Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer 2020

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Passed Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer!

Hello Cloud Gurus!

I’m super happy to have passed the GCP ACE this morning! Here are a few notes on my experience:

Study Approach:

I studied exclusively using the ACG Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer and Kubernetes Deepdive courses from ACG. (Most of the Kubernetes related questions were pretty straightforward after doing Nigel’s course, the level of detail he provides is exactly what you need for the exam.)

I also spent quite a bit of time playing with the pricing calculator and Stackdriver logging and activity log which is worth doing as these all came up in the exam. I had no previous experience with GCP at all and followed all of the advice in the course, read all of the recommended documentation. e.g Best Practices for Organizations, Best Practice for Operating Containers, reviewed the IAM roles for all the main services etc. All of this was well worth doing. I also came across a nice overview of App Engine which is here if you haven’t had much experience with it (I hadn’t)

I used the exam simulator a few times until I was getting close to 100% each time and reviewed documentation for the answers I got wrong. I used the official Google practice exam but after a couple of attempts I was getting 100%, it seemed to be quite easy but it is a good representation of the kind of questions you’ll see in the exam and although it’s easy it can help to expose weak areas in your understanding.

The Exam

The exam itself was pretty fair and tests you on everything covered in the course.

It’s worth spending some time to understand the differences between the various database services (especially CloudSQL, BigTable, BigQuery) as well as Cloud Storage offerings – especially Nearline vs Coldline and when to use them.

You definitely need to understand VPCs, subnets & subnet masks, firewalls, CIDR ranges etc I had a few questions on each of those.

You don’t need to memorize all the different predefined instance types but it’s worth understanding them at a high level, this page has a good explanation:

I saw quite a few IAM questions, especially around Service Accounts, as well as billing / billing accounts / billing export with BigQuery.

It is definitely worth getting some hands on experience with App Engine especially around deploying applications so that you understand the process (and also traffic splitting). – Same for Kubernetes. All of Nigel’s course is highly relevant to the exam so well worth doing all the labs and really understanding the deployment process.

I saw quite a few questions relating to the command line so it’s worth getting familiar with the command line as well as the console.

By the end of the exam I actually felt quite confident, although there were maybe around 5 questions which I’d had to guess at and didn’t feel very sure about. So I was really happy to get a pass!

Unfortunately they don’t give you a score and they don’t publish a pass mark either so I found it a bit hard to determine whether I was ready to take the test or not… in then end I would say go with what Mattias advises and aim to be getting 100% in the ACG exam simulator and the official Google practice test and make sure you really understand why the incorrect answers are wrong and why the correct one is right!

Good luck all and keep being awesome!




Congrats Faye!

Faye Ellis

Thank you!

Karlos Knox

Way to go Faye! Great write up on the experience.

Chris Medders

Thanks for your detailed post — I’m halfway through the course and appreciate your suggestions on approach for studying as well taking the test!!


This was very detailed! This has given me hope! I’m re-motivated now more than ever to pass the exam. Thank you.

1 Answers

Fantastic, Faye! I’m super happy, too! 😁 Congratulations on your accomplishment! 🙌🎉

I think your story–and all of the awesome tips you’ve included, throughout it–will be very helpful to other students, so I’m of course linking to this from my Exam Report Mega-Thread. I believe that lots of people will be encouraged and inspired to follow your example to their own success!

I’m particularly glad that you found my practice exam advice and questions to be so valuable for your study and your exam. I had also found that really digging into each question like that was a really important part of my own study, when I was doing the AWS certs.

In the end, I’m glad that you not only passed (of course!) but that you also felt good about your preparation and answers before you submitted the exam. 👌

Again, kudos on the great result and thanks for taking the time to pen this excellent write-up! 👍


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