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AWS offers online CCP certification: Pants-optional testing 24/7

By Ryan Kroonenburg  |  October 22, 2019  |   Certification AWS   |  

Want to get your AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CCP) certification but prefer to do so from the pants-free comfort of home? Good news! AWS recently announced the CCP exam can now be taken online, anytime and (almost) anywhere. Previously, the CCP exam could only be completed in person at a testing center. The online option basically makes the test-taking experience less like the SAT and more like a “Which Hogwarts House Would You Be In?” quiz. 

The CCP is the go-to certification for cloud newcomers. It’s an entry point into the world of AWS for anyone looking to better understand the cloud, both for people working with AWS or working with others who do. 

The online CCP exam is offered every 15 minutes and proctored (test-taking speak for “monitored”) via your webcam. The requirements are pretty basic:

  • A modern-ish computer with webcam, microphone, and speakers or headphones
  • A quiet, private location with no one else in the room
  • A decent internet connection without Mr. Robot–level security measures in place

AWS offers a quick pre-check of your device and network as part of the scheduling process, but the specs are spelled out in detail here. (TL;DR? You can’t use a Gateway PC running Windows 98 behind a military-grade firewall.) 

The pains of in-person testing

The on-demand exam option solves for several common old-school exam headaches.

  • Testing centers may be in less-than-ideal locations. Are we there yet? Probably not. The number of exam locations was ratcheted up recently, but you may be looking at a long drive before your test if you're outside of a major metro area.
  • Centers can be a little drab. The interior design choices in testing centers can be… interesting. Your mileage may vary, but picture a forgotten-by-time strip-mall office space that’s part DMV, part Neo’s office from The Matrix. Nothing screams “preparing for my bright future” like the sickly flicker of old fluorescent lights.
  • Exam times are rarely convenient. A limited selection of testing times can make it tough to schedule your exam around work and life obligations – and may force you into a nasty commute.
  • In-person tests often need to be scheduled at least a week in advance. Feeling ready for your exam? Great! Now, wait two weeks... With CCP testing online, you can schedule your test when you’re ready (even the same day) so you don’t have to worry about retention.
  • Testing in an uncomfortable space can throw you off your game. Online testing frees aspiring cloud gurus to test in a more comfortable, familiar environment. Why’s that matter? Study pro-tip: Studying when and where you’ll test can help you better recall what you’ve learned come exam time. Pair the comfort of your trusty desk chair with the confidence you’ll have from prepping with A Cloud Guru’s Exam Simulator and you’re sure to be firing on all cylinders.

Getting started with your online CCP exam

To get started or browse available dates and times, sign in on the AWS Certification page, select “Pearson VUE” as exam provider, and pick “At my home or office.” From there, you can snag your spot.

Like the in-person exam, the online test costs $100. For now, it’s only available in English and wherever AWS exams are already offered except for China, Japan, and South Korea. Of course, you can still take the CCP in person, and the rest of the AWS certification exams will continue to be offered exclusively at testing centers, for now.

Whether you’re looking to take the CCP from the comfort of your desk chair or experience the joys of testing-center exam-taking yourself, A Cloud Guru makes it easy to ace the CCP. We lay out the basics without the jargon – zero cloud knowledge required. It’s an ideal AWS intro for non-technical people who work in cloud-adjacent roles or future cloud gurus looking to take the first step toward more technical AWS Associate-level certifications.

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