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My AWS SysOps Administrator (SOA-C02) Experience

By April 20, 2022April 13th, 2023AWS, Cloud

If you’ve been following along with my journey, you’ll see this is my 3rd exam to complete the associates. I’ve seen people say this one is the hardest of the 3 associates but I actually don’t think that’s the case. Basically this felt like an extension of SAA with a little more focus on cost, security, and deployment and less on the obscure AWS services. I studied about 3 weeks for this exam.

To begin, I want to note that I’ve taken all AWS exams online with Pearson without issues. This is the first exam that I had to take twice due to technical issues though. Despite the multiple choice part having no problems, once I reached the lab part I experienced lag with the VM and the proctor claimed that my camera froze and wouldn’t let my exam continue. As a result I ended up taking the exam again at a physical location.

The price of the exam is the same as the others, but I had a 50% exam voucher that I got from my previous AWS exam. Again I only paid $75 for this exam.

Exam Prep Resources

Exam Tips

  • Time yourself. You have 3 hours for this exam so use around 1 hour for the 50 questions and leave 2 hours for the 3 labs. I personally spent about 45 minutes on the questions and 80 minutes on the labs.
  • Multiple choice topics include:
    • VPC – endpoints, gateways, nACL
    • EC2 – load balancers, statuses, auto scaling groups, security groups
    • S3 – MFA, public/private, object locking
    • Cloudformation – learn to read yaml and a few specific attributes
  • Lab topics may include:
    • S3 Buckets and their lifecycle policies
    • VPC with private and public subnets
    • Cloudwatch alarms
    • Eventbridge rules
    • Cloudformation code
    • Using EBS snapshots
    • Setting up Amazon EFS
  • Take advantage of the practice exams to find your weakness. Jon’s exams make it very easy to pinpoint which topic you are having trouble with. Take all of them to be extra confident about the exam.

Above all, good luck with the exam and let me know if you passed!

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