AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Step by Step Preparation Guide

tech Jan 7, 2020

If you are thinking of starting you AWS certification preparation and have no idea where to start you are in the right place.

As soon as I googled AWS Cloud Practitioner a lot of content came to me but I really struggled to find a good how-to get started guide. So I decided to create one for you from my experience.

Before diving deep, AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification is the first and the most basic certification. You don't need to be a cloud genius or even a developer to get this one. All you need to do is know what you need to know and study those topics.

Step 1: Knowing topics for the Exam

First of start with what you need to study. As of today these are the topics that you are tested on are:

Domain % of Total
Cloud Concepts 26%
Security and Compliance 25%
Technology 33%
Billing and Pricing 16%

Domain 1: Cloud Concepts

1.1 Define the AWS Cloud and its value proposition
1.2 Identify aspects of AWS Cloud economics
1.3 List the different cloud architecture design principles

Domain 2: Security and Compliance

2.1 Define the AWS shared responsibility model
2.2 Define AWS Cloud security and compliance concepts
2.3 Identify AWS access management capabilities
2.4 Identify resources for security support

Domain 3: Technology

3.1 Define methods of deploying and operating in the AWS Cloud
3.2 Define the AWS global infrastructure
3.3 Identify the core AWS services
3.4 Identify resources for technology support

Domain 4: Billing and Pricing

4.1 Compare and contrast the various pricing models for AWS
4.2 Recognize the various account structures in relation to AWS billing and pricing
4.3 Identify resources available for billing support

For more details check this out

Step 2: Video Courses

I did a Udemy AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner course. This is not free and most likely you will pay $9.99 for it (depends on the current discounts going on in the site) However I found the official AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials (Second Edition) videos more useful and its free! But it's up to you really. I think just skimming through the videos helped me get introduced to the topics.

Step 3: Flash Cards

I created my own flash cards focusing on the definitions I found while doing the course. For Domain 3: Technology these flash cards will help greatly. Most of the questions I got for my actual exam was defining the technological terms.

Step 4: Practice Tests:

I would say this is the most important step. I did Linux Academy quizzes. I have Linux academy access through work but you would have to pay for membership otherwise. I also purchased Whizlab practice tests ($15 I believe) to solidify my understanding. But this is completely up to you. I have heard/ read about many people getting the certification based on linux academy alone. Although I do not recommend doing the Udemy practice tests. I found those unnecessarily complicated and ended up wasting a lot of time on them and being frustrated. If you really want to, I would say do the Udemy practice tests absolutely at the end. (I also added to my flash card deck based on the new topics I came across)

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

After completing above mentioned steps, review the flash card couple times to make sure you know them properly. Make sure you know all the topics in each domains and try scoring 90% and above in the practice quizzes. If you can do that, I think you will do well in you actual exam!


I read some AWS Whitepapers as suggested in their official site:

  1. Overview of Amazon Web Services
  2. Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices
  3. How AWS Pricing Works
  4. Compare AWS Support Plans

I prepared for couple months besides my day job and my masters class. My tip is to keep it simple and go through the basics. All the contents I have shared here are solely based on my personal experience. If this works for you I am glad I could help!