June 27, 2020

How I passed the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

I've recently passed the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate. This certification proves that you have a comprehensive understanding on how to deploy, manage, and operate IT systems on the AWS Cloud. You demonstrated the ability to migrate on-premises workloads to AWS and monitor, scale, and secure systems on the AWS platform. Badge owners are able to provide guidance on implementing best practices for cloud operations.

This is my 2nd AWS certification, Cloud Practitioner being the first one, and I'm going to share with you the resources I've used, and some tips and experience in taking the exam.

The first one that I've used is AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate 2020 (Udemy) by A Cloud Guru.

The second one is Ultimate AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate 2020 (Udemy) by Stephane Maarek.

I highly recommend taking these 2 udemy courses as they have different approach in teaching, and there are some topics which are present in one of them but not on the other one. So I can say that these 2 courses complements each other.

Of course you need some practice exams to improve your confidence and I highly recommend this AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Practice Exams (Udemy) by Jon Bonso and Tutorials Dojo. This practice exams help you gain better knowledge on the areas/domain for the SysOps admin exam. They provide you a detailed explanation on why the other choices are correct or incorrect. Links are also provided for the AWS documentation, as well as the Tutorials Dojos's cheat sheets.

With the above resources, I'm pretty sure that you've a higher chance of passing the exam. I'll also share with you other resources that you can look at or avail.

  • Whizlabs - They offer practice exams, video courses, as well as hands-on laboratory exercises.
  • Qwiklabs - Yes, qwiklabs which is made by Google, offers hands-on labs and quests for AWS. I managed to get free 2 months subscription to qwiklabs after I joined a certain Meetup online event.
  • You can also search and join AWS free webinars which happens every now and then, as well as Meetup groups and events, and most of these are now taken online due to the pandemic
  • I also used the official practice test from AWS ($20), and I got it for free as a benefit of passing the Cloud Practitioner exam.

Exam Preparation Tips

  • Schedule you exam ahead, based on your self-assessment on how long you’ll be needing to prepare. This will help you focus on studying and avoid procrastination.

  • You can reschedule your exam twice if for instance that you would still need some more time, or something happened along the way. Please be wary that rescheduling exam should be done 24 hours prior to your scheduled date and time.

  • Retake the practice exams until you’re pretty confident or you reach at least 85% score.

  • Do not memorize the practice exams, instead, focus on understanding the AWS concepts.

  • During exam:

    • Flag questions which you are not sure of your answers.
    • Do not leave any questions unanswered.
    • Review your answers if you still have time.

Exam Tips

  • The exam had a lot of questions regarding alerts, monitoring, and reporting.
  • I recommend you to be more familiar with the different logs such as ELB access logs, VPC flow logs, as well as what information you will get on these logs.
  • Review on IAM (policies, roles, users), as well as Cognito, SSO, and Active Directory.
  • On-premise to AWS connectivity
  • There are also few questions about KMS and rotating customer master keys, which I haven't took a look at during my review.
  • Other questions were pretty much discussed/included in the resources I've mentioned above.

That’s all folks! Hope you’ll pass the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate Exam with flying colors!

Please share this post if you find it helpful.

Thanks! Cheers!