Passing your AWS certification exam is a huge accomplishment, but it does not come without its challenges. If you failed your AWS Certification exam for any particular reason, this article will help you identify ways to improve so that next time you’ll pass your AWS exam with confidence. We’ll discuss how to best prepare for your next exam and how to avoid the mistakes that led to your past failure. To start out, we’ll look into practical implications of failing an exam and dive into AWS’ policy on retaking an exam after failing at first attempt.
AWS Retake Policy
AWS retake policy is very generous. It states that if you do not pass an exam, you have to wait 14 days before retaking it. There is no limit to how many times you can retake the AWS certification exams. However, if your score does not meet AWS’ passing criteria within three attempts then they will require proof of having passed an alternative certification or attend a training course through their partner portal. Keep in mind that you have to pay the full registration fee for each exam attempt and that you only get the 50% off voucher when you pass.
If you pass an exam, you can only retake it after two years. You will be eligible to retake the exam if it has an updated exam series code and a new exam guide.
You can only take the beta exam version once, after which you’ll be required to wait to retake it when the official certification exam is generally available.
Failing your AWS exam can feel deeply disappointing and demotivating. Considering that you invested time, money, and energy, you might feel discouraged. You might even wonder if this certification is for you at all and whether or not the effort to achieve it is worth it.
Do not give up
Feeling disappointed should not prevent you from trying again. Use this opportunity as motivation for your next attempt to pass the certification exam. Ask yourself what caused you to fail the exam. Did you study adequately and take practice tests prior to the exam? Did you feel confident going into the exam? Once you have the answers to these questions, learn from your mistakes. Do things differently next time. The more you practice, the better prepared for your next exam you will be.
Why did you fail?
Here are some reasons why you might have failed your exam, followed by corresponding advice on how to avoid that outcome in the future:
You didn’t prepare properly
AWS exams cover a broad range of AWS services. 85% of the questions test your understanding of core topics, while the remaining 15% test your ability to think deeper. This means that you need to cover and understand all study areas before sitting for the exam.
Attempting to understand concepts vs memorizing answers
AWS exams are designed to test your understanding of concepts. This is why they often include scenario-based questions. Memorizing answers will not help you identify the best possible response to a question that assesses your understanding of concepts, especially if those responses are likely to vary from one exam session to another.
Poor time management
It’s easy for AWS certification exams to feel overwhelming and intimidating because of their time duration (from 90 – 180 minutes) and complex nature. Focusing too much time on some questions can prevent you from finishing the test in time. This means failing these particular questions or passing them without getting full credit for all correct answers – which might again cause failure.
Additionally, poor time management before the exam might have led to inadequate preparation, resulting in hasty decisions and possibly incorrect answers.
Understanding of concepts vs ability to apply knowledge
AWS exams will test your understanding of core AWS concepts, but they also require you to be able to apply that knowledge. You’ll need both in order to pass the certification exams. If you find yourself struggling during practice tests or while studying for the quiz, then it’s time for a change in approach.
Improve your understanding by reviewing course materials and using multiple sources such as quizzes, study guides, videos, and documentation. When it comes to practicing how this information is applied, use real-world experiences that can hone practical skills.
You did not have the right preparation materials
It is possible that your study materials (video courses, practice exams) were outdated or of poor quality. When preparing for this exam, make sure you exclusively use high-quality AWS training courses. If you choose to use books, ensure that they are up-to-date. If you are studying online, select the sites you use carefully, to avoid falling prey to exam dumps (here’s why you should avoid exam dumps). These are sites where people put as many questions as they can remember, after taking an exam.
While practicing with actual questions from a past exam might seem enticing, using high-quality AWS practice exams is more beneficial in the long run. Practice Exams include detailed answers and explanations to help you understand why an answer is correct or incorrect. Not only does this give you a broad understanding of each topic and service, but it also allows you to score higher and achieve a better result.
How to do better next time
If you are wondering what you can do to pass the AWS exam next time, follow these simple steps:
Take personal responsibility
The first step towards doing better is taking personal responsibility instead of making excuses or blaming others. Doing so will help you to identify your problem areas and work on them.
