Latest Exam Updates – AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02)

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The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner CLF-C01 exam, which was first introduced in a pilot release, is finally getting a much-anticipated makeover after nearly six years. In June 2023, AWS made an announcement that the current version of the exam would be updated, and a new version, CLF-C02, would be introduced starting from September 19, 2023. AWS regularly updates its exams to ensure they accurately assess your understanding of the latest AWS service offerings. With AWS continuously implementing numerous updates each month, it was high time for an update to this certification, which has been in circulation since 2019. In this blog post, we will explore the key changes between the current (CLF-C01) and updated (CLF-C02) exam blueprints.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner is updating starting September 19, 2023. The last date to take the current exam AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) is September 18, 2023. You can take the AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) exam starting September 19, 2023.

About the NEW AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02)

The CLF-C02 exam, known as the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, assesses individuals’ comprehensive understanding of the AWS Cloud, regardless of their specific job role. It evaluates candidates’ proficiency in various areas, including:

  1. Articulating the benefits of the AWS Cloud.
  2. Comprehending and elucidating the AWS shared responsibility model.
  3. Familiarizing oneself with security best practices.
  4. Understanding AWS Cloud costs, economics, and billing procedures.
  5. Describing and situating the fundamental AWS services such as compute, network, database, and storage services.
  6. Identifying appropriate AWS services for typical use cases.

Target Audience

The ideal candidate for this certification has gained practical experience of up to 6 months in AWS Cloud design, implementation, and/or operations. This certification is particularly suitable for individuals with non-IT backgrounds who are either starting their journey towards an AWS Cloud career or collaborating with professionals in AWS Cloud roles.

It is recommended for the target candidate to have knowledge in the following areas:

  • AWS Cloud concepts
  • Security and compliance within the AWS Cloud
  • Essential AWS services
  • Understanding the economic aspects of the AWS Cloud.

In summary, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) exam assesses candidates’ knowledge and skills in a range of AWS Cloud-related domains. Let us now move to the main point which is the comparison between the two exams.

Exam Update: AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) vs (CLF-C02)

AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) Exam (%)AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02)CLF-C02 Exam (%)
Cloud Concepts26%Cloud Concepts24%
Security and Compliance25%Security and Compliance30%
Technology33%Cloud Technology and Services34%
Billing and Pricing16%Billing, Pricing and Support12%

When comparing the content of the CLF-C01 exam guide with the updated CLF-C02 exam guide, it is relatively straightforward to align the domains.

  • The first two domains retain their current names, while all four domains undergo slight percentage modifications.
  • Notably, the most significant change between CLF-C01 and CLF-C02 is the 5% increase in Domain 2: Security and Compliance. This adjustment reflects the growing significance of security in all cloud deployments.
  • Upon closer examination of the task statements and covered services and features listed in the CLF-C01 exam guide, it becomes apparent that the majority of content from the CLF-C01 exam remains relevant for the CLF-C02 exam. Therefore, much of the knowledge acquired for CLF-C01 remains applicable.
  • Domain 3 has been renamed from “Technology” to “Cloud Technology and Services,” although the core focus of the domain remains unchanged, except for one notable exception that will be discussed later in this post.
  • Furthermore, Domain 4 has undergone a name change from “Billing and Pricing” to “Billing, Pricing, and Support.” This modification expands upon the original task statement in the CLF-C01 exam guide, which exclusively concentrated on billing support. The updated domain now encompasses technical resources and support options as well.

By understanding these domain changes and updates, you can effectively prepare for the CLF-C02 exam and navigate the revised content and focus of each domain. So, let us closely look at the changes, domain wise.

AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) Updated Course Outline

The domain covered in he AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) Exam have been defined –

Domain 1: Cloud Concepts (24%)

This domain constitutes approximately 24% of the exam content, corresponding to around 16 questions that focus on AWS Cloud concepts. It encompasses a wide range of topics, starting from comprehending the fundamental value proposition of the AWS Cloud.

  • Understanding how the global infrastructure of AWS can be leveraged to design highly available and resilient solutions, as well as exploring cloud economics and the potential cost savings achievable through AWS Cloud migration.
  • The exam places importance on two key frameworks: the Well-Architected Framework and the Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF). Familiarity with these frameworks is vital for success in the CLF-C02 exam.
  • The Well-Architected Framework consists of six pillars that encapsulate best practices, while the AWS CAF, newly included in the CLF-C02 exam scope, offers guidance on reducing business risk and enhancing operational efficiency.

To excel in this domain, it is essential to have a deep understanding of these frameworks and be able to articulate the benefits they provide. This knowledge will empower you to navigate AWS Cloud concepts effectively and demonstrate proficiency in this domain during the exam.

Domain 2: Security and Compliance (30%)

This domain accounts for 30% of the exam content, comprising approximately 20 questions that pertain to security and compliance.

