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The Definitive Guide to Achieve AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Christophe LimpalairChristophe Limpalair

Getting AWS certified can be a daunting task, but luckily we’re in your corner and we’re going to help you pass. We offer tons of AWS content for the different exams, but this month the Cloud Practitioner will be our focus. Read more to find out whether this certification is right for you, topics covered, and get study tips to increase your odds of passing.
[Note, this is an excerpt from the full eBook, which can be found in its entirety HERE]

Is the Cloud Practitioner role right for you?

First, you should determine why you want to get AWS certified. Ask yourself: “Where do I want my career to go?” Is this for a job change? Are you looking for increased career opportunities? A promotion? Understanding your motivators will help determine if this certification fits. 
Officially, the Cloud Practitioner certification was designed for Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Executive professionals. Basically, this exam is for those who work directly in AWS or need to be able to speak about AWS at a fairly high technical level. 
For example, if you are on a team selling AWS services or solutions, you should have a general understanding of what the cloud is, what AWS is specifically, and it’s limitations, without in-depth ability to use it. The Cloud Practitioner exam is built for you.
This certification can also act as a stepping stone to more advanced AWS certifications (or cloud certifications in general). However, if you are an engineer with more advanced IT/Cloud/AWS knowledge, you can probably skip the Cloud Practitioner and go straight to the Associate, Professional, or Specialty certifications. For more advanced learners, check out our post on Which AWS Certification is Right For You?

What topics are in the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam?

The best way to identify what topics are covered in an AWS exam, such as the Cloud Practitioner, is to take a look at:
  1. The domains covered
  2. The abilities tested
  3. AWS’ own recommendations
We’ll take a look at all 3, starting with AWS’ recommendations:
  • We recommend candidates have at least six months of experience with the AWS Cloud in any role, including technical, managerial, sales, purchasing, or financial
  • Candidates should have a basic understanding of IT services and their uses in the AWS Cloud platform
These are really more recommendations than solid requirements because we’ve seen plenty of people with no AWS experience and limited IT understanding pass the exam with the proper hands-on training.
Next, let’s look at the domains covered in the exam.

Domains covered

Domain 1: Cloud Concepts 
1.1 Define the AWS Cloud and its value proposition 
1.2 Identify aspects of AWS Cloud economics 
1.3 List the different cloud architecture design principles 
Domain 2: Security 
2.1 Define the AWS Shared Responsibility model 
2.2 Define AWS Cloud security and compliance concepts
2.3 Identify AWS access management capabilities 
2.4 Identify resources for security support 
Domain 3: Technology 
3.1 Define methods of deploying and operating in the AWS Cloud 
3.2 Define the AWS global infrastructure 
3.3 Identify the core AWS services 
3.4 Identify resources for technology support 
Domain 4: Billing and Pricing 
4.1 Compare and contrast the various pricing models for AWS 
4.2 Recognize the various account structures in relation to AWS billing and pricing 
4.3 Identify resources available for billing support
Some people use the weights of each domain to understand where they should focus their learning efforts, especially when they compare them to their personal skills gaps.

Abilities needed

Additionally, beyond domains and recommendations, AWS also lists abilities that the certification demonstrates. So if you pass the certification exam, you will have demonstrated the ability and understanding to:
  • Define what the AWS Cloud is and the basic global infrastructure
  • Describe
    • Basic AWS Cloud architectural principles
    • AWS Cloud value proposition
    • Key services on the AWS platform and their common use cases (for example, compute and analytics)
    • The basic security and compliance aspects of the AWS platform and the shared security model
  • Define the billing, account management, and pricing models
  • Identify sources of documentation or technical assistance (for example, whitepapers or support tickets)
  • Describe basic/core characteristics of deploying and operating in the AWS Cloud
If you look at one of these abilities and aren’t sure how to answer, or if you feel more confident in certain abilities compared to others, you know where to focus your efforts.

Exam time

90 minutes

Exam cost

$100 per attempt. If you take it twice because you failed the first time, you’ll pay $200 in total — so it definitely pays off to be prepared and not to have to take the exam multiple times.

Exam location

AWS has just announced that you can now take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam at your home or office with online proctoring. You can also go the traditional route and take the exam in person within Pearson VUE’s and PSI’s network of testing centers.

Main Services & Technologies covered

  • IAM, Trusted Advisor – security, why it’s important, differences between users /groups/roles
  • VPCs – networking basics, route tables, and internet gateways
  • EC2 – overview of EC2 like compute basics, creating instances
  • S3 – different storage classes, their differences, and which is best for certain scenarios
  • Load Balancers, Auto Scaling
  • Route53 – overview of DNS
  • CloudFront – edge locations, and other basics
  • CloudWatch – how to use it for monitoring, how it can be used for other services
  • CloudTrail
  • SNS – using it for notifications
  • RDS, DynamoDB, ElastiCache, Redshift – database options, differences
  • Lambda – what is lambda / serverless
  • Security
  • and some others

How to study for and pass, the exam

Knowing where to start studying can definitely be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered. Not only do we offer training specifically to help you pass this exam, but we’ll also walk you through the pieces you need to know the exam layout and expectations.  Ready to get certified? Start here. 

Course Syllabus

  • What Are Clouds Made Of?
  • Getting Started with AWS
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) (Security)
  • The AWS Network
  • AWS Compute
  • Storage in AWS
  • Elasticity and Scaling EC2
  • Content Delivery and Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Monitoring, Logging, and Notifications
  • Notification Services
  • Database Services
  • Serverless Compute
  • Security and Compliance
  • AWS Billing and Support Services
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam
As you can see, this maps very well with the exam domains, abilities, and services covered in the exam.
But watching the video training and taking notes alone isn’t enough to truly understand how to use AWS. We recommend learning by doing with Hands-On Labs that deploy live environments and real-world scenarios for you at no additional cost. These are the Hands-On Labs available at Linux Academy:
  • Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Creating a Basic VPC and Associated Components
  • Create and Validate Connectivity for Amazon EC2 Instances in a Public and Private Subnet
  • Create a Basic Amazon S3 Lifecycle Policy
  • Creating Amazon S3 Buckets, Managing Objects, and Enabling Versioning
  • Assign an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) to an EC2 instance using Route 53
  • Monitoring and Notifications with CloudWatch Events and SNS
  • Create an Amazon Aurora RDS Database (MySQL Compatible)

Study Group

We are hosting an official, online, free study group runs until September 25th. It’s never too late to join in with other learners and get a head start on studying. 
This study group complements your other training efforts and is a great way to stay accountable!

Dates are:

  • August 21
  • August 28th
  • September 11
  • September 25
Please join us and get ahead on your exam prep!


AWS Whitepapers, if you’re not familiar with them, are papers authored by AWS, independent analysts, or the AWS Community. These are a fantastic resource to learn more about AWS best practices. Here are a few that can help you get started:

Get Started!

Now that we’ve walked you through the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam, what’s covered in the exam, and tips for studying, your next action item is to jump in and get started! Take a look at these courses, and sign up for a 7-day free trial to learn AWS by doing today.  And if you’re ready to read the FULL AWS eBook, you can find it HERE. 
Regardless of what training course you choose, we’re here to support you all the way to the finish. Join our email list and get updated the second we release new blogs and video content that makes you a true, learning legend. 


Image of Gabrielle Taylor
Gabrielle Taylor
10 months ago

This is great!

Image of Mohamed Ibrahim
Mohamed Ibrahim
6 days ago

Awesome explantion.

Image of LauraArguijo
2 days ago


We are so glad you found this information handy!


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