I took the Google Cloud Associate Exam last night and passed. What a relief! I started studying for this 3 weeks ago and almost all of my study was here on A Cloud Guru, so thanks Mattias and Nigel!
Here’s a little about me, my prep and the my exam experience.
I’ve worked in software development for 20 years. I started as a developer but now Head the Product Development and Operations areas of a mid size software company.
I’ve primarily worked with large monolithic systems hosted in data centres serving global user bases. Some less transactional services are cloud based but we have talented guys who have set that all up so I have had little hands on involvement.
I’m also part way through a Masters in Data Science and I’m really interested in and have dabbled in some of the Google Data and ML offerings
I decided on the ACE certification to get me up to speed with Cloud based services and architectures and also as a stepping stone to the Google ML Engineer certification – primarily as a pathway to learning the tools. Exams really focus me!
I started preparing almost exactly 3 weeks ago and 90% of my study was through ACG courses.
I took these at mostly 1.5-2x speed.
Google Cloud Concepts
Introduction to Google Cloud
Google Certified Cloud Engineer 2020
Kubernetes Deep Dive (I went through most parts of this course twice)
I supplemented this with:
this guy who stepped through many of the initial sections of the exam guide https://www.youtube.com/user/johnsckmknycom/videos.
I also watched a bunch of YouTube videos from the Google Cloud Tech Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/googlecloudplatform) on various topics I wanted to know more about.
I did the ACG practice tests several times and the most I got was 92% (the other 4 times I got in the 70s). I did the Google practice exam twice and got 13/20 the first time 19/20 a few hours before the real exam.
Before the exam I was not confident at all that I’d pass but I didn’t want to delay (the study would take up whatever time I gave it). I read a lot of other peoples experiences and the types of questions they had and some posts gave me confidence and others made me very nervous.
The first question mentioned Anthos which I knew almost nothing about. It turned out I didn’t need to. As with a lot of questions, eliminating incorrect and illogical answers was the best way to get to the correct answer. I had several VPC/VPN questions which weren’t that easy but generally I followed elimination and common sense and occasionally had to make a guess.
I thought at least half the questions were pretty easy with one clear option. The hard ones all came down to 2 options (the others mostly easily eliminated).
I marked 25 out of the 50 for review and had time to go back but I’d say at least 10 I was still very unsure about.
I was sick with worry when I clicked submit and was very surprised that I got 80% – if that is indeed the required mark. If that is the mark, I can’t help but think they weight some questions or give you part marks when you choose the 2nd best answer. Who knows.
I found the videos from both Mattias and Nigel (Kubernetes) very helpful and very easy to watch. All the advice was great and I followed most of it. If I had more time I would have done more codelabs and completed doing all the steps of all the tasks listed in the exam guide.
If I could suggest anything to improve the course I would just ask for more practice questions in the practice exam, it was very helpful but I saw the same questions a lot and often the same one on the same exam.
Apart from that the course was fantastic. Thanks!