Here are the Final Four Steps you NEED to know to create a meaningful Amazon AWS Certification Plan in 2021.

So, if you want to pass the Amazon AWS Certification exam and continually master the exam topics and the skills they represent…

Keep reading!

What are the 8 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Meaningful Amazon AWS Certification Plan in 2021?

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the four steps you would want to follow to ensure you have a real-world Amazon AWS Certification plan to not only pass the Amazon AWS Certification exam but do so with real-world skills.

We started with a compelling why, moved to choosing an Amazon AWS Certification, mapping a plan out for that Amazon AWS Certification, and creating a schedule for that Amazon AWS Certification so you would DO it.

This second part of the series covers the final four steps to PASS the Amazon AWS Certification exam and continually master the Amazon AWS Certification exam topics and the skills they represent.

Let’s get started!

Here Are the 8 Steps to Create the Ultimate Meaningful Amazon AWS Certification Plan for 2021!

Step 1:  A Compelling Why for Amazon AWS Certification!

Step 2:  Which Amazon AWS Certification?

Step 3:  Mapping out a plan for Amazon AWS Certification

Step 4:  Schedule it to do it

Step 5:  Get more hands-on

Step 6:  Practice AWS Certification exam questions

Step 7:  Take the AWS Certification exam

Step 8:  Continual Mastery

This article is part of the “8 Steps to the Ultimate Amazon AWS Certification Plan” series.

Part 1 – In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the four steps you would want to follow to ensure you have a real-world Amazon AWS Certification plan to not only pass the Amazon AWS Certification exam but do so with real-world skills.

Part 2 – This second part of the series covers the final four steps to PASS the Amazon AWS Certification exam and continually master the Amazon AWS Certification exam topics and the skills they represent.

Step 5: Get More Hands-On

This is the most common problem that people new to technology or even to Cloud of any typeface…

How do I get hands-on experience?  How can I practice creating an S3 bucket?  What do I need to run Spot Instances on EC2?  Where do I practice the AWS Command Line Interface or run my Terraform practice lab?

First, let me say that if you don’t have an account on AWS then please create one right now.

It takes about 15 minutes to do with a credit card and a phone number and will cost you nothing.   Most people are scared of this because they think it will cost them boatloads of money.  That is only true if you are careless about creating objects and leaving them up instead of deleting them.   I am not saying that you can’t spend a couple of hundred dollars a day in AWS easily, but only if you intentionally create virtual machines, NAT Gateways, and other objects and just leave them running without shutting them down when you are done.  So if you are testing an idea take the hour to do so, use the smallest object possible, and then shut it down.

Starting a 24TB 448 core virtual machine for your testing is all on you and not the most efficient idea.  Better yet, make sure you use mainly AWS Free Tier objects and you will be very happy with a zero dollar bill most months.

I do a lot of demos in a specific account and run at least 4-5 large labs a month over days and I usually only pay $20 a month at most.   That isn’t a guarantee, but it means that if you pay attention you can keep your AWS bill low.  Set an overall AWS Budget up for your account.

Having an account and managing it is one of the best ways to get hands-on with AWS.

Second,  The following is a list of free resources.  I am not adding other paid resources because they are few, but nothing is better than an AWS account.  The list is:

  1. Amazon QwikLabs – sign up for a free account and note that there are 14 free labs you can take as of this article in Q1 2021.   If you want more advanced labs you can sign up for $55 per month.  This uses AWS on the backend.  Oh, and did I mention that this is the official lab provider for AWS and has been since 2016?
  2. Hands-On Tutorials for Amazon Web Services – This requires an AWS account in most cases, but this will allow you to walk through specific scenarios in your AWS account with screen-by-screen instruction.
  3. Amazon EC2 Spot Workshops:: EC2 Spot Workshops – This requires an AWS account and will teach more about Spot instances than most of the cloud practitioners I know.  This includes advanced topics like Spot Instances and Sagemaker so only do the labs that you need if you are just getting started.
  4. AWS Workshops – This also requires a free account, but this also includes a lot of third-party software like Jenkins or New Relic.   A great site that also will allow you to focus on what matters most to you around AWS.

