AWS Certification Exam

5 Reasons for AWS Certification Exam Failure and Proven Strategies to Succeed Next Time

Passing your AWS certification exam is a noteworthy accomplishment, but it comes with significant challenges. 

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to pass it or why you failed before, don’t fret – we’re here to help.

In this blog, we explore the major reasons for AWS certification exam failure and assist you in pinpointing the areas for improvement to eliminate the mistakes that led to your previous failure.

Let’s dive in!

AWS Certification Exam: An Overview

AWS Certification validates the expertise of professionals in cloud computing, enabling them to showcase sought-after skills. It also empowers organizations to construct effective and innovative teams for cloud initiatives using AWS.

To clear an AWS certification, you must have a good understanding of various AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon VPC, and AWS Lambda, etc., The specific services you need to know will depend on the certification level and the role it is associated with. 

Is it difficult to clear the AWS Certification exam?

The difficulty of clearing the AWS Certification exam varies from individual to individual. Factors such as prior experience, preparation methods, and familiarity with AWS services play a significant role. 

With thorough study, hands-on practice, and a clear understanding of the exam objectives, many individuals find success in clearing the AWS Exam. 

However, it’s found that AWS exams are challenging, and adequate preparation is key to increasing the likelihood of passing.

5 Reasons Why You Could Have Failed the AWS Certification Exam? 

Experiencing failure in your AWS exam can be demoralizing and disheartening. However, transforming this setback into success is within your control. The first step involves analyzing the reasons behind your exam failure. 

Here are some common factors cited by individuals who did not succeed in their AWS exams:

1. Not Enough Preparation

AWS exams mostly cover a wide range of AWS services. It has been found that 85% of the AWS questions mostly test your core topic understanding and the remaining 15% validate your ability to think deeper. It shows that you must be well-prepared by understanding all the key areas before taking the exam. 

In addition, statistics reveal that candidates who dedicate ample time to exploring real-world scenarios and practical applications tend to perform more effectively in the examination. Thus, a well-rounded preparation strategy, including hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge, is essential for success in AWS exams.

2. Understanding concepts instead of memorizing them

AWS Certified individuals are experts in utilizing and managing Amazon Web Services (AWS), which includes a comprehensive range of cloud computing services. They need to possess in-depth knowledge and skills related to designing, deploying, and maintaining applications and systems on the AWS platform.

Thus understanding every concept is found to be of utmost importance to ace the exam. AWS exam includes scenario-based questions to test your understanding of the concepts. That’s why memorizing the answers cannot help you in clearing the AWS Exam. You must clearly understand the AWS concepts well enough.

3. Poor Time Management

AWS certification exams can be daunting due to their extended duration (ranging from 90 to 180 minutes) and intricate content. Spending excessive time on certain questions may hinder completing the entire test within the allocated time frame. 

This can result in either failing those specific questions or passing them without receiving full credit for all correct answers, potentially leading to overall exam failure.

Furthermore, inadequate time management in the preparation phase could contribute to rushed decisions and potentially incorrect answers during the exam. It’s crucial to strike a balance between thorough understanding and efficient time utilization to increase the chances of success in AWS certification exams.

4. Insufficient Preparation Materials

It was found that some of the study materials, such as video courses and practice exams, were outdated or of low quality. When preparing for the exam, ensure that you exclusively rely on high-quality AWS certification courses. If using books, make sure they are up-to-date. 

When studying online, carefully select the websites to avoid falling for exam dumps, where individuals share as many questions as they can recall after taking an exam.

While practicing with actual questions from a past exam may seem tempting, it’s more beneficial in the long run to use high-quality AWS practice exams. These exams provide detailed answers and explanations, helping you understand the reasons behind correct or incorrect answers. 

This not only enhances your understanding of each topic and service but also increases your chances of scoring higher and achieving better results.

5. Neglecting Exam Blueprints

AWS offers comprehensive exam guides and blueprints that outline the essential areas covered in each certification. Skipping critical topics or underestimating the importance of specific domains will impact your overall performance in the exam. 

Allocate more time to areas where you need improvement, and reduce the time spent on familiar topics as you progress. This balanced study approach can help you thoroughly grasp every topic without skipping others, enhancing your overall preparation for success.

It is crucial to thoroughly review and align your preparation with the outlined exam objectives to ensure a well-rounded and effective study approach.

How to pass the AWS Exam next time?

If you are eager to know what you can do to pass the AWS exam next time, then stick to these simple steps:

Choosing the Right AWS Certification

Based on your goals and interests, selecting the right AWS certification can help to achieve definite success.  Some people will attempt the AWS certification without any knowledge of it. So, it is better to start from the basics.

There are many AWS certifications available, but based on your skills and experience you have to pick the right one.

AWS provides certifications based on roles and specialties. 

Role-based certifications include:

Specialty-based certifications focus on advanced technical skills in Networking, Big Data, and Security.

From the above AWS Certification list, you can pick the right ones based on your interests and skills.

Refer AWS Certification Path to gain detailed knowledge of the AWS Certifications.

Identify your weaknesses 

Practice tests can be a great way to identify your weak spots. After identifying the weak areas, go through those specific areas in detail. For example, if you are not confident in answering the questions that are relevant to AWS Lambda, go back to relevant study materials and start taking the practice tests.

Some people wait until the last minute to take the practice tests. We offer practice test questions that are very similar to the real exam. 

