First of all, congratulations on choosing this book and beginning your journey toward earning AWS Certified Developer - Associate certification. As the saying goes, a good beginning is half done. You have set a target and taken the first step toward the target. If you follow the instructions in this book, it will certainly help you in completing the certification exam.
As you begin, you may have a number of questions running through your mind. This chapter covers a number of such questions that are frequently asked by beginners. To begin with, let us understand how you should start preparing for the exam.
Amazon publishes an official blueprint for each certification exam. The blueprint elaborates the scope of the exam, prerequisites for attending the exam, and the knowledge required to successfully complete the exam. This blueprint may change from time to time and you should look out for the latest copy of the blueprint for the exam from Amazon.
At the time of writing, the official blueprint for the AWS Certified Developer - Associate exam is available at the URL: https://d0.awsstatic.com/training-and-certification/docs-dev-associate/AWS_certified_developer_associate_blueprint.pdf.
This chapter outlines the AWS Certified Developer - Associate exam and highlights critical aspects, knowledge areas, and services covered in the blueprint.
Let's begin with understanding the scope of the exam. The exam scope is divided into four domains as given in the following table with their respective weight in the exam:
% Weightage in exam
Designing and developing
Deployment and security
The topics and the content covered in these domains as per the blueprint are given in the following section.
- How to design cloud services
- Database concepts
- Planning and design
- Familiarity with architectural trade-off decisions, high availability versus cost, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) versus installing your own database on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), and Messaging
- DynamoDB, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS CloudFormation
- Elasticity and scalability
- Cloud security best practices
Demonstrate the ability to implement the right architecture for development, testing, and staging environments. Content may include the following:
- Shared security responsibility model
- AWS platform compliance
- AWS security attributes (customer workloads down to physical layer)
- Security services
- AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
- CIA and AAA models, ingress versus egress filtering, and which AWS services and features fit
If you haven't worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) before and cannot understand the topics given in the blueprint, do not worry. This book covers all these domains and each of the blueprint topics in detail. These topics are very carefully elaborated in subsequent chapters. Some of the frequently asked questions are covered in the following pages and will answer most of the queries you may have about the exam and how to get started with preparing for it.
The following are the questions that are frequently asked:
- Are there any prerequisites for AWS Certified Developer - Associate exam?
There are no prerequisites for getting started with AWS Certified Developer - Associate exam preparation; however, it is recommended that the person preparing for this exam have knowledge or training in at least one high-level programming language.
- What is the total duration of the exam?
A total of 80 minutes are given to you to complete the exam.
- How many questions are asked in the exam?
The exam has around 55 questions that you need to complete in the given time. As per our experience, this number may vary at times.
- What types of questions are asked in the exam?
The exam asks multiple-choice questions. It gives a question with multiple answers and you have to choose one or more right answers from the given list of answers.
You can refer to the following link for officially published sample questions:
- Where can I register for the exam?
Amazon has joined with Kryterion for the certification exams. Kryterion centers are spread across the globe. You can go to https://www.webassessor.com and create an account if you do not already have one, or log in with your existing account. After logging in to the site, you can follow the exam registration process given on the site to register for the exam in a Kryterion center near you.
- How much does it cost to register for the exam?
There are two types of exam: practice and final. The associate level practice exam costs $20 and the final exam costs $150.
- How should I prepare for the exam?
You can refer to all the chapters in this book and follow all the tips and tricks in the book to prepare for the exam. Also, go through the mock tests given at the end of the book. You can also refer to some of the reference materials pointed out in the reference section of the book to explore some topics in greater depth.
- What is the passing score for the exam?
AWS does not publish the passing score for the exam as it is set by statistical analysis of the exam. This score is subject to change. Based on our experience, this score currently hovers around 65% to 70%. If more candidates start scoring higher marks, the statistical model may set the minimum marks to a higher limit. Similarly, if more candidates start failing in the exam or scoring lower marks, then minimum passing marks may change based on this statistical data.
- How should I answer the questions in the exam?
The exam poses scenario-based questions. There may be more than one right answer, but you have to choose the most suitable answer out of the given answers. We suggest use the elimination theory whenever you face difficulties in answering a question. Start discarding wrong answers first. When you start eliminating the wrong answers, you may automatically be able to find the right answer as eliminated answers will reduce your confusion. Also, do not spend more time on a question if you do not know the answer to it. Instead, mark the question for review. The exam interface keeps track of all the questions marked for review, and you can revisit them before submitting the final exam.