AWS Certifications Introduction
Posted: Apr 16, 2021
Until January, 2020, Amazon AWS has 11 exams of different levels, covering basic, associate and professional level respectively as well as independent specialized level. Besides, AWS established a brand new AWS Certified Database - Specialty for exams in April, 2020. Thus, there are 12 AWS certification exams currently.
Exams with different levels are suitable for cloud computing practitioners, architects, developers, and experts specialized in cloud computing operations and other specific fields. What should be noticed is that since October, 2018, candidates do not have to pass an associate level exam in order to take expert-level or specialty certification exams.Any one can directly take these exams.
Then, we will talk about the content, difficulty and difference of each exam.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitionerexam here is a new exam released at the end of 2017. This is the easiest exam among all other exams. It targets at those who want to have a primary understanding of cloud computing and AWS. Therefore, it is suitable for the people who have little idea about AWS or practitioner outside of IT industry.
Its exam content includes cloud computing concepts, security, technology and billing and pricing, by learning which, you will not only have a primary understanding of AWS, but also know about the most frameworks of could computing within the IT industry. AWS is also the leading role of the market.
Only the candidates who never participate in other exams of AWS, can they take this exam.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate exam, compared with AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam put more focus on the architecture design of AWS, like how to design the system architecture that can expand with high availability, how to transfer system and data and how to plan architecture based on the best practices of AWS framework as well as how to control cost. Associate architect needs to know several modules of AWS such as EC2, VPC, IAM, S3, and Route53 and their definitions, scenes for usage, their advantages and differences from the traditional data center, etc.
This exam is harder than AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. It will test the basic services of AWS covering how to use, create and manage them in a comprehensive way. Therefore, it is recommended that the candidates who are preparing this exam should register for the AWS one-year free package. For details, you can look for the information about AWS free tier. Such a tier covers all the AWS services that you need to be familiar with. Hands-on operations can make you better understand exam content.
AWS Certified Developer-Associate exam tends to provide for AWS developers. It will examine candidates’ basic understanding ofAWS services, corresponding SDK and approaches to utilize various AWS services from the perspectives of programmers. You do not have to be proficient in programming language but at least you should have certain knowledge and experience of high-level programming language.
Except for knowing the basic modules of AWS, you are also required to specially learn the content of DynamoDB and API. The exam puts an emphasis on the knowledge of Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), etc.
AWS Certified Developer-Associate certification exam is the easiest one of the eight exams apart from AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator-Associate exam is mainly designed for system administrators and operators of AWS platform, testing how to deploy, manage and operate highly available systems on AWS. This exam generally covers the content of AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate exam plus some questions in real scenes. Personally speaking, its content is deeper.
In general, this exam is the most difficult one among the three Associate exams. The questions are long and most are multiple choices with similar options. Usually, the method of exclusion is used to get the correct answer.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional requires you to know a lot of AWS basic modules in-depth (EC2, SQS, SNS, Route 53, IAM) and some modules that are less used (like WAF, Redshift, CloudSearch, Transcoder and so on). To put it simply, the exam is a pot of various content covering most existing AWS services.
This the professional-level exam is the most tough one, thus most valuable.
Currently, to take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional certification exam have no prerequisites. (In the past, Architect-Associate certification should be obtained at the first place.) To take this exam, you should have more practical experience and deeper understanding of architecture. We suggest that the candidates with several years of experience of using AWS services to take the exam.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer-Professional is the professional DevOps engineer exam. On the combination of Developer-Associate exam and Administrator exam content, it examines the ability to implement and manage continuous delivery methods.
The exam emphasize on such modules as CloudFormation, AutoScaling, Security, Elastic Beanstalk, andOpsWork.
AWS Certified Big Data-Specialty aims at testing candidates’ abilities to design, maintain big data and use tools to carry out data analysis automatically on the foundation of best practices of AWS architecture.
S3, Kinesis, Redshift, Machaine Learning, DynamoDB, Presto, D3.js, Amazon Elasticache, Amazon Elastisearch are the key knowledge.
AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty, mainly from the view of network design/plan to test candidates’ abilities to use AWS to design, deploy, and develop highly available network architecture and to use execution tools to automatically execute AWS networking tasks, etc. Most questions come from the knowledge of AWS Direct Connect, VPN, Elastic Load Balancer, VPC, BGP routing protocol, etc.
The difficulty of this exam is only secondary to AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional exam, demanding certain background information of the network.
This the exam mainly checks the candidates’ understanding toward regional/national security regulations and policies, data classification and data protection mechanisms, data encryption methods, secure Internet protocols, and other security-related concepts. Candidates should be capable of building an architecture that meets security requirements through AWS's infrastructure services.
This is a new exam released on January, 2019. Until the date of writing this article, the exam is still at the Beta stage. You can pay half of the exam fee to take the exam at Beta stage and you will receive the exam result after around 3 months.
It is recommended that people who have at least six months of practical experience in Alexa skill design and construction, proficient in programming languages, and have published at least one skill to take the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder - Specialty Beta exam. This certification exam is designed to test the candidate's ability to build, test, publish, and demonstrate Amazon Alexa skills.
The purpose of the exam is to check the abilities to construct, test, publicize and display Amazon Alexatechniques.
Detailed costs as follows:
The number of questions
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
AWS Certified Developer - Associate
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional
AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty
AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty
AWS Certified Security - Specialty
AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder - Specialty
Associate-level exam has an extra simulation exam costing USD20 and professional-level also has a simulation exam with USD40. These exams are online tests.
If you are confident, you can choose not to take the mock exams.
In recent, SPOTO has established online testing questions matching with different exams. If you are interested in, you can have click on SPOTO’s official website.
At present, all AWS exams do not set a clear passing score. AWS will control the the number of candidates passing exams. Therefore, the passing line keeps changing slightly. According to the experience of netizens, the passing line of the old version of the exam was roughly 65%.
However, there are both candidates passing and failing the exam with 65% correct rates. Hence, to pass AWS certification exams, 70% correct rate is safer.
All exam versions have been updated to the latest. The passing score of new versions are 720, the full score is 1000.
As far as the different levels are concerned, the difficulty level ranges from low to high is that basic
Jaylin is a Staff Writer for Bizmaa focusing on business analytics, business systems, gadgets and other small business news. She has a background in information and communications technology coordination.