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Preparation guide for Google Cloud Professional Architect Exam

How to Prepare for Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect Exam?

In this article we are writing a very detailed explanations on how to prepare for the Google Cloud Certified Professional Architect Certification Exam. This guide would answer the following questions:

  1.  How to prepare for this certification exam?
  2.  What are the pre-requisites to prepare for this exam?
  3.  Who can take this exam?
  4.  What are the key topics / objectives to focus on Google Cloud so that passing this exam is easy?

Google Cloud Certified Professional Architect Certification Exam is one of the most popular and highly demanded certification in the cloud computing industry. According to Global knowledge’s report, this exam is listed as the second most demanded certification in the market.

Let’s start first with a quick introduction to the Google Cloud Platform and then we look at the certification preparation.

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Latest Updates:

In this section we add the latest changes to the Google Cloud certifications.

Thus, effective  from April 29 2022, Google  renaming the Professional Collaboration Engineer Certification to the following: Professional Google Workspace Administrator.

Introduction to Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform was released by Google in 2012. It offers a number of cloud computing services and resources such as storage, database, applications etc. over the internet. If I consider personally, then Google Cloud Platform is my favorite cloud platform due to the services it offers.

Google Cloud Platform enables you to create highly scalable and available web-applications to add more value to the end users. If you are looking for a cloud platform that is both cost-friendly and developer-friendly, then Google Cloud Platform is the right choice for you!

Google Cloud Certifications

Google Cloud Certifications are solely meant to validate and demonstrate the knowledge of the cloud professional to develop, design, administer, and manage application infrastructure and data solutions using Google Cloud Platform  (GCP) products / services on Google Cloud Platform.

Currently, Google offers 10 certifications to demonstrate the skills of the cloud professionals working on Google Cloud platform, these are –

  1. Google Cloud Certified Cloud Digital Leader
  2. Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer
  3. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect
  4. Google Cloud Certified Professional Data Engineer
  5. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Developer
  6. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
  7. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Security Engineer
  8. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer
  9. Google Cloud Certified Professional Google Workspace Administrator.
  10. Google Cloud Certified Professional Machine Learning Engineer

Google Cloud Certifications Infographics

As this blog is about the Google Cloud Architect exam preparation, we will have our focus on how to prepare to become a Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect. Let’s start with the detailed explanation of this exam!

Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect Exam

The professional Google Cloud certification is for those who want to validate and demonstrate their skills in developing, designing, and managing highly scalable, secure, available, dynamic and robust, applications on the Google Cloud Platform.

What are the benefits of Google Cloud Architect certification exam?

If you are preparing for the Google Cloud Architect certification exam then it is required to understand the importance of this exam first. Let’s look into the following points for the key benefits of this certification exam:

  • Validates your skills of developing, designing, administrating, and managing solutions using Google Cloud technologies
  • Adds a credential to your resume and makes you stand out of the crowd
  • Globally provides you a recognition of Google Cloud Certified Professional Architect
  • Demonstrates your working knowledge of Google Cloud Platform
  • Helps you get better job opportunities and makes you eligible for the higher position
  • Results in overall improved performance and capabilities as Cloud Architect

Overview of Google Cloud Architect certification exam

Before moving to the Google Cloud Architect exam preparation, it is important to understand the exam structure and format very well. Here is an overview of the Google Cloud Architect certification:

Google Cloud Certified Professional Architect Certification Exam Information

Who can apply for the Google Cloud Architect certification exam?

Although Google Cloud Architect certification exam is not limited to any particular role yet it is considered that it is mainly intended for:

  • Solutions/ Enterprise Architects
  • Members of the Operations Team
  • System Administrators
  • Fresh Graduates Who Want to Build Career as Cloud Architect

Google Cloud Architect Certification Exam Objectives

To start the exam preparation, it is highly recommendable to understand the exam objectives. Google has divided the exam syllabus into various sections and then subject areas. Let’s understand the topics that are covered in the exam and you need to focus upon them to pass the Google Cloud Architect certification exam.

