AWS Training and Certification Blog

Maximize your preparation for AWS Certification with our new exam guides

If you’re planning to take an AWS Certification exam in the near future, the best place to start is the associated exam guide. We recently published updated versions of our 11 exam guides to provide more detailed information and guidance. Why is this important? Because passing an AWS Certification exam validates your competence and confidence using AWS services in a particular job role or domain. Earning a certification can help you develop your career and show current and potential employers your skills. This blog outlines our exam guides, including what’s new, how and why we create them, and how you can use them to prepare for your exam.

What is an AWS Certification exam guide?

Exam guides provide candidates with detailed information about each of the 11 AWS Certification exams. The guides identify the exam’s purpose (i.e., validating the competencies or skills you possess), who should take them, the recommended experience you should have before taking them, and the content that’s covered. The guides also include detailed information on the types of questions you can expect to see on the exam and how the exam is scored.

How are exam guides developed?

Exam guides are created using information gathered from subject matter experts (SMEs) during the design phase for new or updated exams (more on the exam creation process in this blog). The AWS Certification team conducts a job task analysis (JTA) workshop for every exam program. During the JTA, SMEs provide input about the knowledge, skills, and abilities practitioners in related job roles must have to perform the job successfully. Our SMEs also provide input regarding which AWS services are in scope or out of scope for the exam, what to include for each content area, and the recommended amount of experience practitioners should have before registering for the exam.

This information is gathered and refined in a draft content outline for the exam. Then, it’s validated by gathering input from a large sample of the target population. When the content outline is final, the AWS Certification team authors the exam guide and provides it to candidates. This exam guide is used is to develop the exam questions.

How should I use the exam guides?

The exam guides help you study and practice the right concepts and skills prior to the exam. You can find an exam guide for each AWS Certification exam on the AWS Certification website. Start by reviewing our recommended AWS and general IT experience and knowledge guidance. This will help you determine which exam is right for you and whether or not you possess the recommended experience.

Use the content outline for the exam to determine which content areas you’re well versed in and which ones require additional preparation. Each exam’s page contains links to various additional resources to help you study and prepare for your test. After you review the content outline and available resources, decide which courses, AWS product documents, AWS whitepapers, and additional hands-on experience will help you prepare.

What’s new in the exam guides?

We frequently hear from AWS Certification candidates who tell us they want more detailed information and guidance. We’ve updated all our exam guides to give you just that. Here’s a summary of the updates you’ll find:

  • Additional information on who should take the exam
  • More detail on recommended AWS experience and general IT knowledge
  • Additional guidance on how to use the exam guide to prepare for your certification exam
  • Further guidance on how to interpret your score after you test (see our post about demystifying your exam score)
  • Greater detail about the knowledge, skills, and concepts tested in each exam’s content areas
  • Complete lists of in-scope and out-of-scope AWS services for the exam

What now?

AWS Certification made these updates to help you in your AWS Cloud and career journeys. We invite you to review the updated exam guides and explore the resources we offer to help you succeed in your certification goals. We wish you the best as your prepare for and take you next AWS Certification exam!