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Top 7 Tips for Preparing AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Exam

     -     Jan 28th, 2017   -     AWS Certifications   -     3 Comments

There are three associate level AWS certifications:


In the associate level exams, SysOps Administrator is considered as tough and requires lot of preparation for passing the exam. The reason is, this exam tests your knowledge of how to deploy and configure each services in the cloud environment. Where as , other two certifications are more focused on testing your knowledge on how to use those services.

In this article, I would like to share important tips that has to be followed for the effective preparation of SysOps Administrator Associate exam. Note that, there is no official study guide for this exam is available in the market. You have to use the official documentation that is available in the Amazon’s site for the preparation.

1. Official Site

Once you have planned for this exam, the first step is to look at the official site for the exam preparation. The official site would have all the information about the exam and how many questions, duration, etc. would be provided. This would give you fair idea of exam.

Here is the exam overview:

There won’t be any mentioning of number of questions in the official website. But, this is the expected from the exam:

  • Number of Questions : 60 Multiple Choice Questions
  • Duration : 80 Minutes
  • Passing Score : 65%

2. BluePrint

Once you have gone through the exam details, you might wonder what are the exam topics covered in the exam. There is a document BluePrint published for every certification which has the details of topics covered in the exam. This document has more than the topics, the amount of questions expected from each objectives, important white papers for the exam, etc are explained in this document.

Here is the snapshot of where you can find the blue print document link:

Here is the snapshot of what is covered in this exam:

3. Create Free Tier

Hands on experience is the most important task that will ensure your success in the exam. Without hands on experience, you will not be able to understand the concepts and real time scenarios. Because the exam might test you with scenario based questions.

Amazon offers one year free account to access their most of the services with certain limitation. This offer is intended for those newly using AWS or those who are preparing for the certification.

Once you have signed up with free tier account, start using the various services and learn the concepts on your own.

4. FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is one of the valuable resources that is useful for preparing for the certification exam. There is a dedicated FAQs section for each services which will clarify all your questions about each services.

This is very comprehensive source of information for each services. For example, the section for EC2 FAQs covers everything about the EC2 instance. This also provides the services information like how to configure, related resources, different types, etc. These are the questions which will be tested in the certification exam.

Here is the excerpt that is defined as FAQs in AWS site:

Select from the following list of Product and Technical FAQs. Browse through these FAQs to find answers to commonly raised questions. If you’re a new customer of one of the services below, we encourage you to read through the relevant articles.

5. WhitePapers

AWS Whitepapers features a comprehensive list of technical AWS whitepapers, covering topics such as architecture, security, and economics.

Here is the recommendation provided for whitepapers in the blueprint.

Whitepapers are one of the most important resources for preparing certification exam. The above list of whitepapers are given more importance for the exam. Especially Security Process, Storage Options (S3), etc. are must read for the exam.

You have to thoroughly go through the whitepapers to be more confident in the exam. If required, read more than once every whitepaper and understand the key concepts that are explained in that.

6. Videos

Apart from going through the documentations, FAQs and Whitepapers, it is also good that you can watch few of the good videos for the AWS services. There are many good beginner videos in the Amazon website that will help you to understand the basics and it saves lot of time for you to read the documentation.

7. Practice Questions

Once you have gone through the documentations, videos and any other resources to have the better understanding of AWS concepts, then it is time for you to test your knowledge by taking the practice questions. There are few good commercial practice questions in the market that help you to practice the questions that are similar to real exam. I would recommend Whizlabs is one of the best practice questions for the AWS Certifications.


I hope this article has sufficient information to start your preparation for the SysOps Administrator Associate certification exam. Amazon keeps changing the certification topics based on the new services released. So, you have to be up to date with what ever you are preparing for the exam. If you dedicate 2 months for the preparation, it is easy for you to pass the SysOps Administrator exam.

There are 3 comments

  • 9 months ago

    Sanjay   /   Reply


  • 8 months ago

    Stephen   /   Reply

    Great tips for studying for the AWS Certified SysOps exam!

  • 2 months ago

    Simon King   /   Reply

    Hi, can you let me know how “hard” you would class the questions in your practice exams compared to the real exam? I have taken a few other and gained ~70% but only got 40% in this, I found the questions significantly harder than anything else I had used, enough for me to question if I had take the Pro exam by mistake. They are so deeply specific to the sort of knowledge you wold only get by using it for over a year IMO, using every single service and understanding it literally inside out. Is the real exam really this hard? Doubting if I will ever be able to pass without using it professionally for a significant amount of time 🙁

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