Section
Subject Areas
Section 1. Designing and planning a cloud solution architecture
1.1 Designing a solution infrastructure that meets business requirements. Considerations include:
  • Business use cases and product strategy
  • Cost optimization
  • Supporting the application design
  • Integration with external systems
  • Movement of data
  • Design decision trade-offs
  • Build, buy, modify, or deprecate
  • Success measurements (e.g., key performance indicators [KPI], return on investment [ROI], metrics)
  • Compliance and observability
1.2 Designing a solution infrastructure that meets technical requirements. Considerations include:
  • High availability and failover design
  • Elasticity of cloud resources with respect to quotas and limits
  • Scalability to meet growth requirements
  • Performance and latency
1.3 Designing network, storage, and compute resources. Considerations include:
  • Integration with on-premises/multicloud environments
  • Cloud-native networking (VPC, peering, firewalls, container networking)
  • Choosing data processing technologies
  • Choosing appropriate storage types (e.g., object, file, databases)
  • Choosing compute resources (e.g., preemptible, custom machine type, specialized workload)
  • Mapping compute needs to platform products
1.4 Creating a migration plan (i.e., documents and architectural diagrams). Considerations include:
  • Integrating solutions with existing systems
  • Migrating systems and data to support the solution
  • Software license mapping
  • Network planning
  • Testing and proofs of concept
  • Dependency management planning
1.5 Envisioning future solution improvements. Considerations include:
  • Cloud and technology improvements
  • Evolution of business needs
  • Evangelism and advocacy
Section 2. Managing and provisioning a solution infrastructure
2.1 Configuring network topologies. Considerations include:
  • Extending to on-premises environments (hybrid networking
  • Extending to a multicloud environment that may include Google Cloud to Google Cloud communication
  • Security protection (e.g. intrusion protection, access control, firewalls)
2.2 Configuring individual storage systems. Considerations include:
  • Data storage allocation
  • Data processing/compute provisioning
  • Security and access management
  • Network configuration for data transfer and latency
  • Data retention and data life cycle management
  • Data growth planning
2.3 Configuring compute systems. Considerations include:
  • Compute resource provisioning
  • Compute volatility configuration (preemptible vs. standard)
  • Network configuration for compute resources (Google Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, serverless networking)
  • Infrastructure orchestration, resource configuration, and patch management
  • Container orchestration
Section 3. Designing for security and compliancee
3.1 Designing for security. Considerations include:
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Resource hierarchy (organizations, folders, projects)
  • Data security (key management, encryption, secret management)
  • Separation of duties (SoD)
  • Security controls (e.g., auditing, VPC Service Controls, context aware access, organization policy)
  • Managing customer-managed encryption keys with Cloud Key Management Service
  • Remote access
3.2 Designing for compliance. Considerations include:
  • Legislation (e.g., health record privacy, children’s privacy, data privacy, and ownership)
  • Commercial (e.g., sensitive data such as credit card information handling, personally identifiable information [PII])
  • Industry certifications (e.g., SOC 2)
  • Audits (including logs)
Section 4. Analyzing and optimizing technical and business processes
4.1 Analyzing and defining technical processes. Considerations include:
  • Software development life cycle (SDLC)
  • Continuous integration / continuous deployment
  • Troubleshooting / root cause analysis best practices
  • Testing and validation of software and infrastructure
  • Service catalog and provisioning
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
4.2 Analyzing and defining business processes. Considerations include:
  • Stakeholder management (e.g. influencing and facilitation)
  • Change management
  • Team assessment / skills readiness
  • Decision-making processes
  • Customer success management
  • Cost optimization / resource optimization (capex / opex)
4.3 Developing procedures to ensure reliability of solutions in production (e.g., chaos engineering, penetration testing)
Section 5. Managing implementation
5.1 Advising development/operation team(s) to ensure successful deployment of the solution. Considerations include:
  • Application development
  • API best practices
  • Testing frameworks (load/unit/integration)
  • Data and system migration and management tooling
5.2 Interacting with Google Cloud programmatically. Considerations include:
  • Google Cloud Shell
  • Google Cloud SDK (gcloud, gsutil and bq)
  • Cloud Emulators (e.g. Cloud Bigtable, Datastore, Spanner, Pub/Sub, Firestore)
Section 6. Ensuring solution and operations reliability
6.1 Monitoring/logging/profiling/alerting solution
6.2 Deployment and release management
6.3 Assisting with the support of deployed solutions
6.4 Evaluating quality control measuresn

