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24 Days To Pass The AWS Dev Exam: Exactly How I Did It 🚀

Sup folks! 👋

In January I managed to take and pass 🚀 the AWS Associate Developer Exam in just three and a half weeks. Today, I released a YouTube video that goes into a TON of detail. I talk about exactly which courses I used, how I approached studying, and my general tips for the exam.

But... in case you don't have the time to watch the video right now, let me at least summarise for you some of the tips (that are also shared in the video!) for taking and passing the AWS Associate Developer Exam here 👇.

🏆 Jon Bonso's Practice Exams

Jon's practice exams are well known and well liked for people taking the AWS exams, I see the practice exams recommended all the time here on DEV.TO, on Reddit, on Twitter, etc. They didn't dissapoint!

But, what I didn't realise about them, is that there's SO much content in the practice exams themselves that you should really treat them like a "course".

Don't take just the 2 hours it takes to sit each exam, I'd suggest that you take more like 10-15 hours per practice exam, so you really can dig into the answers you get wrong!

🛠 Build Mini Projects

Given the content in the course, and the fact that lots of questions were combining services, not just asking about one, hands on learning is essential.

For the AWS associate developer exam, I'd suggest to build the following three mini-projects:

  1. A serverless architecture: Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB, CloudWatch Alarms. Optionally: Step Functions and Event Bridge.
  2. A classic architecture: EC2, Load Balancers, Route53, Auto Scaling.
  3. A static site: Route 53, CloudFront, Amazon S3.

📆 Book your exam in the afternoon

A big mistake I made for this exam was booking it before work (7AM), which meant for my last minute preparation I had to be up even earlier than my booked exam (4AM!). Yeah, don't do that. I'd suggest you book your exam in the afternoon, and give yourself some time to prepare in the morning.

📚 Use the certification prep page

I'm always telling folks about this page on the AWS documentation, it's seemingly buried, but is an absolute treasure trove of information. Use the dropdown and find your exam, it gives you the exam guide, the exact whitepapers, the right FAQ pages to read, AWS training content. Bookmark this page. 🔖

⏱ How long did it take?

This is a question I get a lot. I spent between 20-30 hours over the course of 3.5 weeks to take and pass the exam. But, I do have a lot of experience with building on AWS already.

💰 How much did the exam cost?

$24 (exam pro AWS Associate Dev Course) + $150 (exam itself) + $19 (Jon Bonso practice exams on Udemy) = $193. But... of course, you don't have to pay anything to train and learn for the exams, lots of content is online for free, and quite frankly the best source of information is mainly the AWS documentation itself!

That's it! A few tips that I hope helps you out. If you get chance, do watch the full video, because there's a lot more detail in there! 🙏


Hey! 👋 If we haven't met, let me introduce myself, I'm Lou, and I created Open Up The Cloud to help you get your start, and grow your career in cloud 🚀.

If you're interested in cloud, the best way to keep up-to-date with news, and everything I publish is via the monthly cloud newsletter. And find Open Up The Cloud on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram... wherever you like to hang out! 😄

Discussion (1)

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ioannisnoukakis profile image
Ioannis Noukakis

But, I do have a lot of experience with building on AWS already.
So step one, have 10 years of experience using AWS professionnaly xD