Analysis of the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate exam


I recently became fully AWS certified (at the Associate Level), most recently passing the the SysOps Administrator - Associate exam at my third attempt.

  1. In late 2016, I failed with a score of 61% (or 67%). It was my first failure – I deleted the “unsuccessful” notification email in a fit of rage;
  2. In early 2018, I failed with a score of 71%;
  3. In April 2018, I passed with a score of 80%.

My experience was that the Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate exam was the toughest of the lot. In the table below, I compare the weighted scores between attempts #2 and #3 for individual domains:


While I improved in 3 domains, I obtained the same score in the other 4 domains (Monitoring and Metrics, Deployment and Provisioning, Security, & Networking). This gelled with my observation that many of the questions for attempt #3 I’d actually attempted 2 weeks earlier!

Of course, your own mileage may vary, plus you still need to spend time/effort reading through and understanding the AWS FAQs – they are really in-depth, and helped me answer 5 questions correctly; i.e., 9% of 55 ~= 4.95.

In a subsequent post I’ll discuss particular areas that showed up at exam time.