How I Tackled the AWS Developer Associate Exam (DVA-C02)

How I Tackled the AWS Developer Associate Exam (DVA-C02)

So the story goes thus: I just cleared the AWS Developer Associate Certification Exam with a score of 811 after having cleared the Solutions Architect Associate exam as well. Before taking this exam, I kept on contemplating whether it is worth sharing my studying and exam preparation strategy. That contemplation led me to sit down and write this article. I hold a strong belief that this piece of writing has the potential to help someone out there in their certification exam preparation. I'll try to go over the steps that make my strategy in successive order.

Disclaimer: This article does not claim to be an ultimate guide for AWS Developer Associate certification exam success; rather, it simply documents my bona fide strategy for preparing for the exam.

I'd like to presume that if you're reading this article, you likely have already deduced the importance of studying and taking the DVA-C02 exam. However, should you find yourself exploring this article out of mere curiosity, without having given substantial consideration to the value of preparing for and ultimately succeeding in the DVA-C02 or any other AWS certification exam, here are a few of the advantages that come with attaining AWS certifications:

  • AWS-certified individuals gain access to exclusive AWS resources, training materials, and communities.

  • Preparing for the exam involves hands-on experience with AWS services, enhancing your practical skills.

  • Certification provides a solid foundation of knowledge, enabling you to work confidently on AWS projects.

  • Certifications validate your skills and expertise in using AWS services, boosting your credibility as a professional.

  • AWS-certified individuals gain access to exclusive AWS resources, training materials, and communities.

With that out of the way, let's talk strategy (pun intended).

Studying the exam guide

Reading through the exam guide gave me a lot of information on what was required of candidates for the DVA-C02 exam. With the exam guide, I was able to understand how the exam was structured and the topics it focused on. This helped me establish where I needed to direct my attention in preparation for the exam. In the five weeks that I spent preparing for the exam, I went back to the exam guide as much as I could to make sure my preparation was in line with the exam requirements. Click here to access this exam guide. I strongly recommend you go back to it from time to time as you prepare for the exam.

My Pool of Resources

Although there are a plethora of formidable learning resources(both free and paid resources) out there, these are the ones that I leveraged.

Now let me tell you how I used these resources. To gain a basic understanding of the topics covered at the exam I used Stephane Maarek's Udemy course alongside ChatGPT. When I found the video content of the course somewhat monotonous and lacking in depth, ChatGPT proved to be an invaluable companion, helping me delve deeper into the subject matter and broaden my knowledge base. Shoutout to ChatGPT for being a wonderful learning buddy. I also worked on loads of micro hands-on projects as I came to realize that you'll fully understand some concepts only after having done some hands-on work.

When I completed the course, I moved on to taking the practice tests, answering and reviewing them one after the other. I answered each practice test at least three times to make sure I wasn't leaving any stone unturned and had a proper understanding of concepts. It took me approximately two weeks to breeze through the practice tests. After taking 13 practice tests three times each, I went on to answer and review the official exam practice test and sample questions to gain more confidence for the actual exam.

How I managed my time

Implementing proper time management strategies played a key part in my success in this exam. Parkinson’s law states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” With this in mind, I set deadlines for myself. Strangely, setting these deadlines helped me stick to my study plan. To make sure I used the time I set aside to the fullest, I always kept my phone in another room while studying because it was a big distraction and so getting it out of the way helped me focus better.

My Exam Day Experience

After scheduling my exams at half the cost thanks to exam vouchers I got from AWS, I made sure I ran a system test to ascertain that my laptop was compatible with the testing software. Also, I chose morning hours when scheduling the exam because I believe that when my brain is operating at full throttle. On the exam day, I made sure the room in which I was going to take the exam was set according to exam specifications and checked in thirty minutes before the exam start time.

Final Words

I won't say I faced any major challenges other than myself while preparing for this exam. There are times when I didn’t feel motivated to study. During times like this, I strived to remind myself that motivation isn't the catalyst but the outcome, emerging after you start taking action rather than preceding it. Constantly reminding myself of the reason why I was taking this exam also boosted my morale. I trust that the insights I have shared in this article will offer you meaningful direction for your own certification journey. I urge you to remember that the journey of preparing for this exam encompasses more than just the outcome; it entails acquiring knowledge, honing skills, and experiencing personal growth. While you progress in your preparation, welcome the challenges, savour the victories, and continue to push the boundaries of how much you can achieve. Attaining this certification will stand as evidence of your dedication to remaining at the cutting edge of the dynamic landscape of cloud computing. Good luck with your exam.