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Preparing for SnowPro Core Certification

dereksedlmyer profile image Derek Sedlmyer ・4 min read

Recently I sat for the SnowPro Core Certification exam via online proctoring by Kryterion. I wanted to share my exam preparation and exam experience in order to help fellow colleagues interested in obtaining this certification.

About Snowflake

Snowflake is a cloud data platform built from the ground up for the cloud. Snowflake is built on a patented, multi-cluster, shared data architecture created for the cloud to revolutionize data warehousing, data lakes, data analytics and a host of other use cases.

Snowflake is a single platform comprised of storage, compute, and services layers that are logically integrated but scale infinitely and independent from one another.

Snowflake is a SaaS solution and is maintained by Snowflake and not the customer. Snowflake manages the services, compute, and storage layers. Data is only accessible via SQL in Snowflake. Snowflake can be deployed within AWS, Azure or GCP although not in customer controlled accounts.

About SnowPro Core Certification

The SnowPro Core Certification demonstrates an individual's knowledge to apply specific core expertise implementing and migrating to Snowflake.

The subject areas covered includes:

  • Snowflake Architecture
  • Snowflake Client Interfaces and Connectivity
  • Data Loading/Unloading
  • Semi-Structured Data
  • Working with Snowflake
  • Account and Resource Management
  • Performance Optimization
  • Data Sharing
  • Security & Access Control

Exam Format:

  • 100 multiple select and multiple choice
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Registration fee: $175 USD
  • Currently only available in English

Exam Preparation

To prepare for the exam, I utilized the following resources:

  • Hands-On Lab Guide
  • Training videos and Practice Exams hosted on Udemy and developed by Hamid Qureshi
  • Snowflake University
  • Snowflake documentation

I estimate that I spent about 8-10 hours on exam preparation.

Hands-On Lab Guide

The Hands-On Lab Guide is a great place to become familiar with Snowflake. This will require a trial account to complete. Snowflake provides a 30-day trial of the Standard edition that can be used for this tutorial.

The Hands-On Lab Guide tutorial takes a 1-2 hours to complete.

Udemy Courses

There are 2 Udemy courses that I found valuable in preparing for the exam, both of them developed by Hamid Qureshi.

Snowflake Decoded - Fundamentals and hands on Training contains 60 video lectures with hands-on labs and quizzes which took about 4 hours to complete. The short videos covered all the major topics of Snowflake. The questions in the quizzes are a lot easier than the questions in the exam. I purchased this training for $11.99 from Udemy using a promotion they were running at the time.

Tackling Snowflake Certification - Practice Questions contains 5 practice exams that really do a good job of helping you prepare for the exam. Each exam contains 56-74 questions that you will find on the exam. This course was also $11.99 which was a great value.

Snowflake University

Snowflake University contains a number of free courses to help you learn Snowflake and help with certification exam preparation. Snowflake University has the following courses:

I used the Level Up Series to help fine tune some areas where I needed some improvement. The Level Up Series has 8 videos with quizzes dedicated to various topics included first concepts and performance topics. The performance topics were really beneficial in learning about caching and query and results history.

Additionally, Snowflake University provides a study guide for the exam. This has valuable links to the documentation and other exam resources like videos and blogs.

Snowflake Documentation

The Snowflake Documentation is the source for all content required to pass the exam. If there is a single piece of advice I could give is to study the documentation. Use the practice exams to determine areas of improvement and use the documentation to study in further depth.

Exam

The exam itself is proctored by Kryterion. Due to COVID-19, I used online proctoring since onsite testing centers were closed. When using online proctoring, software will be required to deliver the exam to your computer and enable the webcam and audio for proctoring.

To schedule, go to WebAssessor and find a time slot that will fit your schedule. At the time I scheduled, the available time slots were very limited.

Prior to your exam, be sure to install the Sentinel software that will deliver the exam to your computer. This software will block you from accessing other software on your computer during the duration of the exam. The software will also require access to your webcam and microphone. After installing the Sentinel software, a biometric profile will require setup. The biometric profile setup will prompt you to enter your full name multiple times and it will perform facial recognition.

The exam itself will contain 100 multiple choice and multiple select questions. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam. At the end of the exam, your results will be provided.

Conclusion

Overall the exam is straightforward. By doing the hand-on lab tutorial, reading the documentation in depth and utilizing some existing free resources provided by Snowflake you have a good start to passing the exam. Using the Udemy courses, especially the practice exams, will provide a great foundation.

Posted on by:

dereksedlmyer profile

Derek Sedlmyer

@dereksedlmyer

Software Architect specializing in Cloud, AWS, Azure, DevOps, Data Platforms, Data Lakes, IaaS, GIS.

Discussion

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great article!

however, Snowflake came up just yesterday with an additional overly expensive "advanced" certification, and I'm done, I no longer get their value :(

I vent my frustration here: simplytotally.com/snowflake-certif...

 

Thanks for the write up! I am looking at taking this test in the next few weeks. How was the proctor with your room setup, lighting etc. for the exam? Any tips there?

 

Overall, the proctor was very lenient. Previous online proctoring was very strict, so I did some preparation in advance -- clean desk, no monitors around, and bare walls surrounding my table. Just me and my laptop.

Good Luck!