How to Apply for Google Cloud Architect certification exam?

So, now you have received all the information about Google Cloud Architect certification exam. If you are determined enough to go for this exam and become a certified Google Cloud Architect, then it’s the time to register for the exam and go ahead for the preparation. Here are the steps to apply for the Google Cloud Architect certification exam:

  • Go to the Google Cloud Webassessor website and create an account.
  • Check the catalog and register for the exam you want to apply for.
  • Choose the exam center i.e. Kryterion Testing Centre.
  • Schedule exam data and exam time.

Important Points about Google Cloud Architect Certification

There are still some points that you should keep in mind before giving it your best try, here are some of them.

  1. One of the first things that anyone going for this certification needs to understand is that getting this certification does not automatically guarantee you a job. Sure, having Google Cloud’s reputation behind your credentials will help you to have a degree, but at the end, it will be your talent that gets you the position.
  2. Since the certification is renewed after every 2 years, it is important to ensure that you keep yourself up to date with the latest information in the field of Google Cloud architecture. As the next time you sit for the exam, the curriculum could have changed on the basis of market and technology trends.
  3. The reason this exam is in a multiple choice format is that it is designed to test the general knowledge of the candidate in the field of cloud computing and architecture. It is not, however, designed to access the depth of your knowledge, so even if you don’t have a lot of experience in this field, it is still something that you can pursue without hesitation.
  4. Owing to the general nature of the assessment, it is also important to note that you will only receive a pass or fail grade for the exam. Candidates should not expect feedback on their attempt itself, or any specific information regarding areas they were weak/strong in.
  5. Since the Google Cloud Platform supports a host of programming languages, such as Java, .Net, Node, PHP, Python, Ruby etc. it becomes easier for programmers to understand and prepare for the exam, even if they know only one or two of the above-mentioned languages.
  6. Experience of working on the Google Cloud Platform in itself is a great way to familiarize yourself with what is expected. So it never hurts to experiment on the platform, even if it is just to get yourself acquainted with where and how different functions can be accessed and executed.
  7. In addition to the Google Cloud Architect practice exam, there are also Beta Examinations that pop up for a short period before the final exams. These are also the paid exams but come at a discounted price. The whole purpose is to gather performance statistics on the questions and use these statistics to create the certification standards for the final exams. However, if you pass them, you are still considered certified, without even taking the final exam. The thing to consider though is that even though they are cheaper, they are still longer than the final exams which can be a hurdle for some and opportunity for others.

Step by Step Guide for Google Cloud Architect Exam Preparation

In this section, we have explained important steps to prepare for this exam.

1. Start with the Exam Guide 

As you expected, the first step is to read the Google Cloud’s official study guide (it’s exam syllabus of what are the topics covered in the exam). This is only the starting point to get started in knowing what’s tested in the real exam.

  • You can access the Google Cloud Certified Architect official study guide here.

2. Study the Documentation

While the exam guide gives you an overview of the entire syllabus of the Google Cloud Architect certification exam, the documentation page focuses solely on the Google Cloud Platform itself. Unlike the guide, this goes in depth about the concepts and critical components of GCP; thus becomes more valuable for your Google Cloud Architect exam preparation. Once you go through it properly, you will have a far better idea of exactly what you can accomplish with this platform.

