AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam Study Guide

Welcome to the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam overview and study guide.

This page is going to provide you with all the resources you’ll need to pass the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam and become cloud certified. 

So let’s begin!

If your like me, you probably got to a point in your career when your boss comes to you and says:

“Hey, we’re going to be integrating AWS cloud services into our organization’s workflows. We’re going to need you to begin getting familiar with the AWS services and get certified.

Awesome! Now before you freak out, let me ease your doubts by saying you can do this!

I won’t lie to you, learning cloud technology isn’t always easy, but this AWS blog was designed with you in mind so you can accomplish one thing – pass the test.

This post is going to be an overview of everything you’ll need to know and review in order to pass the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam.

NOTE: The number one mistake I see people make when preparing for an AWS Certification exam is that they rely on the study material provided by whichever vendor of their choosing and believe that it is enough to get them a passing grade. You will NOT pass on the study materials alone. AWS technology changes too rapidly for the study materials to keep up, which is why I recommend everyone refer to the official AWS documentation to supplement your studies.

For the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, you should not experience this too much due to the fact that the exam covers the core services, however, if you plan to take any of the associate level certifications, make sure you read the Whitepapers and FAQs. See below for more details.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Essentials

This certification does a pretty good job at covering the fundamentals of AWS services.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam covers the following topics:

  • Define what the AWS Cloud is and the basic global infrastructure
  • Describe basic AWS Cloud architectural principles
  • Describe key services on the AWS platform and their common use cases (for example, compute, storage, user management)
  • Describe basic security and compliance aspects of the AWS platform and the shared security model
  • Define the billing, account management, and pricing models
  • Identify sources of documentation or technical assistance (Whitepapers, FAQs)
  • Describe the basic core-characteristics of deploying and operating in the AWS Cloud

So, are you still with me? Great!

This certification exam is going to be an introduction to cloud computing and AWS cloud and will prove to be a benefit to you whether you are planning to incorporate AWS into your organization or simply want to get familiar with cloud computing as a whole.

The image above was pulled directly from Amazon’s AWS certification site but I wanted to highlight where this certification stands on the list of all AWS certifications. I know, I know… What’s with the redundancy? Well, for some reason, there are a lot of people who tend to confuse this certification with the Solutions Architect Associate exam, which has some similarities but if I were to compare the two, I would say that the AWS Cloud Practitioner is the child to the AWS Solutions Architect Associate.

Nevertheless, this certification is still worth getting because it’ll help prepare you for the associate level exams which cover AWS to much greater depth.

For more information on the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, I have added a link to the official exam guide below.

To read the AWS Offical Exam Guide – Click Here

Essential Whitepapers & FAQs

Here you will find all the Whitepapers and FAQs you will need to study in order to pass the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Domains

Domain 1: Cloud Concepts

This domain is going to get you working on understanding the basic ideas behind cloud technology, particularly when it comes to the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification.

  • Basics to AWS Cloud Computing
  • AWS Global Infrastructure
  • Identify aspects of Cloud Computing
    • Advantages of Cloud Computing
      • Trading capital expense for variable expense
      • Benefit from massive economics of scale
      • Stop guessing about capacity
      • Increase speed agility
      • Stop spending money running maintaining data centers
      • Go global in minutes
    • AWS Well-Architected Framework
      • This includes agility, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and operational excellence.
  • List the different cloud architecture design principles

Domain 2: Security

The security domain isn’t going to cover too much. If you want to learn more, I would recommend you look into the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam or AWS Security certification exam. However, for starters the details of this domain are included below.

  • Define the AWS Shared Responsibility Model
  • Define AWS Cloud Security and Compliance Concepts

Domain 3: Technology

This domain is where the bulk of the exam is going to be. 

Here you will learn the basics to the core AWS services covered in the Cloud Practitioner exam.

  • Define methods of deploying and operating in the AWS Cloud
  • Be able to explain the AWS global infrastructure
    • Regions, AZs, and Edge Locations.
  • Identify the core AWS services
    • Compute Services (EC2, ECS, Elastic Beanstalk, Lambda, Auto Scaling)
    • Storage Services (S3, EBS, EFS)
    • Security Services (IAM, Organizations, WAF)
    • Databases (RDS, Aurora, DynamoDB, ElastiCache)
      • Understand the idea of the Database Migration Service
    • Networking and Content Delivery (VPC, CloudFront, Route 53, Direct Connect, and ELBs)
    • Management Tools (CloudWatch, CloudFormation, CloudTrail, AWS Config, OpsWorks, Trusted Advisor, Personal Health Dashboard)
    • Messaging (SQS and SNS)
  • Identify resources for technology support
    • includes AWS Support Models and the key features and benefits the model provides to the customers

Domain 4: Billing and Pricing

And what’s a cloud exam without covering the logistics of billing and pricing models for these God-given services…

  • General idea behind AWS Cloud Services Pricing
  • Understand the various account structures when it comes to billing/pricing
    • AWS Organizations
    • Consolidated Billing
    • Billing and Cost Management
  • Understand the tools used for billing support

For the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam, I will be creating a free online course hosted on Cybrary which will cover most of everything you need to know to get at least a passing score. I still HIGHLY encourage you to read the whitepapers and FAQs as they will help you understand what the services do, which is ultimately the goal here… right?