In this short chapter, you will get an overview of the certification, the process, and what you need to know before taking the exam.
Let’s talk about the exam format and what you are expected to know before you take the exam.
What do you have to know to pass the GCP Associate Cloud Engineer certification exam?
Upon passing the exam, you will be a certified Cloud Engineer. What Google means by Cloud Engineer is a person who actually does the work of setting up the infrastructure and deploying applications, databases, and services to GCP. You can contrast this with the Professional Cloud Architect exam. A Cloud Architect is the person who designs the system. That is, they draw rectangles and point arrows at them. Engineers are the people who get those designs to work.
Stop the video and take a couple of minutes to write down some things that a Cloud Engineer would need to know.
Your answers might include things like:
Setting up VPCs and virtual machines
Writing automation scripts and code
Creating deployment templates
Standing up and programming storage systems
Deploying applications to platform services
Monitoring those applications
And many other things…
This course will focus on those tasks and competencies that Google thinks are important for you to say you are certified on their platform as a Cloud Engineer.
What are you being tested on?
In short, the test tries to determine if you have real-world, hands-on experience using the services provided by GCP.
While the Cloud Architect exam tests you on your design capabilities, the Cloud Engineer exam tests whether you can do the actual work. Can you set up networks, deploy servers, use GCP services, monitor your apps, and so on.
So, what does the exam look like?
The exam is multiple choice. Sometimes there is one right answer. Sometimes you are asked to select the two or three answers that are correct. You are given 2 hours to take the exam.
The grading is pass or fail. They won’t tell you your score.
The good news is, the questions on this exam are not tricky. What I mean is, the questions are straightforward and you will either know the answer or not. The best way to prepare for this exam is to do a lot of labs and get your hands dirty using GCP.
You will need to register to take the exam.
You can take the exam at either a Kryterion testing center in person or online
If you take the exam in-person, make sure you understand the rules going in and bring your ID.
An online exam is proctored by another person. So, don't assume you can just register right before taking the exam. You should register at least a week or two before the date you want to take the exam. When taking the online exam they will verify your identity. Make sure you are in a quiet place with no other people. You can also have no other devices, papers, books, etc. around you when taking the online exam.
The fee for the exam was $125 when I took it. I assume it is the same, but you can verify that when you sign up for the exam.
If you fail the exam, you can take it again after 14 days. If you fail again, you have to wait 60 days. If you don’t pass a third time, you have to wait a year.
Before continuing, here are a couple of things you can do to get a big picture of what you need to know to pass the exam.
These links contain some good general info about the Google certification. The main goal is to become familiar with the certification details and where to find this information. Take a few minutes and review this information.
Also, take the Google practice exam at the link shown. At this point, just run through it quickly to get a baseline to see where you are, and to see what kind of things are asked.
You will repeat this practice exam after this course. Hopefully, it will be much easier then.
You should also create your own GCP account if you don’t already have one. Many times students only want to use an account provided by their company. The problem is, your company is likely limiting the things they allow you to do. When you create your own account, you won’t have any limitations. Thus, you are free to learn everything you need for passing the certification exams.
When you create your account, Google will provide give you a $300 credit that is good for a year.