AWS Certified Developer — Associate exam preparations notes

In April 2020 I took the exam for becoming AWS Certified Developer — Associate. I passed the exam. To be honest, it took me a lot of time before I felt prepared to take the exam. Specially because not all AWS services are used within my project.

AWS Certification

Notes about resources used

The following resources I bought or found and used

  • A Cloud Guru: AWS Certified Developer — Associate, videos on Udemy,, overall they were OK. I find it hard to believe you can pass the exam by watching only these videos. But I do recommend the videos when you are a beginner. But you need more to pass the exam.
  • Stephane Maarek: AWS Certified Developer — Associate — Practice tests on Udemy, These practice tests are great and some questions are the same as on the real exam. Stephane Maarek has also learning videos, which I did not watch. (but I bought the ones from A Cloud Guru already). Make sure you have a 80%+ score on these practice tests. Yes, you might fail the first time or have 72%. Retake these tests a few weeks later again. My recommendation: Review all tests the week before the exam.
  • Jon Bonso: AWS Certified Developer — Associate — Practice exams on Udemy, These practice tests are harder then the real exam, but give you a good insight what the gaps are.
  • Tutorials Dojo: AWS cheatsheets. Created by Jon Bonso. These free are nice to quickly review AWS services. I always forget details, so these help you in quickly find them.
  • Coursera: AWS Fundamentals — Going cloud native. These videos are OK, specially if you have no hands-on experience with AWS, but they do not help you with the exam. I would not recommend them if you have hands-on experience.
  • Book, AWS Certified Developer Official Study Guide, Associate Exam (DVA-C01). This book is very detailed. I recommend reading it.

The following resources I did not use:

  • AWS white papers. I wanted to be prepared for the exam and felt I could better focus on exam preparation then reading the white papers. I assume many people do not agree on this. But I read the official study guide.
  • Chapter about Ops work in the official study guide. I will not use it on my project, so I skipped it.

Notes about the exam

  • Contra dictionary notes: A colleague took the same exam a month earlier and had multiple questions about Kinesis and the RCU calculation. I did not had any questions concerning RCU calculation.
  • Both my colleague and I, together with many others (as show on the internet), had no questions about EC2 types and VPC.
  • Somehow I had a lot of questions related to API Gateway. Authentication, expose REST API.
  • No questions about Ops work (as I expected somehow).
  • Topics which are important are: KMS, Cognito, S3, X-Ray, Elastic Beanstalk and deployment types, Lambda, DynamoDB, Serverless, Docker, ECS

Notes about taking the exam

I took the exam from home, as the Covid-19 did not allow me to go any test location center. You need 30 minutes to prepare the intake. You need to give up any privacy during 140 minutes. You are not allowed to wear a watch, have a mobile device near you and your desk should be cleared from books, papers, pencils. You need to webcam which you also need to show your room to the contact person of the test center.

I did that all and passed the exam with 968 out of 1000 points.