If it’s any consolation, failing plagues many people who take this certification exam for the first time; however, there is hope! If you acknowledge where things went wrong during your last attempt at passing the AWS Certification Exam and make changes accordingly, chances are good that you will pass your second try!
Identify the areas in which you underperformed
It is better to know what you need help with before the actual exam than during or after it! Knowing will help you to focus more of your study time on your weak areas. Practice in a realistic environment. This means using real-world scenarios instead of memorizing information. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are many forums and discussion boards online that offer advice on how to get the best scores.
Assess exam readiness with practice exams
Practice exams will help you to pinpoint your problem areas and provide valuable insights on how prepared you are for the real test.
By using practice exams as a tool to measure your readiness, you’ll be able to determine what must be done in order to pass with flying colors! Finish all questions completely. This is important because it will allow for more accurate results that pertain only to you. We recommend getting a consistent score of 80% and above on each practice test. Once you do achieve that, you are ready for the real test!
Understand why you got a question wrong
Look up the explanations of the questions that you got wrong. Doing so will help to identify your problem areas and to learn from your mistakes.
When it comes to studying for AWS exams, learning is not enough! You must be able to apply what you have learned in real-world scenarios or else you will face the same problems during the actual exam.
It’s one thing if a question seems hard because of its wording; however, if there are easy questions that keep eluding your understanding, then this could mean that you haven’t fully grasped certain concepts yet. Utilize cheat sheets and look up links to training notes that’ll help you grasp concepts better.
During the exam, it is important to manage your time well and answer all questions. This might seem fairly straightforward; however, many people tend to get carried away with browsing through the material or second-guessing themselves during the exam. Instead of doing this, you should try to answer all questions as quickly and accurately as you can.
Make sure that you are aware of how much time is being allotted for each question so that there are no surprises during the actual exam! For example, if a particular topic takes longer than expected to explain in your study material, then take more time on it rather than rushing through things at the end.
If you have extra time left after finishing all questions, don’t be tempted by any tricks or scams online; instead, use this opportunity to review answers first before checking them. This will allow you to identify mistakes easily and understand why certain answers were incorrect without having to go over every single question again.
Stress management is very important before and during the exam. It is very easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus if you don’t prepare yourself for what’s ahead. To avoid this from happening, we recommend that you don’t panic! Keep in mind that everyone else taking the exam is also feeling nervous and under a lot of pressure as well! Exercise prior to the test. This will help increase your blood flow and release endorphins that combat stress.
Reflect on your learning style
Are you a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Identify your learning style so as to find the most effective way for you to learn.
For example, if you are an auditory learner then try using audio guides to help with your revision. If you learn best by reading something out loud, record yourself and listen before every practice test; this will allow for more effective learning!
At Digital Cloud Training we ensure students are best prepared no matter what you preferred learning style through video lessons, practice exercises, cheat sheets, practice tests and hands-on Challenge Labs.
Check out this article for more study tips for passing your AWS exam.
Developing an awareness of the reasons why you failed your AWS certification exam, is a great opportunity to learn from your experience and do better the next time. Trust that you have the capacity and tools at your fingertips to ace your AWS certification exam next time. It’s time to pick yourself back up and keep studying!
Recommended AWS Training Courses
At Digital Cloud Training we provide the highest quality AWS training courses that will ensure your pass your AWS Certification Exams.
- Video-based training courses that seamlessly blend theoretical education with hands-on practice so you can not only prepare to answer tricky exam questions but learn critical hands-on skills that will set you up for your next job.
- Practice tests with large banks of questions that reflect the style and difficulty of the real AWS exam so you can be well prepared to easily pass your exam on the day. All questions come with detailed explanations and reference links and the tests are offered in multiple formats for training and exam simulation.
- Cheat Sheets and eBooks that help you to memorize and cross-check key facts you need to know for the exam and also take your studies offline. These are great resources for final exam preparation.
- Challenge Labs that provide scenario-based hands-on exercises hosted in a sandbox account. This gives you practical experience without the risk of running up a cloud bill.
Check out our catalog of courses at affordable prices to ace your AWS certification exam first time, every time!