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How to Prepare for AWS Certifications and Get AWS Certified in 3 steps

I’ve been at Amazon Re:invent 2014 in November and I’m glad I’ve met there a lot of our members and customers – I even saw people using Cloud Academy during the keynote sessions to prepare for AWS Certifications. One of the best experience of this year!
One thing that is clear for us at Cloud Academy is that the entire world is somehow switching to cloud-based systems. You know that, right?  Small, medium and big companies are now considering the public cloud and most of them will stay on a hybrid model: private cloud + public cloud. It’s just a great model and it works. Amazon Web Services is usually the first choice for the public-cloud. No doubts that AWS is still a market leader and AWS Certifications are becoming one big interest for companies and IT professionals.
In this article, I want to do a recap of how you can use our Premium Membership of Cloud Academy to study Amazon Web Services and get certified with AWS. A small reminder: Cloud Academy is designed to help beginners and experts as we rely on multiple courses and tools.

1 – Which AWS Certifications you need?

That’s really the first step. I met many customers of Cloud Academy at Re:invent that were asking me what was next for them after the AWS Solutions Architect (Associate level) path and I understand that figuring out the right path is not always so simple. Just to be clear: AWS Solutions Architect (Associate) is basically the starting point for everyone that just started using AWS and wants to have a comprehensive view of the AWS platform, services and how to work with some of the most important.
In order to understand which AWS Certifications is better for you, we built a AWS Certifications Study Guide series where we explain, in details, every certification path, with suggestions on how to study for it and how to prepare using our product. At the time of this article, we published 5 different lessons and we are publishing new ones once a week.
So again. Don’t start to think about studying and passing AWS Certifications without a good understanding of what they are and how your path is structured. As part of our Membership, you get also support and you can have the Cloud Academy team suggesting you how and where to start with AWS. For every path you will go deeper in different topics and areas of AWS.

2 – Video courses + Quizzes + Labs to study and get ready

To be honest there is not a unique rule to master AWS and get ready for AWS Certifications. I can easily share what I usually see with our customers that are successful. Most of them have a basic understanding of AWS and not so much experience with it. Getting started with a video course is the best choice then. Our content library has 40+ courses on AWS and you can easily find beginners and intermediate courses; if you want something really structured for AWS Certifications, my suggestions is to start with the first series of lessons on AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Level.
For some topics you should consider taking a dedicated course. Amazon VPC is not an easy topic. That’s why you should watch then our course Understanding Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud).
On your Cloud Academy’s sidebar, you will find a “AWS Certifications” icon. That’s a dedicated area of our website with specific learning paths for AWS Certifications – for all the available Amazon paths. Every single learning path is composed of 250 scenario-based quizzes with explanations and links to the AWS documentation.
You have to use it twice during the preparation. At the beginning, right after you started following our courses. Start a new 250 questions path and try to go through it using also the explanations. Basically, you’ll test your skills on AWS and also learn why it works that way with our explanations. Doubts? Click on the documentation link and you can go deeper.
Here’s an example of our question + explanation + link:
Scenario based question from AWS Certifications learning path
AWS Certifications - Scenario-based questions - explanation
If you need more quizzes, then you should also try our main Quiz service about Amazon Web Services. We’ll try to understand how skilled you are, question after question, and give you the best personalized path to test and learn.

3 – Get some real AWS hands-on practice

Laboratories is a technology we build in Cloud Academy to let our customers experiment with Amazon Web Services and learn how to use it with a learn-by-doing approach. You don’t need an AWS account and everything you do is inside your Cloud Academy membership. We guide you inside the console (you are using the real one) and we provide notifications about your completion step.

AWS Laboratories - learn by doing
An example of the AWS laboratories available with the Cloud Academy membership.

This is a good way to learn how to use Amazon Web Services because every lab has its own scenario and specific goals. We build them to be the most real possible and so most of the time you’ll end up learning how to build a real infrastructure that you can use for your company. Once you enter in a laboratory you find different steps and we guide you through every single one.

aws laboratories - aws certifications - lab on Amazon RDS
The details of a single laboratory. Every step is documented and in the lab page you have everything you need to start it with our credentials.

Our AWS laboratories are available only with our PRO membership. We have a dedicated team of people working on them and we are releasing from 8 to 10 new laboratories new month. Like courses and quizzes, we create laboratories for beginners and experts. In most of the cases ,you will find also the related video course for a laboratory.
You can start using Cloud Academy with a 7-day trial. Full access and all our support.

Written by

Stefano Bellasio

Stefano's a computer engineering guy that loves building products. He's the CEO and co-founder of All his experience is in the web hosting and cloud computing industry where he started other companies before. He loves talking with all readers of Cloud Academy blog, so feel free to email him at!

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