Certification Survey Extra: Effective cloud computing exam preparation

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Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.

So you need to prepare for a certification exam. Which methods of cloud computing exam preparation are most effective?Cloud computing is still such a relatively new technology that certification can play a strong role in establishing who the experts are. If you can successfully take and pass a cloud computing certification exam, then you’ve taken a big step toward employability.

It becomes vital, then, for aspiring cloud computing professionals to master the knowledge and skills required for certification. Successful cloud computing exam preparation, on the other hand, is far from being a “one size fits all” proposition. There are many different approaches that can be followed to successfully prepare for and pass a certification exam.

Since we recently had a number of certified cloud computing professionals at our digital beck and call, we decided to ask the question. What tools have you used, and what practices have you followed, that have resulted in the most effective cloud computing exam preparation? What are the training solutions that work best for you?

We asked survey respondents to rate the effectiveness of several different methods of cloud computing exam preparation. Here’s what we learned:

Method of Preparation / Effectiveness of That MethodExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoorDoes Not Apply
Self-Study Books33.9 percent24.2 percent21 percent4.8 percent[No responses]16.1 percent
Practice Exams16.1 percent19.4 percent22.6 percent11.3 percent3.2 percent27.4 percent
Instructor-Led Training at Training Center21 percent6.5 percent14.5 percent3.2 percent[No responses]54.8 percent
Vendor-Authorized Boot Camp11.3 percent4.8 percent12.9 percent4.8 percent1.6 percent64.5 percent
Computer-Based Training or Simulations14.5 percent9.7 percent14.5 percent4.8 percent4.8 percent51.6 percent
Community or Technical College Courses3.2 percent4.8 perecent16.1 percent4.8 percent3.2 percent67.7 percent
Online Unversity Courses or MOOCs14.5 percent14.5 percent17.7 percent1.6 percent3.2 percent48.4 percent
Product Docmentation21 percent19.4 percent25.8 percent12.9 percent1.6 percent19.4 perent
Internet Mailing List or Forums3.2 percent9.7 percent9.7 percent17.7 percent6.5 percent53.2 percent
On-the-Job Training21 percent27.4 percent22.6 percent8.1 percent8.1 percent12.9 percent
Brain Dumps6.5 percent4.8 percent6.5 percent8.1 percent8.1 percent66.1 percent

2018 Survey Data

One of the first places we look on this type of chart is at the “Does Not Apply” column. That gives us a good indication of which methods are least popular among survey respondents — in this case, certified cloud computing professionals. For example, 66.1 percent of those surveyed don’t use brain dumps.

That’s not terribly surprising in this day and age. It’s a little more surprising, however, that community and technical colleges are ignored to a slightly greater degree than brain dumps: 67.7 percent of respondents would not darken the door of a community or technical college classroom. Boot camps are also on the outs, rejected as a useful/viable means of cloud computing exam preparation by 64.5 percent of those surveyed.

If you want the best approach? Get a job and learn by doing.  Just 12.9 percent of respondents didn’t go that route while preparing for their most recent cloud computing certification exam. Also, more than 70 percent of respondents rated the effectiveness of learning on the job either excellent (21 percent), very good (27.4 percent), or good (22.6 percent).

Or maybe the very best approach is to read a book. A few more survey respondents eschewed that route altogether than steered clear of on-the-job learning. Nearly 80 percent of all respondents, on the other hand, rate self-study books as being either an excellent (33.9 percent), very good (24.2 percent), or good (21 percent) means of cloud computing exam preparation.

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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One thought on “Certification Survey Extra: Effective cloud computing exam preparation”

  1. I strongly disagree with the premise about answers that are “Does not apply”, especially if the question had “What tools have you used?” I would have selected “Does not apply” if I did not utilize that method for learning. I find that instructor-led classes are highly effective, but if I did not participate in them (or my employer did not pay to send me to them), I would have selected “Does not apply”.

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