Third, do a project on AWS.   Pick something that you want to do, something you are really interested in, something that stumped you are work and go for it.

Want to host an Anime Wiki site or do you love Rogues in Dungeons and Dragon?  Then create a site for it.  Do it in AWS in the most efficient way possible and maybe even monetize it to pay for your AWS labs.

How to Manage Your AWS Costs

In these times of ever-increasing AWS usage, wouldn’t it be nice to know how to save money on AWS?

Watch now and learn the common places to “find” money on AWS accounts!

Step 6: Practice Your Amazon AWS Certification Exam Questions

So this is a controversial step to the list because so many people skip to this step, memorize the answers, and then pass the Amazon AWS Certification exam, but have no practical experience. Then you get a job, but you can’t do anything and are a nervous wreck because they have asked you to do something for which you are not qualified.  Don’t do that!

Instead, go here to Shop – Tutorials Dojo and you can find every Amazon AWS Certification exam except for Alexa Skills. This will connect with the primary go-to person that I have used to help hundreds of professionals pass their certification exams from Practitioner to Speciality.

This will cost you about $13 per certification exam but will give you the best exam questions and practice I have ever used. This is run by Jon Bonso who is also on Udemy, but I recommend the Tutorials Dojo site for direct access as well as cost.

Take these Amazon AWS Certification practice tests until you can get a 95% consistently on at least 3 of them. If you can’t get 95% then you are not ready to go onto Step 7.

Check out this answer review, it is amazingly detailed and uses AWS references.

Then he gives you an explanation (abbreviated below)

Then you get reasons for the right and wrong answers

And lastly, he shows you both his cheat sheets for study and the AWS references where he got the right answers.

Amazon AWS Certification Training With a Twist!

Web Age delivers all of the Certified AWS Authorized Training courses but with a series of value adds to provide more ROI, better retention and extended learning.

AWS Authorized Training with the high level of customer service and added value that you expect from Web Age Solutions!! And all of this at no additional charge!!!

  • AWS Learning Needs Analysis (LNA)
  • Test Prep Sessions
  • Gamification: The AWS Jeopardy Game
  • AWS Flashcards
  • Supplemental Labs

Step 7: Take the Amazon AWS Certification Exam.

This step doesn’t require much explanation.   If you have done steps 0-5 and you have put in the work, then why not?  You have gotten %95 on your Amazon AWS Certification practice exams.  You have studied the material.  You have read the white papers and deployed workloads.

You are ready!  You know it.  It is time.

Go here at Amazon AWS Certification Account and sign-in using your Amazon credentials.

You are not part of the partner network by the way so when you see the confusing screen to the right.

Cost varies by Amazon AWS Certification exam so you will either pay $75, $150, or $300 for your exam.

Note that once you take one Amazon AWS Certification exam you will get a %50 discount voucher for your next exams.  So taking one Amazon AWS Certification exam will reduce the cost for the next ones.

Pick a day that works for you and know that the day of you want to do nothing else for the hour or two before the exam.

Just choose the one on the left. Unless you are a partner then you probably already know.

Step 8: Continual Mastery

This is a great place to stay connected with AWS, but here is an expanded list beyond the YouTube Channel, the Blog, and the AWS Podcast:

The key here is to continually grow and engage even if it is even 15 minutes a day.

This is an ever-expanding core of modern software delivery and infrastructure so having a daily or weekly ritual to stay abreast of trends, new features, and new patterns in this industry is essential.


AWS is a core competency in 2021 and is considered a requirement for any DevOps engineer to know and master.   This guide showed 8 steps to obtain a meaningful Amazon AWS certification whether you started with Cloud Practitioner or an AWS Speciality Exam with specific examples and ask for creating both expertise and experience.   Now it is time for you to put those steps into action by finding your Why, determining your Certification, creating a plan, getting hands-on, practice, and pass your Amazon AWS certification.  Good luck and more importantly work consistently and you will achieve it.  Until next time.

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