I recently gave AWS Professional exam and found certain things that are useful to be documented and share with all.
This post is generally about non-technical things. For technical pointers please see the other related posts.
AWS professional exams not only test your AWS knowledge but, also test our mental and physical strength. You have to sit there for 3 hours staring at the screen and read large large texts in questions and answers.
Below are the things which can be useful for you
Stretch at regular intervals
After every 30-45mins just stand up and stretch your legs, or just stretch your hands while sitting, this will keep your blood circulation moving and helps to keep you active.
AWS professional exams are the fight against time, you need to keep a constant tab on your clock which ticks on the screen. As a rough guideline try to complete 30 questions in the first 60mins, 30 in the next 60mins and keep the remaining 15 questions in 30mins. Try to spend just 2 mins per question and mark any thing which you are doubtful for a review and go ahead.
Time left >>>>> Questions pending
170 >>>>> 75
110 >>>>> 45
50 >>>>> 15
20 >>>>> 0
In the last 20mins try to review any questions which you have marked during the first pass.
Read what is really asked first. Don’t start reading the question from the top to bottom and then read the answers. Don’t do this.
Just to make it clear, see the example question below from the AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam.
Your company’s on-premises content management system has the following architecture:
- Application Tier – Java code on a JBoss application server
- Database Tier – Oracle database regularly backed up to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) using the Oracle RMAN backup utility
- Static Content – stored on a 512GB gateway stored Storage Gateway volume attached to the application server via the iSCSI interface
Which AWS based disaster recovery strategy will give you the best RTO?
A) Deploy the Oracle database and the JBoss app server on EC2. Restore the RMAN Oracle backups from Amazon S3. Generate an EBS volume of static content from the Storage Gateway and attach it to the JBoss EC2 server.
B) Deploy the Oracle database on RDS. Deploy the JBoss app server on EC2. Restore the RMAN Oracle backups from Amazon Glacier. Generate an EBS volume of static content from the Storage Gateway and attach it to the JBoss EC2 server.
C) Deploy the Oracle database and the JBoss app server on EC2. Restore the RMAN Oracle backups from Amazon S3. Restore the static content by attaching an AWS Storage Gateway running on Amazon EC2 as an iSCSI volume to the JBoss EC2 server.
D) Deploy the Oracle database and the JBoss app server on EC2. Restore the RMAN Oracle backups from Amazon S3. Restore the static content from an AWS Storage Gateway-VTL running on Amazon EC2
When you see this question, the first thing which you should read is the text underlined. This will give you an idea of what is really needed. Then quickly go up and read the full questions and start reading the answers options. Keep on eliminating the answers till to are able to find the correct answer as per what is asked for the underlined text.
While reading keeps on eliminating the wrong answers and iterate until you are able to reach the most suitable answer as per the ask of the question. If you are stuck with a choice of 2 and not able to decide on the final one, mark that question for review, randomly mark one choice as the answer, note on the notepad provided with question number and choices for which the final battle is to be decided. You can come back to this question later at the end of the exam if time permits. This happens very rarely that you will get time to review. So, we have to mark something in the first pass and then later decide if we get time in the review.
Water bottleA clear water bottle is allowed, keep it next to you and drink a sip when your brain starts steaming in the middle of the exam. It will happen that brain will be jammed in the middle at the regular intervals and you will need some fuel to keep it going :)
Thank you for reading. I am done with AWS Devops Professional and now preparing for the SA Pro. What are your tips for the AWS professional exams?