What is an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification and How to Prepare for it ?

In this article, we will talk about one of the most popular certifications in AWS, and it is an (AWS certified Cloud Practitioner Certification). Who can take this certification and what the content of the exam will be, how can you prepare for this certification exam, and finally how can you register for this certification? All of these, we will explain it in this article. So please keep your eyes open to enjoy in this journey.

Firstly, what is AWS cloud? AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a cloud computing platform. Provides over 200 fully featured services from data centers globally.

And now most organizations and companies moving toward cloud computing, and we have the big 3 providers for cloud computing: AWS, google, and azure. But AWS is the current market leader in cloud computing platforms. AWS is the most mature cloud platform offering a wide range of services to practically everyone: individual developers, large enterprises, and even governments.

Therefore, Amazon offers many certificates for the level of knowledge you have about AWS services (FOUNDATIONAL, ASSOCIATE, PROFESSIONAL, SPECIALTY). So, if you have basic knowledge of the AWS platform, basic knowledge of IT, or if you come from a different field from IT and you want to go into cloud computing. So, the best choice to start your life cloud career is from the foundational level of certification, and it is AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.

So, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the foundational level of AWS certification. It is a certification designed for those who have basic knowledge of AWS. And the aim of this certification is to measure your Knowledge from some different areas defined by AWS.

Exam overview

  • The level of the exam is (Foundational).
  • The length of the exam is 90 minutes to complete it. But if your English is not your native language, you can register to take another 30 minutes.
  • Cost: 100 USD
  • No. of questions: 65 questions.
  • Format of questions: either multiple choice or multiple responses.
  • The results of the exam are reported as a scaled score of 100-1000, and to pass the exam you must be your score at a minimum of 700.
  • AWS certifications are valid for three years.

What is the content of the exam?

I can divide the content of the exam into four sections:

  1. Cloud Concepts.
  2. Security and Compliance.
  3. Technology.
  4. Billing and Pricing.

Section 1 : Cloud Concepts

This section covers about 26% of the exam content.

To pass the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, you must have basic knowledge of cloud concepts which are represented by:

  • Define the benefits of the AWS cloud including Security, Reliability, High Availability, Elasticity, Agility, Pay-as-you-go pricing, Scalability, Global Reach, and Economy of scale.
  • Identify aspects of AWS Cloud economics: Identity which operations will reduce costs by moving to the cloud
  • Explain the different cloud architecture design principles: Design for failure, Decouple components vs. monolithic architecture, Implement elasticity in the cloud vs. on-premises

Section 2 : Security and Compliance

This section covers about 25% of the exam content.

So it is important to know some information about security and compliance, which are represented by:

  • Define the AWS shared responsibility model: Describe AWS responsibilities and describe the customer’s responsibility on AWS.
  • Define AWS Cloud security and compliance concepts: Identify different encryption options on AWS (for example, In transit, At rest), describe who enables encryption on AWS for a given service, and recognize there are services that will aid in auditing and reporting like Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Config, and AWS CloudTrail, explain the concept of the least privileged access.
  • Identify AWS access management capabilities: Access keys and password policies (rotation, complexity), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM).
  • Identify resources for security support: security groups, Network ACLs, AWS WAF, 3rd party security products from the AWS Marketplace, know that security checks are a component of AWS Trusted Advisor.

Section 3 : Technology

This section covers about 33% of the exam content.

So you must have solid knowledge about technology in AWS, which is represented by:

  • Programmatic access, AWS Management Console, CLI, APIs, SDKs, Infrastructure as Code.
  • Different types of cloud deployment models: Cloud, Hybrid, and On-premises.
  • Connectivity options: VPN, AWS Direct Connect, Public internet.
  • AWS global infrastructure: Regions, Availability Zones, and Edge Locations.
  • Core AWS services: Describe the categories of services on AWS (compute, storage, network, database).
  • AWS compute services: families, services (EC2, ECS, AWS Lambda, Auto scaling, Elastic load balancer…)
  • AWS storage services: S3, Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon S3 Glacier, AWS Snowball, Amazon EFS, AWS Storage Gateway …
  • AWS networking services: VPC, subnet, VPN, AWS Direct Connect, Amazon Route 53…
  • AWS database services: Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift …
  • Resources for technology support: documentation (best practices, AWS Whitepapers, AWS Knowledge Center, forums, blogs), identify the various levels and scope of AWS support (AWS Abuse, AWS support cases, Premium support, Technical Account Managers).

