Just want to share that I passed my AWS CDA-june 2018 exam on 5th September . I got an OK score.
My score is 775/1000 with Section 5.0: Monitoring and Troubleshooting mentioned as "Needs Improvement". As you may be aware that the passing score is 720 and In this exam they haven,t given the detailed score breakdown on sections basis . In my AWS SA associate exam which I sat few months back I got that break down.
However as you might see above ,now they tell the section where One might need improvement (or may have underperformed )
First of all I would like to Thank LA and especially Fernanado for a great course and good content and I think mostly topics are covered well.Labs are great too .
Now some general feedback.
The most important factor in tackling the exam is whether you are from SW delopmnet background or not . If you are SW engineer or working in SW related job for few years you might find the course relatively (or may be quite easy depending on how good you are)
I have electronics Engineering/Telecoms/cisco background and to be honest I found the course/certification overall a bit tough. For example what an API is doesn't make sense to me that easily. I have to dig a bit deep and try to make sense of the things .So your background may decide the amount of effort required to go though this course/exam.
This brings me to the exam itself. I found the exam really tough and I think tough it was.Of course not being from developer background may have a little part in that but still I would say the new June 2018 exam is much tougher than the old version and people getting 96% and 98 % won't be happening that much now as was the case in old exam:) Probabaly the biggest reason is that they have made this exam scenarios based mostly and probabaly to tackle the exam better having on job experience might give an edge (which I dont have in AWS)
Now briefly about how I prepared , Watched the course videos twice , done quizzes 2-3 times , read 50-60 percent of recommended white papers , done end of course mock exam 3-4 times , prepared loads and loads of flash cards so that I could just revise those on last day, done the three exams on whizlabs . All that combined to give me a better chance to tackle the exam.
Note : WhizLabs exams helped me in a sense that their questions made me read additional aws documnetation so I would say it added a little bit to my prepartion.
Also did the AWS 20 questions practice test (Actual exam was much tougher in terms of difficulty level)
I would recommned following to fellow students to prepare better especially who are not from SW/Developer background
1) if you have time , dig a bit deeper on lambda functions ,API Gateways, Dynamo DB and cloudformation. (LA have few deep dive courses on Lambda and cloudformation)
2) Dig deep on security .Know the encryption for every supported service and how its implemented . At rest and in transit. Don't ignore it
3) Don't just scratch the surface .For example for XRAY , its just not enough to know that its Application performance management tool . Try to dig deep and know how would you set it up to use, what steps are must to make XRAY work etc. etc .Same applies to all services .Think everything from a dveloper perspective.
4) Read FAQs in AWS documentataion , it supplements a bit to better understanding
5) Repeat course labs 2-3 times and try to spend extra time navigating the console so that you know what different sections are there for each service and what is configured where . For example where are ENV variables for Lambda and why would you use them etc.
6) Monitoring with cloudwatch and using Xray is very important . Know the important metrics. For example Lambda integration with cloudwatch etc. I underperformed in this section as per the exam report
Finally one suggestion for LA/Fernanado . If possible, and if it makes sense, please add troubleshooting section expecially for important services e.g. Lambda and API Gateways . Being developer how would you use AWS services like cloudwatch with these services .