In addition to the platform, you also get a look at all the services for computing, storage, networking, big data, machine learning, operations and more that are already up and running with GCP as a base. Since you might end up working on one or more of these services during the course of your career as a Google Cloud Architect, it is in your best interest to know everything possible about these services.

3. Take the Training Courses

The third step is to purchase a good training materials to prepare for the associate engineer certification exam. The ideal preparation materials are:

  1. Video Course
  2. Hands-on Labs
  3. Practice Exam Questions

Whizlabs provides all the above materials created by the Google Cloud Certified Experts.

4. Practice with Hands-on-Labs

Whizlabs is providing hands-on labs for the Google Cloud Platform. Practice using Whizlabs labs would help you to understand the concepts very well.

Here is the snapshot of labs dashboard.

Whizlabs - GCP Architect Labs

 

GCP Labs View

5. Try Practice Questions & Solve Them

Once you have progressed with your preparation ideologies, it is important to use practice questions or mock questions that are available in the market for this certification exam. Solve them, and test your skills and get used to the exam format. You will know the types of exam questions that you will have to face in the actual examination.

Test your skills, check with the solutions and mark the grades you get on practice questions. If you are not satisfied with the scores, then you are probably missing out on preparation efforts. Try harder, and come back to appear in practice exam questions, one more time. Continue until you get satisfaction with your preparation.

You can enroll in Whizlabs practice tests for the Google Professional Cloud Architect to check your preparation level for the exam.

Expert Tips You Need to Follow During Google Cloud Architect Exam

Once you have gone through all the tips and resources for the professional Google Cloud Architect exam preparation, you won’t feel the least bit worried about passing the certification exam. However, like any other exam, it is often important to remember a few things that can help you smoothen your journey through what can feel like the toughest 120 minutes of your life. Here are a few tips that will do just that:

  1. Time is always key in a multiple choice exam since the time limit itself prevents you from spending a lot of time on any particular question. This is why it is advised that you spend your time attempting as many questions as possible so that you get all of them on the first try.
  2. It is common to get confused between two different answers and start questioning your own knowledge. In times like this, rely on your gut and pick the answer that feels right. You can always come back to revise at the end.
  3. A lot of multiple choice questions often feature the answer in the body of the question itself. This is why it is recommended that you read the question completely and properly, as it might just save you time when it comes to picking an answer.
  4. If you see time running out and start to panic, it is totally fine to take a few minutes and calm yourself down. A frantic mind can make mistakes that a calm mind would easily avoid.
  5. Always pay close attention to the case studies, as they can be used to create multiple questions that are often linked together. As long as you understand and remember the underlying rules you will always find it easier to navigate through the questions.
  6. Don’t rely too much on sample papers as a guess of what might come in the exam. It is possible that they might feature questions from previous years, but that is not a guarantee that they will be used for future question selection.
  7. Revision is for all questions, not just the ones that you haven’t answered yet. It often happens that we only focus on the questions that are left, which can leave behind mistakes in questions that we’ve completed in a hurry assuming that they are correct.

Google Cloud Architect Certification FAQs

While going for Google Cloud Architect Certification exam, it is recommended to go for some frequently asked questions. Here we cover some of the Google Cloud Architect Certification FAQs that will clear the most of your doubts and you will get the answer to all of your questions. Let’s get ahead!

1. What is a Google Cloud Certification?

If you’re working on Google Cloud Platform, the Google Cloud certification program gives you a chance to get your technical skills verified. Anyone can take these exams, including average users, customers, and technical partners among others. Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world that assess individuals through a multiple choice test and determine their level of competency.

2. How much does Google Cloud Architect certification exam cost?

The cost of Google Cloud Architect certification exam varies depending on the type of certification. For the Google Cloud Architect Exam, the cost is $200 at present.

