AWS Training and Certification Blog

Support for AWS Certification candidates

As we all navigate changes to life and business in response to COVID-19, we are committed to supporting AWS Certified professionals and candidates. Many of the testing centers managed by our test delivery providers, PSI and Pearson VUE, have temporarily closed. With all the disruption to daily life happening around the world, we understand candidates may need additional time to reschedule exams, recertify, and use vouchers. Here’s what we are doing to support you:

AWS Certification Extensions
AWS Certifications are active for three years. We encourage candidates nearing the end of their active period to recertify by taking a current exam. Recertifying highlights that a candidate has validated the latest AWS knowledge, skills, and best practices. We have automatically reinstated and extended certifications with expiration dates coinciding with testing center closures. We added an additional six months to each of these certifications to allow plenty of time to schedule and take an exam. We have also extended applicable certification program benefits linked to active certifications. Updated certification expiration dates can be reviewed in candidates’ AWS Certification Accounts.

We will not charge candidates a cancellation or no show fee at this time. If you are charged a fee, please contact the appropriate test delivery vendor directly (PSI or Pearson VUE) to inquire about a refund. In the event that the testing center is closed or closing, the testing center will reach out to candidates with scheduled exams to cancel the appointment. Candidates can cancel exams online if it is more than 24 hours from their appointment. If it is less than 24 hours from the scheduled exam time, candidates should contact PSI or Pearson VUE directly.

AWS Certification Exam Retirements
Two AWS Certification exams were scheduled to retire in March and April 2020. We understand testing center closures disrupted candidates’ plans to take these exams before they retired. To give candidates more time, we have extended retirement dates for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C01) and AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty (BDS-C00) until July 1, 2020.

Our new and updated exams will be available as planned. Candidates can take AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C02) now. Candidates can register now for the AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty exam (DAS-C01), which will be available for candidates to take on April 13, 2020 and replaces our AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty exam (BDS-C00).

AWS Certification Voucher Extensions
We offer AWS Certification exam vouchers for flexible payment and management. We have automatically extended vouchers with expiration dates coinciding with testing center closures to now expire at the end of September 2020. Updated expiration dates for vouchers purchased or distributed by Xvoucher are available to view in Xvoucher accounts.

Taking Exams From Home
Candidates typically take AWS Certification exams at testing centers with on-site proctors. Our customers have also expressed interest in taking exams from their home or office with online proctors who remotely monitor the exam. In 2019, we started offering the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam with online proctoring with Pearson VUE.

With testing center closures impacting the ability of our candidates to take exams, we accelerated our plans to offer all AWS Certification exams with online proctoring. This testing experience has specific system requirements and policies candidates should be aware of before deciding on this test delivery option. For example, candidates use their own computers, so they need to run a system test on the same computer, network, and in the same location where they plan to test. Candidates taking one of our longer exams should note that currently breaks are not accommodated during an online proctored exam, though breaks are given in testing centers. Currently, there is very high demand for online proctoring so we encourage candidates to be patient when scheduling as their preferred appointment time may not be available. Learn more in this blog post.

Who to Contact for Help
For assistance with scheduled or cancelled exam appointments, contact the relevant test delivery provider: PSI or Pearson VUE. Note response times may be longer than typical and can take up to five business days. You can also review the online COVID-19 FAQs from PSI and Pearson VUE. If you have additional questions, you can contact us. We are continuing to listen to our customers to understand how we can best support the AWS Certified community. Check our AWS Certification FAQ page for ongoing updates.

About AWS Certification
AWS Certification validates cloud competency to help professionals highlight their achievements and expertise. By providing a mechanism to identify verified talent, we help our customers and partners build effective, innovative teams for cloud initiatives using AWS. We offer industry-recognized credentials in 12 role- and solution-specific areas. Each certification validates expertise and knowledge in a given domain. As of September 2019, more than 240,000 individuals hold active AWS Certifications, a number that grew more than 70 percent between September 2018 and September 2019.