Preparing for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam challenges your knowledge of introductory cloud concepts. The exam does not cover any programming, any system admin types of tasks, or any advanced solution architecture designs. Rather, it tests your understanding of the mechanics, the scope, and the benefits of cloud computing, as well as the AWS philosophy in general.

Computing Foundations

I recommend browsing through these two courses to evaluate your knowledge of how computers work, from doing basic tasks to coordinating and executing complex operations with other machines.

Once you’re finished with these courses, you will be able to explain how computers work, how the Internet works, and why cloud computing provides such a tremendous value.

Guided Training

Once you’re confident about how computers work, you’re ready to jump in to learning about the cloud. There are two cloud training platforms I will recommend for this certification: A Cloud Guru and Cloud Academy.

  • A Cloud Guru - AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner 2020

    Designed for the non-technical crowd, this course provides 20 hours of videos, several quizzes along the way, and a final practice exam. The instructor Ryan Kroonenburg is phenomenal. I used this platform exclusively, along with the whitepapers below, and I passed my exam. A Cloud Guru’s current pricing is $32/month, and it includes access to all learning paths. I’ve found it extremely worthwhile, and I’ve been fortunate to use some education reimbursement funds from my employer to cover the cost for the full year. There is also a Personal Plus plan, which I have not used, but I do see the benefit in having your own managed cloud sandbox.

  • Cloud Academy - AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Preparation

    Another cloud platform out of London, this is a popular learning recommendation. I have no personal experience with this platform, but you can check out their free 7-day trial to see if you like it better than A Cloud Guru. Their pricing is about 50% more expensive at $49/month.


Once you’ve taken a formal course that gets you doing actual exercises in the AWS platfom, it’s time to grind through some documentation. These readings are a must, and I would suggest highlighting key concepts, and making notecards for these. I’ve heard that AWS won’t test much on specifics like pricing, but they will make sure to test understanding of why price would increase based on the service you’re using.


Lastly, I’m passing along the flashcards that I made and used to study for this exam. It includes bits and pieces of the ACG course notes, and notes from the white papers above.

I’m interested in the Anki Flashcard System, so I might export my flashcards to this platform later. But for now, has worked fine.

Take A Practice Test

If you’ve completed the steps above, you should be ready to take some practice tests! There are several practice tests on the Internet that you can take for <$20. If you’ve enrolled in one of the courses above, they should include a practice test in your subscription. Otherwise, there are individual practice tests you can purchase from somewhere like WhizLabs or Udemy.


When you pass, you get a shiny certificate, and access to a secret AWS store where you can buy swag such as a small notebook with AWS written on it for $5 😉 Congrats – the next step is to teach others how you passed!