3. How long is a Google Cloud Architect Certification valid?

All Google Cloud certifications are valid for 2 years from the date of certification. At the end of that period, the candidates are notified to take the recertification exam. However, if the exam in question is not scheduled during that period, the certification will be automatically extended, until such a period when the exam can be conducted.

4. What happens if I don’t pass the Google certification exam?

If you don’t pass an exam, you still get two more attempts to pass it in the same year. The second attempt can be taken after 14 days, while for the third, you have to wait for 60 days. If you’re still not able to pass it, you will have to wait a year before taking it again. No matter how many attempts you make, you will still have to pay the full amount each time.

5. Why don’t I receive any score or feedback after I submit my exam?

The exams are designed to measure the competency of the cloud computing professionals on Google Cloud Platform. As long as you score high enough, there is no need to see what part of the exam was better or worse. Moreover, the whole purpose of a certification is only to say that you know enough about Google Cloud, not whether you are any good at it or not.

6. How much time will it take me to complete the Google Cloud Architect exam?

Exams vary in length depending on the syllabus. For the Cloud Architect exam, the standard time has been set for 2 hours.

7. Are there any prerequisites to for Google Cloud Architect certification exam?

There are no prerequisites to taking this particular exam. Anyone can take it, as long as they have a sufficient enough knowledge of the subject, and can pay $200.

8. Can I take this exam in a group or with a partner?

The Google Cloud Architect Exam by design must be taken independently and without collaboration with other people. Anyone caught cheating will be banned from taking another Google Cloud certification exam for a year.

9. Are Google Cloud certification exams open-book exams?

The Google Cloud certification exams are not open-book exams and candidates are advised not to carry any notes or other unauthorized items in the exams. If you are caught with any unauthorized items, it will be considered as a misconduct and your exam results could be voided.

10. Is there an age requirement in order to be able to take Google Cloud Architect certification exam?

Yes. Individuals attempting this exam must be older than 16 years of age if they live in the European Union. For all other countries, the age has been set to older than 13 years of age.

11. What happens if I violate the exam rules?

If Google discovers that you have breached the exam rules, your certification(s) will be revoked. You will also be permanently barred from retaking the exam and any other Google Cloud exams. Google may or may not choose to take necessary legal actions, depending on the laws of the country in question.

12. Do I need to carry personal ID for my exams?

Yes, ID is required before giving the exam. Acceptable forms of ID are those that have been issued by the government and include your name, photograph, and signature. If you are under 18 years of age, a school photo identification will be accepted.

13. Can I get a refund, if I am not able to take the exam?

Refunds only apply for specific situations. If you need to get it, you must contact Google before the commencement of the exam. Even then, only a few circumstances make you eligible for it. They are:

  • A medical emergency for you or a family member.
  • Natural disasters or severe weather conditions.
  • Urgent travel restrictions or severe security advisories issued within 72 hours before the exam.

14. When will I need to recertify?

Since the validity of this exam is 2 years, you will have to recertify after that time. You will receive reminders about it via email, 60 and 30 days prior to the expiration date of your certification. The emails will be sent to the same email address used during exam registration.

15. Who can I contact for help?

For any questions regarding the Professional Cloud Architect exam, contact Google support by submitting the query form.

Final Words

So, you’ve reached the end! This is all the information you will require to undertake the Google Cloud Architect Certification Examination. As you can see, the exam has been designed to be as transparent as it can while still catering to anyone and everyone who wants to attempt it. Though the exam is typical, this detailed information, preparation guide, and the above-mentioned resources will make the journey easy.

Have you decided to go forward with the Google Cloud Architect certification exam? Wish you the luck!

About Krishna Srinivasan

Krishna Srinivasan is the CEO of Whizlabs. With 15+ years of experience in technology, he is aimed to spread his knowledge and experience with the world. He is a “Tech Personality” and the innovative mind behind the success of Whizlabs. As a CEO, he focuses on the product development, future direction, and business strategy.

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