How to correctly answer AWS exam questions

Tags: ACG

The AWS exams are a challenge. Many students struggle with how to answer AWS questions. They are very well written questions that require you to both understand the questions and know the technical detail of the offered answers to determine which are not valid. There is a method for approaching the questions which I refer to as dissection. The key is to know your material very well so that you can spot the falsehood and mismatches in the offered answers.

The questions in the Pro exam are more complicated because they will offer more than one which will work and you need to choose the best. In the Associate exams it is simpler. there will be ONLY ONE correct answer all the others will be incorrect for some reason

We have launched an AWS Certification Exam preparation course (opens in new tab) specifically designed to help you prepare for the exam. Take a few minutes and run though this course to help you get the maximum result from the same effort.


Identify every piece of information or hint in the question.

  • If they give you information it is relevant to choosing between options.  This is particularly true of the associate exams.  For the Professional exams some information may be 'less' relevant not not misleading.
  • If they don't give you a piece of information you don't needed it. Don't assume and do not add information that is not there. The only exception is that you can assume that any service will function as advertised.


Read the answers very carefully. Do not assume the answer based on the 1st and last word.

  • You must choose an offered answer. You cannot add an answer your would prefer. This sound silly but I have had candidates argue that the question is wrong because it does not offer the answer they want to give. As an engineer you cannot always do the technically best solution you must work with what you have. The same here.
  • You cannot assume additional services or configurations if not given. (See note above about default or as designed functions). If the questions is about a VPC and no mention is made of nACLs, then assume that they are there and properly configured. However if the questions describes one nACL you cannot assume a 2nd that suits your purposes better.
  • Look for how the answers self-eliminate. To do this you need to really know your material. Know how things work, not just the names and definitions. For every component and service be able to quote a dozen or more things about what it does and does not do. Compare similar solutions and research how they are different and when you might use one over another. It is never that one is better than another, they all have their place and you need to understand what each is best and worst for. When you know what an object or service cannot do, then you will be able to spot the nonsense in the offered answers.

I suggest that you practice dissecting questions and answers with our practice exams. IGNORE the score and our opinion about what answer is correct. Use each questions as a research opportunity to prove to yourself why each answer is correct or incorrect.

Do the labs over a few times. but focus on why you are doing each step. Mix it up and alter the lab and then figure out how to fix it.

Note: Accept that you will miss a few questions in the exam because that is how the exam is designed. When you hit a question you cannot make sense of, move on quickly and do well on all the others.  Then come back to puzzle them out (or guess) for the extra points.


You can do this!

Don't rush into the exam. There are no bonus for how fast you study. But there are bragging rights for how well you did. We have one candidate who studied all the courses over an extended period without sitting one exam. Then sat all of them in a few days and score high 90% on all.

Take you time. Know the material.

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