AWS to introduce Exam-Labs for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Associate (SOA-C02)

AWS to introduce Exam-Labs for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Associate (SOA-C02)

I just wanted to share a bit of breaking news with you. So AWS has recently announced that they will be updating the AWS certified sysops administrator associate exam. It’s moving from the SOA C01 to the SOA C02 so there’s a new version now. In itself isn’t amazing news but the interesting part of it is that AWS is going to introduce something called ‘Exam labs’ as part of the exam.

Along with the multiple-choice questions that you normally get you’ll also have a component of the exam that is ‘Hands-on’. In nature, you’ll actually have a hands-on exercise to complete in the AWS management console or the AWS CLI. That’s something completely new for AWS, even though other vendors have been doing things like this for years, AWS has not done it before. This certainly adds an extra

Dimension to the whole testing process. From now on it’s not just about answering questions, you actually have to put your hands-on into practice and prove that you’ve got some hands-on skills on AWS so that probably makes it a little bit more difficult.

I think this is a good development. Now we don’t know yet whether AWS is going to expand this to other certifications over time. I suspect they will but I think it does add a bit more value to our certifications if we prove that we’ve got that hands-on ability, so that overall is a good thing. We don’t know much about it at this stage, we don’t know how many labs AWS is going state in the exam guide. But you’ll need about 20 minutes per exam lab. The no. of exam labs or how many questions you are getting will be only informed at the beginning of the test.

There is a bit more information in the exam guide for the soac02 and there’s also a sample questions document and in the questions document you’ll see some sample questions they’re very similar to the CO1 to be honest but they also give you an example of a scenario that you’d need to complete in an exam lab. Now that I’ve written up a blog article as well I linked to the exam guide and the sample questions. I just gave you my thoughts and feelings about the new developments. Let’s look into the key things to take away in this. There’s a new exam coming, the beta is going to be in 2021. there’s going to be a period (usually a couple of months) where they’re going to have the beta running so you’ll still be able to take the old or the current version of the exam till then.

Once the beta is complete at some period of time, they’re going to cut over and you’re no longer going to be able to take the current exam. Since that could be in a few months into 2021 there’s plenty of time at this stage. For now, carry on studying the way you were studying as there will be no changes to the co1 and there’s definitely not going to be any addition of exam labs in the current version of the exam. Exam labs will only be included in the new version of the exam. Last but not least in terms of the domains and the topics that are going to be included in the new version they have made a slight difference as there are six domains now rather than seven they also give you a good breakdown of the services and features that are going to be included and tested on.

That’s a new development because previously AWS was always quite vague they don’t really tell you specifically which services and features they’re going to test on but now they’ve got a bit more specific which helps you in terms of knowing what you need to study. So that’s it for now. I just wanted to give you an update. Again don’t worry about, it if you’re taking the sysops administrator exam within the next few months then you’ll be fine, you can do the current version of the exam and as soon as I do the beta, which I’ll definitely be doing in the next year when it comes out I’ll give you some more feedback and information on my experience. Somewhere in 2021, there will be the cutover but that’s a few months away at this stage. So I hope that was helpful.

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