Welcome to the AWS Certification World! AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Don’t Panic

Friday, March 26, 2021 the culmination of two weeks of study and one week of test prep using A Cloud Guru/Linux Academy(Ryan Kroonenburg), Tutorial Dojo(Jon Bonso) and Digital Cloud Training(Neal Davis) was about to be tested. Yes, I was going into a testing center to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner(AWS CCP) certification exam. Mask on and sitting at the computer it was just me and the questions. I went through the first 20 questions with ease. Then I found myself marking more and more questions for review. What in the world! I just knew there were some machine learning elves in the cloud laughing at me as they conspired on what question to display next. I know I knew the answers but I wanted to take a second look at 16 questions just to ensure I was not being tricked by the wording. Once I went back through the review, I said a prayer and hit the submit button……

O great a survey to distract me from thinking about the results. Wow how many questions are there in this survey….DID I PASS was floating around in my head as I went through the survey….Survey ends…results display PASS! I sit back and say Thank you Jesus and HALLELLUJAH…in my head of course because there is no talking in the testing center. That could be grounds for disqualification of my results. After all, I am in a testing center where there is no talking. I also make sure I hit the End This Exam button. I sign out of the testing center and I am handed a piece of paper that says…..Your results will be emailed within 5 days….WAIT WHAT 5 whole days!!!! I needed that email because even though I saw the word PASS on the screen I wanted some proof to know that I was not hallucinating. OK so I didn’t have to wait 5 whole days just 24hrs. I was glad to see that I got a 971 out of 1000 points.

Tips for studying for the AWS CCP

Here are a few tips I want to share that will help you along your certification journey:

  • Study. Yes I know that is a given but sometimes we think we can skim over the material because we are rushing to just get through it. Remember this is not just about memorizing for an exam, it is about retaining knowledge so we can put it into practice.
  • Get your hands dirty by doing some labs. The theory you STUDIED should now be put into practice. Sign up for an AWS free tier account and get in the AWS Management Console to start using the services. Spin up an EC2 instance, create a VPC and play around with S3, just to name a few things…hint hint lol. AWS provides tutorials.
  • Take practice exams early and often. This will help you understand how the questions are worded and identify the areas where you need to put in more STUDY! Use practice exams that will provide explanations for the correct and incorrect answers. You want to find out the WHY. Please don’t just remember the practice exam questions but understand the WHY.
  • Read questions carefully. Some times the wording can be tricky and you may miss some context clues. Those context clues will help jog your memory of the STUDY material. This goes for both the practice exams and the real exam.
  • Utilize the process of elimination. Since you did STUDY, chances are there are answers you can eliminate off hand. When you have identified 2 possible answers, go back and scrutinize the question for context clues.
  • Don’t second guess. It is when we start second guessing that we change right answers to the wrong answers. Trust yourself…remember you did STUDY!

OK I hope you caught my theme — STUDY!!! Yes there is no if, ands or buts about it….you have to STUDY!

I am so happy to report YES I am an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner!


As always I would love to hear your feedback. Post one nugget of advice you wish someone would have told you to help you be better prepared for the AWS CCP certification exam.



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Nicole Ann Hargrove

Nicole Ann Hargrove

20+yrs of IT Industry expertise from working in and with global corporations in Cloud, Integration and Digital Experiences domains as Solutions Architect.