AWS Certification – Changes To Resit Policies?



As I tweeted at the end of last week, I failed the AWS Advanced Networking exam on Friday and I was looking earlier to see when I could reschedule this and jump back on the horse. Originally when I first started sitting AWS exams back in the dark depths of December 2015, you could sit an exam three times before you had to wait 12 months to sit it again.

As you can imagine, sitting my SA Pro exam at the third time of asking was pressure enough but also to have that sword hanging over my head just made the situation practically unbearable. I’m pleased to note that when I logged into the Training and Certification portal this morning, the resit policy has been relaxed quite a bit. From three attempts in a single year, all exams now have the following terms :-

  • You can sit any AWS exam a total of 10 times (Initial sitting plus 9 retakes)
  • You must wait 14 days after any failed attempt before you can register for a resit
  • The maximum number of exam sittings in a 12 month period seems to have been removed

This is a much better approach for test sitters and takes some of the pressure off. It also makes sense from AWS’s point of view as they can generate more revenues from exams now. I’m not sure when this policy changed (I quickly Googled it and found nothing), but it’s well worth knowing if you’re sitting any exams soon.

As regards the maximum sittings in a single year, if you need more than 10 attempts, it’s probably safe to say you should consider something a bit different. ūüėČ

Screen grab from the T&C portal showing the new resit policy for all exams




Achievement Unlocked : AWS Certified Developer Associate


Today I passed my fourth AWS certification, the Certified Developer Associate. For those out there with it on their “to do” list, let me say that I found this exam the easiest so far, passing with 81%, which was way beyond what I expected after not being able to study for the last couple of weeks. In fact, I’ve spent 100% of my time on an Office 365 engagement, which is pretty far away from what the exam is all about.

First up, I don’t know why it’s called a developer exam, you don’t need to know anything about programming. It’s more to do with how the AWS products and services would integrate with applications and software. With that in mind, there is a heavy focus on the likes of S3, DynamoDB, SQS, SNS, CloudFormation, VPC and Elastic Beanstalk.

To prepare, I’d already done the Solutions Architect Associate and Pro and the SysOps Associate – there is quite a lot of overlap in this exam with topics you’d find in those exams. I think a combination of AWS experience and getting better used to the exam format that stood me in good stead today, and I didn’t find it overly taxing, finishing in around 40 minutes, including some answer reviews.

The exam itself is 55 questions over 80 minutes, so you should have a good amount of time to read each question and each answer in turn, eliminating the wrong ones. Go with your gut feeling and you’ll be right more often than not. It’s always worth marking those you aren’t sure of for review, when you get to the end and you have time left over, sometimes there is less pressure and it’s easier to re-read the questions and possible answers.

As well as practical experience and the battle wounds inflicted by three goes at the Solutions Architect Pro exam, the ACloud Guru course is worth a watch. There are some topics on there that are repeated if you’ve been through the Solutions Architect track, but the videos are reasonably short and act as good refreshers.

The FAQs also add value as refreshers in so much as the answers get right to the point and skirt along topics you’ll likely see in the exam. Glad to have this one out of the way and only time will tell if I can get the DevOps Pro done before the new rumoured exams appear. As usual, if you have any questions, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn, I’m happy to answer provided it doesn’t breach exam NDA.