I recently started going hands on with services on the AWS platform and decided to take the entry-level certification exam. Since I live in Tokyo, my biggest worry was that the exam would be available only in Japanese. Fortunately, the exams are offered in Japanese or English. This article describes my experience scheduling and taking the exam to obtain certification as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner as a foreigner in Japan.
Scheduling the exam
After taking some online courses, I registered for my AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam through aws.training. Registering for the exam was simple, and I was relieved that an English version of the exam was available. There are many test centers around Tokyo that let you schedule exams even in the evenings or on Saturdays.
Testing center and staff
After arriving at the testing center, the staff requested a government-issued photo ID and another form of ID. They then provided me with a locker and basic guidelines in English, which included the standard “no cheating” policy.
You have 90 minutes to complete the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam. But you can submit your answers before 90 minutes has passed. I answered all 65 questions in 20 minutes and then spent 15 minutes reviewing about 15 answers that I had flagged for review.
After submitting and providing feedback about the exam, a screen appeared, notifying me that I had passed. Three days later, I received an email with details about my exam results, certification benefits, and a link to my certificate.
Reflecting on exam prep
I found that reading the suggested white papers helped the most, followed by watching the official AWS training videos for the exam. Links to relevant links are available in the AWS exam prep guide. By focusing on those two as study guides, I felt confident when selecting many of my answers. I also listened to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified 2019 – 4 Certifications course during my work commute. This helped me get comfortable with the terminology and hear more detailed explanations.
With the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification, my next goal is to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. I’m choosing this route because I have a deep interest in creating foundations for solutions that meet specific needs. Also, my experience implementing solutions on my Raspberry Pi devices applies to solution architecture.