I hold AWS Certified SysOps Administrator and AWS Certified Solutions Architect certifications.
Before taking any certification exam, make sure you are ready to pass. AWS associate exams cost $150 or $75 if you already passed an AWS exam. If you fail, you won't be able to retake the test for two weeks and you will have to pay $150 to retake it. The best way to ensure you are ready to pass is to take lots of practice tests. These tests can highlight your weaknesses, letting you know before the exam what gaps in your knowledge you need to close.
How can you know when you're ready to take the real exam? When I was preparing for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam, I found a lot of contradictory answers in forums. Some thought the practice tests were easier than the real exam. Others thought they were more difficult. I'm going to show you my practice test scores for the SysOps exam and compare the results to my score on the actual exam.
* Exam questions are random, so my experience may differ from other test-takers*
For the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate (SOA-C01), I took these practice tests:
- Jon Bonso (Purchase from Udemy)
You can purchase these quizzes from whizlabs.com. These are my rounded results.
- Exam 1: 74%
- Exam 2: 88%
- Exam 3: 85%
- Exam 4: 85%
- Exam 5: 98%
This averages out to 86%.
You can purchase these exams at digitialcloud.training or Udemy. These are my rounded results.
- Exam 1: 89%
- Exam 2: 91%
- Exam 3: 83%
These scores average out to 87.67%.
Jon Bonso Scores
You can purchase these practice exams from udemy.com. These are my rounded scores.
- Exam 1: 84%
- Exam 2: 96%
- Exam 3: 81%
- Exam 4: 87%
- Exam 5: 83%
- Exam 6: 86%
These scores average out to 86.17%.
My Exam Score
I scored 88.4% on the actual exam. My practice exam averages were 1-2 percentage points lower, so for me, the practice exams were at about the same level as the real thing. This is a lot closer than my results on the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam (SAA-C01). For that certification, my practice test averages were 9-10 percent lower than my actual score.
I also took the official AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate Practice (SOA-P01) exam a few days before I took my exam. I scored 100%. I thought this practice exam was far easier than the actual exam. If you have already taken an AWS exam, you should be able to take this practice test for free. Look for a voucher in the Benefits section of the AWS Certification website. If you haven't already passed an AWS exam, you can pay $20 to take the test.
AWS offers an online course called Exam Readiness: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate that "reviews sample exam questions in each topic area and teaches you how to interpret the concepts being tested so that you can more easily eliminate incorrect responses." It's a 90-minute course that covers:
- Exam Overview and Structure
- Content Domains and Question Breakdown
- Topics and Concepts Within Content Domains
- Question Structure and Interpretation Techniques
- Practice Exam Questions
I also thought these exam readiness questions were a lot easier than the actual exam, but since the course is free you should definitely go through it.
Exam Readiness AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate
If You Aren't Doing Well on the Practice Tests...
To pass this exam, you should at least be getting scores in the low 80's. What if your scores are only in the 60's or 70's? Don't keep taking practice tests if the first few you take don't go well. Go through your courses again. You might find courses by these instructors helpful.
DolfinEd on Udemy has a course titled AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate [Latest Exam] that provides a lot of the theoretical knowledge needed to pass AWS associate exams. The course is long at around 83 hours. According to DolfinEd:
"Be 70-75% ready for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate and AWS Certified Developer Associate Exams."
Neal Davis at digitalcloud.training offers a SysOps course with exam scenarios at the end of each section. He goes through a lot of concepts that are likely to come up on the exam and provides likely answers. The course is available on his website and through Udemy. Davis also offers a helpful cheat sheet to "learn everything you need to know to ace your exam!"
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 LT Wright