AWS Renewal

with tags AWS -

So it had been over two years since I’d last sat my AWS SysOps Associate exam and it should have expired … but heres my experiences of renewing it.



  • Sat through a couple of hours of training videos before deciding things weren’t quite right
  • Took practice exam got 70% but wasn’t happy with the quality of some of the questions

Started looking for alternate training someone had recommended ACloudGuru, I’d previously used LinuxAcademy but i settled on ACG due to pricing ($29 vs $50 monthly)


  • Signed Up, Entered in card details but was hoping to have the exam completed before the free trial was up
  • Sat practice exam, 89% which identified gaps my knowledge of High Availability and Networking.
  • Spent the odd hour on an evening watching the course videos
  • regularly retook the practice exam to try and get a feel for timings. It recommends spending 2mins per question.

Taking the Exam

  • Rock up to testing center
  • Empty pockets of Everything bare in mind lockers are tiny
  • Sit exam in tiny room with 7 other test takers all hammering away at their keyboards (pearsonvue provide earplugs)
  • Remember to flag questions that your uncertain about as you go, the exam will highlight them once you get to the end allowing you revisit them at the end
  • Fill in the post exam survey
  • Receive Pass/Fail instantly
  • Exit to pub

Exam contents

  • No questions on ElastiCache
  • Lots of questions on Organizations
  • Lots of questions on Billing/Cost Explorer
  • AWS Artifact now where compliance related info can be found
  • Only 2 questions on RDS covering read replicas and how to enable encryption on an existing RDS database
  • IAM need to know how to evaluate a policy and how to spot the mistake in the policy
  • AWS Shield & WAF need to know what each service is and when to use vs just using CloudFront
  • NACLs are used to DENY traffic and for OUTBOUND rules
  • How to write a VPC Route Table
  • Opsworks questions were limited to does this use chef/puppet

Post exam

  • Cancel ACG subscription (till next exam)
  • It takes a day or two for your transcript and certifications to update, DON’T PANIC this is normal
  • Your transcript will show the percentage breakdown of marks were available from the 7 subject areas and if any area were not up to scratch
  • Discover that AWS had recently extended the Exam validity to 3 years meaning that my previous exam was still valid for another 6 months 🤦‍
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