respective site under monthly subscription but, if you buy these courses from Udemy you pay only once and get lifetime access to same courses.  And many times Udemy provide heavy discounts on courses which can get you a good bargain.

The acloudguru course is delivered by Ryan who is enthusiastic and teach you really well. Though sometime he can get a bit click happy and can quickly zip past few topics. But, you always have the option to rewind and go through the topic again 🙂 .

The labs in the course are very useful and helps you get deep understanding of topic. The course also has quizzes to check your knowledge.

Overall we found the acloudguru course to be beneficial in getting you exam ready.

However do note that the course alone is not enough to clear the exam. You should go through whitepapers and FAQs of atleast below services .

  • EC2
  • S3
  • VPC
  • Route 53
  • CloudWatch
  • OpsWorks
  • Billing

Exam pattern

Udemy

Exam has Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions. Exam is of 80 minutes. You can download the exam blueprint here.

Practice Exam Questions

To get a good evaluation of your preparation you can go through another course  for sample exam questions on Udemy  .

Exam Cost

Exam will cost you USD 150. AWS also gives you an option to book a practice exam for USD 20 before you go for actual exam.

How to book exam

To book an exam you will have to create an account in AWS Training and Certification Portal .

Passing score

AWS doesn’t reveal minimum passing score and it keeps on changing. But we have observed that generally people who score above 70% passed the exam. You will immediately see the score on you screen once you finish the test and will also get a report on your mail within 1 hour.

Exam Tips

  • Get good sleep and keep calm during the exam.
  • You won’t get more than 3 mins per question.
  • You may find some very long questions in exam. Best strategy to tackle them is to read the answer options first and then check for relevant info in question.
  • Since it’s an AWS exam so look for AWS related options in the answers.  Chances are high that  Non-AWS related option in answer will be wrong.
  • AWS exams generally don’t focus on mugging their datasheets. So you won’t get a question like “How much RAM does a C3.xlarge offer?” .

That’s all folks! Best of luck for the exam!

Do let us know in comments section if you have any query.

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