Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer 2020

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How difficult is the exam?

How Difficult is the GCP associate cloud engineer exam?

4 Answers

I took the exam last Thursday, August 23rd, 2018. I found it to be easier than planned for. My total study time for the exam was about 14 hours, with 6 hours of that time being Cloud Guru videos. It goes cover deployments, Kubernetes, & cli commands in depth.

Here are some details points to cover based on the exam guide:

Understand how Google views projects

   use a group, assign role to a group, add users to the group

    understand service accounts

    use IAM to add resources to IAM groups


     How to set it up for for the various services including kubernetes daemon sets

     How to collect logs, monitoring and filter data

     Understand Stack driver and its use cases for monitoring and logging for all google services not just compute. It’s also your audit trail for service like Big Query.

Creating billing accounts –

     focus on how the billing export piece works.

     Creating a billing account and is easy, as is linking projects, you should know this but the logic is in the question if you read carefully.


     Understand how things are measured. How are prices calculated. I didn’t review this at all but I do and did understand the dataflows of how data moves, is processed, and remembered…

     You should definitely know when you use each of the compute resources

     Compute Engine (VM), Kubernetes Engine (containers), App Engine, and Google cloud launcher..

     Preemptible VMs, what is this and how can it save you money.

Data Storage options.

    Cloud SQl, BigQuery, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Bigtable

    The different options for Storage Multi-Regional, Regional, nearline, and coldline.

    switching between the options

    Accessing the data stored in each both internally and externally (with/without google accounts.

Load Balancers

     Know the two LB options and how to use them.

     Check out the advanced settings and understand health checks.

    Understand sub-netting and VPC in general.

     http(s) load balancer with ssl offload.

Compute – understanding adding memory to an existing VM – what is the process.

SSH keys and how to use them across entire organizations.

Deploy a Kubernetes cluster and check out the options.

launch each services and review the options.

Google pub/sub and how it interacts with the different compute options or doesn’t

What are the offerings in cloud launcher.

Deployment Manager –

     Automate deployment of an application

     Promoting from test to prod projects

Section 4.

SSH to an instance, know the port, and perhaps the ports of other major services.

(RDP port)

Instance groups– read up on these find out about maintenance settings, autoscaling, templates, multiple instance groups.

Know the CLI commands

Gcloud config configurations and why you should use them to switch between projects and how configs are global for all services in the CLI.


     How to deploy a docker image

     Container respository

     Nodes, pods, services, deployments, statefuls sets, daemon sets. Etc..

App engine resources.

     Traffic splitting, versioning, autoscaling, reverting

     Data Solutions

     Estimating cost of Big Query

How each of the storage types services a purpose and why it is used.

Don’t choose a bus when you needed a smart car.

Storage classes and how they apply.

Object lifecycle management

Sharing files externally and metadata flags.

Creating a VPC with multiple subnets and with and without routing options.

Reserving static addresses

William Clarkson-Antill

cheers Karlitos, gives me a better idea rather then going for the spray and pray approach

Is it the google equivalent of AWS cloud Practitioner and how does it compare between CCP and the AWS associate exams. Karlitos that is 14 hours from never using it before?

Karlitos Knox

Correct, 14 hours from never using it before. I have almost done with Preparing for the Architect Certification, So far I have spent about 30 hours in prep and have 15 hours to go. Trying out Coursera.

Hello!  Karlitos has given you a really excellent answer, and I’d suggest that you could also read the other posts I’ve linked from this Exam Report Mega-Thread.  Of course each person will find the exam different, depending on their background, so reading about several people’s experiences can be quite helpful.

Now, to compare this GCP Associate Cloud Engineer (ACE) exam with AWS exams, I would say it is sort of a mix of AWS’s Solutions Architect Associate (SA-A) and SysOps Administrator Associate (SOA-A) exams.  Like AWS’s SOA-A, GCP’s ACE exam requires you to debug theoretical problems in realistic hands-on scenarios by thinking through the data flows.  But Google’s ACE exam also has "Choose the right service" or "What’s the best practice" questions, too–those being more like AWS’s SA-A.

Anyway–to Mikay’s question–Google does not yet have any entry-level exam that might compare to AWS’s Cloud Practitioner certification, and I would put Google’s ACE exam at or a bit beyond the difficulty level of AWS SOA-A exam.

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