Section 4 : Billing and Pricing

This section covers about 16% of the exam content.

To get a good score in the exam, you need to know and compare the various pricing models for AWS (for example, On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instance pricing), recognize that consolidated billing is a feature of AWS Organizations, identify how multiple accounts aid in allocating costs across departments, and finally identify ways to get billing support and information (Cost Explorer, AWS Cost and Usage Report, Amazon QuickSight, third-party partners, and AWS Marketplace tools), and where to find pricing information on AWS services (AWS Simple Monthly Calculator, AWS Services product pages, AWS Pricing API).

How to Prepare for AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification?

To prepare for any exam, the best resources you can use for preparing that are provided by the exam provider. So, the best resources to prepare for AWS cloud practitioner are provided by AWS, like courses in AWS skill builder, or in AWS documentation.

But because this exam may be the first exam you will take, maybe you feel difficulty when learning from AWS documentation. So, I suggest this course to you, and I am very recommended it [NEW] Ultimate AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – 2022 | Udemy.

Course Overview

  • This course in Udemy and the instructor is Stephane Maarek.
  • This course does not require any AWS cloud experience, or any IT prerequisites required.
  • The course includes 14.5 hours of videos and 1 practice test.
  • This course is divided into 23 sections, and about 270 lectures.

Let’s talk about the course content

In this course, the instructor explained all services maybe come in the exam.

And for every section, we have many hands-on lectures and used the AWS Free Tier most of the time. And there are quizzes at the end of every section, to test your knowledge before you move to the next section.

So the content of the course is about introduction to Cloud Computing, and then going deep dive for some services like IAM -Identity And Access Management, EC2 Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2 Instance Storage, Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling Group, S3, Database & Analytics, Other Compute Services like (ECS, Lambda, Batch, Lightsail), cloud integrations, cloud monitoring, VPC and Networking, security and compliance, account management, billing and support, machine learning. And in the last course, you can test your knowledge by taking the practice exam.

Then, after you complete the course, I recommend these practice exams 6 Practice Exams | AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner CLF-C01 | Udemy.

After you are doing the exam, your result (score) and answers will appear, and please read the all answers carefully cause the instructor explains every choice if it is true why it is true and if it is wrong why it is wrong.

So please practice for at least 4 exams in this course, to be ready to pass the exam.

How to register for the exam

To register for the exam, you must have an account in AWS Certification on this page https://www.aws.training/certification?src=practitioner.

After creating an account, on the home page, please select Request Exam accommodations if English is not your native language. Then select Request accommodation and on the page below in the Select accommodation please select ESL +30 MINUTES, to take an additional 30 minutes above exam time.

And you must do that before registering for the exam.

Then switch to the Exam Registration page in the Eligible Exams, you will find the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the first exam. Now you have two ways to register for the exam, either Schedule with PSI, or Schedule with Pearson VUE. So, if your country have authorized centers from AWS, you can Schedule with PSI. But if it does not have centers like my country, so we will Schedule with Pearson VUE.

If you use Schedule with Pearson VUE, select Online at my home or office, so you must prepare for your online exam at your home or office (and prepare your computer, your ID photo, and your testing space), thereafter you should choose What is your preferred language for the exam? Then, you must agree with online exam policies. After that, you choose What is the language you prefer the proctor to speak? Then confirm your preferred time zone, and finally select your date you want to do the exam, then select proceed to checkout to add Card Details, or if you have a voucher you can add the code of the voucher.

After that, return to the Exam Registration page, and you must see the registration appear in the Scheduled AWS Exams.

Congrats, the registration is done successfully.

Advice and tips

  • One day before the test, please download the OnVUE program, and please test your computer (mic, camera, internet), and prepare your ID.
  • Prepare yourself before 30 minutes of the time of the exam, to not lose a lot of time in check-in.
  • Please don’t worry if you wait a lot of time until the proctor appears, it’s normal, and sometimes it takes 20 minutes so don’t worry.
  • Start answering questions and if you are having difficulty with one question don’t spend a lot of time on it, just flag it, and when finish all questions you can return to answer it.

Final words

If you complete the course I mentioned above and then solved at least 4 of the practice exams, that makes you ready to pass the exam.

My advice is, please practice practice practice. Don’t just watch the lecture videos without hands-on for your private AWS management console account.

And if you feel you need some practice, so I will leave other some resources here, and I hope it will help you to pass the exam.

All the best for your learning journey. And all the best for your test.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of ITCertificate.org

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