Failing in the initial attempts doesn’t matter significantly; what’s crucial is the learning process, understanding the question style, and gaining more knowledge. After each test, be sure to take note of your weak areas, allowing you to focus on improving them in your preparation

By using practice exams, you can determine what must be done to pass the AWS with flying colors! It is recommended to complete all questions. It is recommended to get a consistent score of 80% and above while attempting the AWS practice test. Once you achieve that, you can sit for the real test!

Check the incorrect answers to spot your mistakes

Understand why you got questions wrong by checking the explanations for your mistakes. This helps pinpoint problem areas and learn from them.

When preparing for AWS exams, it’s not just about learning; you also need to apply your knowledge in real-world situations to avoid similar issues during the actual exam.

If you struggle with seemingly easy questions, it may indicate a lack of understanding of specific concepts. You can use the AWS cheat sheet and training notes links to improve your grasp of these concepts.

Allocate your timings in your calendar

Choose and stick to a specific time of day dedicated to studying. Whether you prefer early mornings or late nights, align your study schedule with your natural preference. 

By doing so, your study sessions are likely to be more productive and easier to adhere to, as you’re working during your peak performance hours. Incorporate studying into your daily routine and allocate ample time to grasp and comprehend AWS concepts.

Try hands-on labs

Even though most AWS Certifications typically lack a hands-on component (except for the SysOps Administrator Associate course), it’s essential to complement your conceptual knowledge with practical experience in the console.

Certain aspects are challenging to grasp in theory alone. Engaging in AWS hands-on labs forces you to understand how AWS services and tools genuinely interact in real-world scenarios, fostering a deeper appreciation for AWS functionality.

If you haven’t engaged in enough hands-on learning, consider applying your theoretical knowledge practically. 

For instance, take a service like S3; after theoretical learning, challenge yourself by building something or following a lab that directly applies the knowledge you’ve acquired. 

Here are some AWS hands-on labs for you:

This hands-on approach not only reinforces your understanding but also solidifies the key features of the topic. It contributes to becoming a more proficient AWS professional, increasing your likelihood of passing the exam on your second attempt.

Rely upon a variety of study materials

Taking practice tests and watching the videos does not offer in-depth knowledge about AWS. Perhaps, you must rely upon varied modalities to learn about AWS.

Here are some of the additional study materials for you:

  • AWS Podcasts
  • Hands-on Labs
  • Video courses
  • Reading AWS Whitepapers
  • Join a Study Group / Bootcamp
  • Do some internships working with AWS technology

By studying through various methods, you gain knowledge from multiple perspectives, which helps to broaden your understanding of AWS. This diverse approach enhances the depth of your knowledge and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the AWS services.

Don’t book your exam until you’re ready 

It is not advisable to book your exam without proper preparation. It’s common for people to rush into getting certified, especially when pressured by employers with tight deadlines. If possible, delay your exam until you feel very sure about passing. 

It is suggested to consistently score between 80-90% in the AWS practice exam before booking exams. Be cautious not to rely too much on memorization, as repeatedly practicing tests can give you a false sense of confidence.

Manage your time efficiently

Time management during the exam can influence your success rate. During the exam, it is important to manage the time well and answer all questions. This might seem fairly straightforward. 

Many individuals often get caught up in excessive material browsing or second-guessing themselves during the exam. Instead of falling into these habits, focus on answering all questions promptly and accurately.

While managing time, you must be aware of how time has been allotted for each question, and thus you can easily attempt the actual exam with no surprises and fear. If you finish your exam early, use this time to review the answers completely without fail. This can allow you to predict mistakes easily and help to ensure that every answer is written correctly.

Resources we offer to aid in your AWS Certification Exam Preparation

Here are some valuable resources offered by Whizlabs to help you prepare for the AWS Certification Exam:

  • Practice Tests: Test your knowledge and readiness with Whizlabs’ AWS practice exams to simulate the actual certification experience.
  • Hands-On Labs: You can gain practical experience through our guided AWS hands-on labs and it allows you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios.
  • Challenge Labs: Apply theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting without the concern of unexpected cloud expenses.
  • AWS Sandboxes: You can gain hands-on experience and become familiar with AWS services in a risk-free environment by exploring our sandboxes.


What is the easiest AWS certification?

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CCP) is often regarded as the most accessible Amazon Web Services certification. Geared towards beginners in cloud computing, this certification covers fundamental AWS concepts and cloud basics. Notably, it doesn’t necessitate any prerequisite technical experience, making it a user-friendly entry point for those new to AWS.

What is the minimum pay for a certified Fresher?

The annual salary for an AWS-certified fresher is approximately INR 3,00,000. With relevant work experience, the potential for a significantly higher salary exists.

Is it worth getting AWS certification without experience?

Obtaining an AWS (Amazon Web Services) certification without prior experience can still be valuable. However, having some skills and knowledge in AWS Services can be beneficial to clear the AWS Certification easily.


Hope this blog lists out the reason for the failure of the AWS Certification exam and the solution to ace the exam easily while attempting it next time.

By combining theoretical study with hands-on practice, you can build a well-rounded skill set that not only helps you pass the AWS exam but also equips you with the practical knowledge needed for success in real-world cloud environments.

All the best for your exam preparation!

About Vidhya Boopathi

Vidhya is a Senior Digital Marketing Executive with 5 years of experience. She is skilled in content creation, marketing strategy, digital marketing, social media, website design, and creative team management. Vidhya pursued her Master's Degree in computer science engineering, making her an expert in all things digital. She always looking for new and innovative ways to reach her target audience.

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