Following on from my previous AWS exam experience post for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate (CSOA) exam from Amazon, the following describes the study materials I used towards the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam.
As a reminder, this is my third AWS exam, having completed the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate and AWS Certified Developer Associate exams earlier in the year. As such the materials I used to study towards the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam are more sparse, due to the level of knowledge I already have.
For a really full picture of all of the materials I’ve used over the last 12 months, I highly recommend you check out the Certified Solution Architect Associate exam experience and the Certified Solution Architect Associate study guides, along with a number of tips, tricks and gotchas I have posted over the past few months. I also did a podcast recently with Scott Lowe on the subject of learning AWS. If you are new to AWS, I highly recommend you check it out!
Whilst studying for the exam, I used the following study materials:
- Exam Blueprint
- This is always the go-to document for almost any current industry certification, and should be used as your primary guide for resources and areas to study. In the case of the AWS Exam Blueprint, they actually direct you to specific white papers to review as well as the content areas to study.
- AWS CSOA Exam Blueprint
- ACloud.Guru AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate training course.
- As with the CSA and CDA courses, the quality of the production (especially as Ryan and co are a small startup) is excellent. Remember that as Ryan says, they are focussed on teaching you the knowledge to pass the exam, not teaching you everything in AWS. There is no substitute for labbing and working with AWS day to day to become an expert, but you can certainly pass the exam based on this course! This might then help you get your first AWS job and gain the experience you need to be a real Cloud Guru! 🙂
- The course has around about 9 hours or so of content, but I would say it took me 15-20 hours in total between all of the lab work, coming up with my own scenarios to practice configuring different elements, completing the quizzes, and researching any areas where I got a quiz answer incorrect or wasn’t sure of the reasons for a specific answer. Ryan also speaks quite slowly and very clearly, so I find that watching it at 1.5x speed or above can help get through the videos on the areas you know well already. Remember to slow it back down for new content areas of course!
- QA Architecting on AWS & Advanced Architecting on AWS compressed training course
- Myself and a number of colleagues completed both of the 3 day architecting courses (standard and advanced) in a rather intense, but very informative 5 day week! This was an awesome course, and really helped my gain breadth and depth of knowledge, but I would not say it was critical to passing the SysOps Administrator exam itself.
- White Papers
- The AWS white papers are a great source of information, though they can be a bit dry at times. I highly recommend using them to augment any particular areas you feel less confident in. See my AWS CSA guide for a list of which to read.
- AWS CSOA Official Practice Exam and Sample Exam Questions
- I would say this is a good indicator of the level of difficulty of the actual exam.
- Sample AWS AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate (CSOA) Exam
- Other Articles and Resources – The AWS documentation site is an absolute goldmine of information, and most of the articles are well written and easy to consume. Significantly more so than some of the best known “kb” and documentation sites in the industry IMHO. The following is a list of some of the articles I dipped in and out of while researching for the exam as well as my AWS Tips and Gotchas blog series:
- SQS Message Lifecycle
- Overview of Managing Access Permissions to Your CloudWatch Resources
- Using Identity-Based Policies (IAM Policies) for CloudWatch
- Amazon CloudWatch Concepts
- AWS AMI Types
- AWS Template Anatomy
- Protecting Data Using Server-Side Encryption with AWS KMS–Managed Keys (SSE-KMS)
- Protecting Data Using Server-Side Encryption with Amazon S3-Managed Encryption Keys (SSE-S3)
- Protecting Data Using Server-Side Encryption with Customer-Provided Encryption Keys (SSE-C)
- Scheduled Scaling
- And finally…
- I say this about every single exam I have ever taken – lab it, lab it lab it! It is a million times easier to answer a question based on something you have actually done yourself! Don’t try to just learn the theory, spend a bit of time doing it in practice and you will reap the benefits in both the exam and real life!
Want to Learn More?
Don’t forget to check out myExam Experience and Tips post here: