Certified Security - Specialty

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Tricky, tricky….(Security Specialty exam) 5/24

Hello Gurus!

I recently sat for the AWS Security Specialty exam and have some feedback for this course, future takers and AWS tests overall.   I will not reveal if I passed/failed as to give as neutral/clear feedback as possible.

1- thank you, to A Cloud Guru for this course and for updating based on the students feedback. 

2- Thank you for adding quizzes and links for further breakdown/details of various topics.

3- The test was hard, in my opinion.  I am not an AWS architect/developer but fancy myself in all things Security.    I did, however, pass the Cloud Practitioner exam (for what its worth).  As for this test,  I have/had taken and passed several quizzes and have/had watched all of ACG’s videos (almost daily)  along with another 3rd party course.  I’m also a flashcard lover as well.  

4- I had about 20 minutes left upon finishing the test and flagged appx 10 questions

5- The questions were very wordy, unlike the chapter wrap ups and quizzes that you may find online or in this course.  

Things on test not in this course (yet?): 

 I had 4-5 questions reference Kinesis. 

I had a few questions reference ‘Cloud Directory’.

A lot in this course that wasn’t on the exam.   To that end, some content on the test (not in the course) may be familiar to SysOps/Dev students?

Overall, I have to question AWS’ tactics with these tests.  I have read countless test feedback message boards and the resounding noise is that of the ‘trickery’.  Again, I have a few certs that have been difficult and designed to make you read the question over/over but not ‘trick’ you.  I found almost half of the questions to come down to 2 answers; these asking ‘the best option’ or ‘most efficient’ option.  I believe even ‘guessing’ and getting them correct only hurts the process, as both answers are correct.  In real world usage, these options are discussed, googled, researched and then made.  In my experience, if a student truly knows the process/terms/wrong options, this is 90% of the battle.  

In the end, for future takers, nothing will ever fully prepare for this test (or many Cert tests).  

Good luck to all and again, thank you to Ryan/Faye for your videos.

3 Answers

A lot in this course that wasn’t on the exam. To that end, some content on the test (not in the course) may be familiar to SysOps/Dev students?

That is a good point! I think that passing all the associate exams and being proficient at SysOps and Developer topics really helps in passing this exam.

Thanks for the feedback and mentioning Kinesis and Directory services coming up in your exam =)

Hi, thanks a lot for the feedback, we’ll add Kinesis and Cloud Directory!

Usually we recommend people do at least one if not all of the Associate certs before they attempt any of the Specialties, as the Specialty certs are quite advanced in comparison to the Associate level. So it is a really big leap to go from Cloud Practitioner straight to Security Specialty.

By doing the Associate certs first, you will also get a whole load of additional hands-on experience in configuring AWS services as well as troubleshooting them when things don’t go as expected. It will also give you valuable experience of the AWS exams, how the questions are structured as well as exposure to a lot of scenario based questions.

I would also recommend testing your exam readiness by using their official practice test for the Security Specialty as that should be good coverage of the exam topics – to help expose any weaker areas that need additional focus.

once again thanks for your feedback!



Thank you for the follow up Faye. Yes, for me, I went into this familiarity with AWS but a strong InfoSec background. Thus, this and another course I thought would suffice. Again, I don’t want to discourage any students but if they’re expecting to pass the AWS Security Specialty based on taking this course, they will be in for a big shock. This is not a reflection of ACLoud Guru, rather more on AWS. AWS opened this up with no ‘pre-requisites’ now…very misleading and big mistake. I thouroughly enjoyed ACloud guru’s course, the quizzes (big thank you for those) and updates. But this and many other 3rd party courses advertise ‘take this course and you’ll have enought to pass the exam’ is just not true. Thank you again….

I know you guys are probably busy with DC public summit and other conferences, but I had a question that’s bugging me, I have done the sysops associate and the solutions architect associate, but now I can’t make up my mind if i should go first for the solutions architect professional or security specialty?? Any recommendations? I am quite involved in my current position in architecture as well as cybersecurity.

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