Preparing for the Exam


GCP Architect Case Studies
1m 6s

The course is part of this learning path

Preparing for the Exam

This course will help you prepare for the Professional Cloud Architect Exam. We cover the 4 case studies presented in the exam guide, explain what they are, why they are important, and how to use them to prepare for the exam.

Learning Objectives

Examine the 4 case studies presented in the exam guide:

  • EHR Healthcare
  • Helicopter Racing League
  • Mountkirk Games
  • TerramEarth

Intended Audience

Anyone planning to take the Professional Cloud Architect Exam.


Basic knowledge of GCP.


To help you prepare for the Professional Cloud Architect Certification Exam, Google has provided an official study guide.

The study guide contains every topic that is to be covered by the exam.  So theoretically, if you are familiar with everything on this page, you should be able to pass the exam without any issues.  At the top of this exam guide, you will find some case studies.  The whole point of this course is to explain what these case studies are, why they are important, and how to use them to prepare for the exam. So first, what are these case studies?  

When you first read them, they might seem a little confusing.  Normally a “case study” is a detailed description of a real world event.  So an example might be something along the lines of “Company X migrated from an on-premises data center to the cloud and saved a million dollars”.  The case study would then describe in detail everything that was running before the migration, including costs.  And then it would break down those migration costs, as well as the updated costs after the migration.  The basic idea is to make a claim and then offer proof of that claim, using a real world example. 

The case studies linked in the study guide are different.  Each case study describes a fictitious business.  Also there is no explicit “event” described either.  Instead, each case study presents a problem.  Maybe the company wants to be able to save money, or maybe they want to be able to scale faster.  Something like that.  It also will describe the existing environment, along with any business and technical requirements.  So, you can think of them as theoretical scenarios.

So, what is the point of including these case studies in the study guide?  

Well that is explained in the study guide itself:

“​​During the exam for the Cloud Architect Certification, some of the questions may refer you to a case study that describes a fictitious business and solution concept. These case studies are intended to provide additional context to help you choose your answer(s). Review the case studies that may be used in the exam.”

So these are basically mini-scenarios that will be referenced by one or more exam questions.  Essentially they are a way for Google to ask complicated questions, without requiring several pages of text for each question.  Now if you come into the exam already familiar with these scenarios, then the questions can be much shorter and they don’t have to spell out the entire background.

So then, how do I use these case studies to prepare for the exam? There are a few things you need to do.  

First, you should try to memorize (or at least get very familiar) with all of them.  Yes, I realize memorizing fictional scenarios is probably not something you want to do.  However, memorizing these scenarios will save you precious time.  Every time I have taken a Google exam, they always included a link to the appropriate case study.  However, reading through the whole case study takes time.  That means you will have less time to think and choose an answer.  If you can go into the exam already knowing the scenarios, you can save yourself a significant amount of time.  That means you will be less likely to run out of time and less likely to have to leave some answers blank.

Second, instead of just memorizing the case studies, you should also be able to identify key pieces of information within.  For example, if a case study says that the company is going to be dealing with customers' medical records.  That means that any solution will need to be very secure, because it’s going to be handling sensitive health information.  You need to make sure that any solution you pick can support encryption and be HIPAA compliant.  Things like that.  Your answers will be very dependent upon the requirements in each case study, so it is critical that you understand what the requirements are.

In the following lessons I am going to go through each case study, one at a time.  I am going to read through each section, and then I’ll point out any key terms that you should take note of. Now, you need to be aware that simply watching these videos will not be sufficient.  You should plan to read through the case studies yourself several times. Now it does not have to be word-for-word, but memorize the details.  Memorize the key requirements.  That way, when a question asks you to pick a “compute” solution for one of the companies, you can pick the most appropriate answer.

Some of you might be thinking that you might just watch this course several times in a row.  I would actually discourage you from doing that.  Google can modify its exams at any time.  This also means that they can modify those case studies at any time.  There is a chance that one or more case studies will have been modified since I recorded this video.  It would actually be best for you to read the latest version of the case studies yourself.  Google does not notify people when it makes any changes.  So, I will try to keep this video updated, but I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy.

Also please note that I cannot tell you what questions will be asked, nor can I tell you which of the case studies will be used.  Your exam might refer to all four, or maybe only one.  Everyone’s exam experience will be different.  So use these videos as a guide, but be prepared to do some studying on your own as well.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.

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