Hi there Whizlabs community!
During my preparation I was surfing by forums like this one and on ACloud Guru, read people feedbacks and insights, their study path and etc. It was pretty useful, so I feel like I own to do the same and leave my feedback here.
So yes, I passed DevOps engineer in May 2019 and Solution Architect in August 2019. It took 6 months in total, 4 months preparation for DevOps and 2 months for SA. Worth to say that I have 3 years of DevOps experience with AWS and my work load is pretty tight, so under “preparation” I mean 2-3 hours 4-5 days per week after work.
DevOps score is 840, SA score is 848, didn’t really think they’ll be such close The
scaled score needed to pass the exam is 750.
Since this is Whizlabs forum, a couple of words about Whizlabs. I used it for both DevOps and CA exams preparation.
For DevOps I bought practice tests (~300 questions) and a video course with lectures (it was proposed almost for free, as a discount package). Was it useful - yes, it was. It trains you to sit for 3 hrs and answer complicated scenario-based questions. If you are going to take your first exam, it must to purchase. Video course also was helpful, relatively helpful. If you already have some experience with AWS, the strategy is that you pass practice tests - if answer is incorrect, you sort out why and learn it accordingly. I used only Whizlabs trainings for DevOps preparation. And of course, read FAQ for most important services.
After passing the DevOps exam, I decided to apply to SA as soon as possible, so I bought Whizlabs SA course almost immediately after passing. And… totaly disappointed. I do NOT recommend this course to purchase, because:
- It’s written not accurate, in each test I reported 5+ questions as Incorrect answer/Bad explanation/Ambiguity in question, and I’d say in 90% I was correct. Whizlabs answered to me during 1-2 weeks and informed that the question/explanation was updated with my suggestions. That’s good that they support their product, but incorrect answers - that’s not what you expecting from teaching platform.
- Huge amount of duplications. There are a lot of questions that either repeated between tests, or just rephrased. It’s very easy to understand the answer even not reading the question, because you already answered this.
- Completely useless “final test”. The course has 4 practice tests by 80 questions in each (btw in real exam is only 75 questions) and 5th - final test, which they are recommend to take right before the exam. What a disappointment when you understand that’s just a mix of exact questions from previous 4 tests.
I can’t evaluate was Whizlabs really useful for me, but next course by Tutorials Dojo that I bought definitely was. The logic of the tests is the same, but they are well written and explanation there much better. As it says they regularly updates them according to people feedbacks after exams and I believe them - I got 2-3 questions that looked pretty same. And seems it was even cheaper.
So Whizlabs, if you reading this, thank you a lot for good DevOps preparation path! It made me succeed on the exam. And, unfortunately, I can’t say the same about SA practice test. Sorry, but you need to work on them.
For anyone who is preparing, my advices:
- Purchase practice tests-set! I.e by Whizlabs for DevOps exam and by Tutorials Dojo for SA.
- Don’t pause practice tests, train to fit the time. I finished my DevOps before 2 mins to deadline, and I could’t handle SA exam in time, missed couple of seconds to submit the last question
- Make notes! Now I have two pages with notes for both exams, for SA it’s about 1000 lines, crazy.
- You can request additional 30 minutes if English is not your native. That’s what I did. You should do it in your AWS Certification account before registering to the exam.
- I can’t recommend to take the official AWS practice test. I took it, I failed to pass it (70 points from 75 minimal). 1st - It’s hard, in real exam much less such hard questions. 2nd - there are no correct answers! I failed to pass it, I tried to understand what was wrong, but how can I know it? AWS doesn’t explain why my question is incorrect, so I still don’t know correct answers on that test. I’d say take it, if you have money.
Thats all I wanted to tell you guys. I wish you all good luck, just take preparation seriously and you’ll handle it!