How I Passed the SOA-C02 AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Exam

This write-up covers the details of how I passed the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate exam.

Materials Used

To learn the material, I used Stephane Maarek’s AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate 2023 Udemy course.

For the practice exams, I used AWS Skill Builder Official Practice Question Set (free) and the AWS Skill Builder Official Practice Exam (requires Skill Builder subscription). I also used the sample exam questions listed on the AWS certification website (free). 

I can’t recommend the Skill Builder materials enough, the questions included are the closest you can get to the actual exam questions. Along with these materials, I spent a lot of time building things out in the AWS Console. I’ve found that I learn most about a service when I’m actually using it. Thankfully with the AWS free tier, it’s pretty easy to play around with lots of services while remaining within the free tier. Additionally, I would try to automate all of my resource deployment with CloudFormation, to understand what it looks like to deploy these services using Infrastructure as Code (IaC).

Total Study Time

I dedicated two weeks to study for this certification, studying around 2 hours each day. With this being my third associate level AWS certification, I feltĀ  pretty confident with most of the topics before beginning studying for this specific certification. Most of my time studying was spent brushing up on topics I wasn’t as familiar with, like AWS Systems Manager and AWS Config. I spent most of my study time using the services I was the least familiar within the AWS console.

Practice Exam Scores

The first practice question resource I used was the 20 question AWS Skill Builder practice question set, I scored a 16/20. After that, I read the AWS documentation for the services I missed questions on. From there, I used the 10 sample exam questions from the AWS certification website, I scored an 8/10. Lastly, I used the 65 question AWS Skill Builder Official Practice Exam, where I scored 765/1000. 
 
I would say that if you’re passing the AWS Skill Builder Official Practice Exams with anything over 750/1000, you’re ready for the real exam. Just be sure to read all of the answer explanations, especially the ones for the incorrect answer choices. Knowing why certain answers are wrong helps to narrow down answer choices on the actual exam.

Summary

Overall, the topics covered on this exam were the AWS services I was most interested in learning more about. Coming from an IT background, I was very interested in learning how common IT tasks are completed within AWS. I really enjoyed how this exam focused heavily on automation of tasks within AWS. As I’m always trying to automate things, the content covered on this certification was very interesting to me. I would definitely recommend this certification for anyone who is looking to learn more about working with AWS. If you have any questions about my experience with the exam, please reach out below.

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