I have also just passed the Associate Exam (Feb 2018) and I was surprised to be set only 55, rather than 60 questions yet still with a time of 80 mins so plenty of time. I went through all the questions, answered what I could, flagged those that needed more thought and kept reviewing for the full 80 mins.
I used Whizlabs for the practice Exams and found them very useful. The explanations of the Exam answers is really good. They let themselves down with the English used in both the Q and As. However, I would still recommend Whizlabs albeit I did not review Udemy. Suggestion to Whizlabs - please review the grammar in both the questions and answers as many of them look as though they have been thrown together. However, the feedback to the questions is great
I had a mixture of questions, some scenario based and others straightforward eg; 'What AWS service would you use for…??? etc.
Key topics covered were;
Federation and IAM scenarios
Evaluate use of either EBS and S3
Know the different database types and when to use DynamoDB, RDS etc
Know Bastion Hosts (Jump Servers) hosted in public subnet etc
Understand when to use various types of ELBs
Know your encryption techniques, volumes , Snapshot creation etc
API Gateway functions and Cloudfront
Quite a few questions on Autoscaling, types of instances, Launch configurations
Understand VPC - quite a few questions on Public / Private Subnet communications
Cloud Watch and Cloud Trail - when to use, VPC Logs etc
Know the differences between Kinesis streams, Firehose etc
Use of Elastic Beanstalk / Docker
Security groups , NACLs and use within VPC were also asked
My background is in IT so I was ok with many of the concepts but weak in areas such as Networking. I found that Ryan’s knowledge and explanation helped in these areas and were an added benefit of the course. I did all the Labs in the course, which I found interesting. I made my own notes as I went through the course as I found it easier to understand once I jotted stuff down. I took the Guru tests as I went through and I must have done the course about 3 times to drill it home.
So the net of it for me was;
Make sure you dedicate a lot of time to the Acloud.guru course and do all the Labs. I suspect I must have done over 200 hours either learning or playing around on the Free Tier which was interesting.
Go over the course 2 - 3 times
Buy Whizlabs and do/redo the exams - I think there were a couple of questions in the exam similar to some of those on Whizlabs.
Many thanks to Ryan and the Cloudguru team for making this such an interesting course. Now on to the Professional !
I hope this has been useful feedback.