  • It necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the AWS shared responsibility model, which outlines the respective responsibilities of AWS and its customers when implementing and maintaining secure cloud solutions.
  • The shared responsibility model specifies that certain security controls are the sole responsibility of AWS, such as the physical security of their data centers. Conversely, customers bear the responsibility for managing access to their resources and determining authorized users. Additionally, various responsibilities are shared between AWS and customers, with the degree of responsibility varying based on the specific solution.

To excel in this domain, it is essential to grasp fundamental security principles, including the principle of least privilege access. Moreover, you should be knowledgeable about leveraging AWS security services for encryption, access management, and governance. Understanding these concepts will enable you to effectively address security and compliance requirements during the exam.

Domain 3: Cloud Technology and Services (34%)

This domain constitutes approximately 34% of the exam content, encompassing around 22 questions related to AWS Cloud technology and services. While the core focus of this domain remains unchanged between the CLF-C01 and CLF-C02 exams, there is a significant expansion in the list of AWS services considered in-scope for the CLF-C02 exam.

  • In the CLF-C02 exam, the number of AWS services has increased substantially, with a total of 128 services across 19 categories compared to the 57 services across 10 categories in the CLF-C01 exam. Notably, new service categories such as “Machine Learning” and “Migration and Transfer” have been introduced. It is important to note that you do not need to become an expert in services like Amazon Rekognition or SageMaker to pass the exam. However, you should be able to recognize these services and understand their capabilities.
  • Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that migration, which was previously considered “out of scope” in the CLF-C01 exam, is now an integral part of the CLF-C02 exam. This includes familiarizing yourself with services like AWS Application Discovery Service, Application Migration Service, Database Migration Service (AWS DMS), and the AWS Migration Hub. As organizations increasingly seek to migrate their on-premises services and applications to the cloud, having foundational knowledge of AWS migration and transfer options, as well as the supporting services, becomes crucial.

Being familiar with the expanded set of AWS services and their potential applications will be instrumental in successfully navigating this domain during the exam.

Domain 4: Billing, Pricing, and Support (12%)

This domain accounts for 12% of the exam content, comprising approximately 8 questions that focus on billing, pricing, and support. In this section, you will encounter topics related to the pricing models employed by AWS for its services, such as On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot instances.

  • Understanding the diverse billing and cost management services offered by AWS is crucial. This includes familiarity with tools like AWS Budgets, Cost Explorer, and the AWS Pricing Calculator.
  • Additionally, it is essential to be aware of the range of support resources and documentation available from AWS, including whitepapers, blogs, and the AWS Support Center. Differentiating between the Developer, Business, Enterprise On-Ramp, and Enterprise paid support plans is also necessary.

By comprehending the intricacies of AWS billing, pricing, and support, you will be well-equipped to handle the related questions in the exam. Demonstrating knowledge of pricing models, cost management services, and available support resources will contribute to your success in this domain.

AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) Structural Changes

The updated AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam, CLF-C02, maintains a similar structure and passing score as its predecessor, CLF-C01. The exam will still consist of 65 questions, comprising multiple choice and multiple response formats.

Most questions will present you with four answer options, requiring you to select the correct answer. However, some questions may have five or six answer options, and you will need to choose two or three correct answers. Out of the 65 questions, only 50 will contribute to your final score. The remaining 15 questions are utilized by AWS for evaluation purposes and will not impact your overall score. It is not possible to distinguish between scored and unscored questions, but there is no penalty for guessing. Therefore, it is advisable to provide an answer for every question, even if it is an educated guess.

Similar to the CLF-C01 exam, the CLF-C02 exam follows a scoring scale ranging from 100 to 1000. To pass the exam, you will need to achieve a minimum score of 700.

Do you need to get recertified if you recently passed the exam?

If you have recently passed the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, there is no need for you to recertify. Despite the upcoming update to the certification, your credential will remain active and valid for a period of three years from the date you passed the current CLF-C01 exam, even if it was on the last day before the update (September 18, 2023).

Do I have to retake the updated exam, even though I am Certified AWS Cloud Practitioner?

It’s worth noting that the certificate and digital badge you receive upon certification do not indicate the specific version of the exam you passed. Additionally, it’s important to remember that if you achieve any other Associate or Professional-level AWS certification, your AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification will automatically be renewed for three years alongside the higher-level certification. This means that passing higher-level certifications can extend the validity of your AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, even if you haven’t taken the CLF-C01 exam since 2019.

Services not a part of AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02) Exam

According to the official exam guide, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner CLF-C02 Exam does not cover certain AWS services and features. The out-of-scope services include:

  • Game Tech:
    • Amazon GameLift
    • Amazon Lumberyard
  • Media Services:
    • AWS Elemental Appliances and Software
    • AWS Elemental MediaConnect
    • AWS Elemental MediaConvert
    • AWS Elemental MediaLive
    • AWS Elemental MediaPackage
    • AWS Elemental MediaStore
    • AWS Elemental MediaTailor
    • Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)
  • Robotics:
    • AWS RoboMaker

These services and features are not part of the exam content now.

Expert Corner

Here are some helpful tips for individuals preparing to sit for AWS exams:

  1. Understand the Exam Blueprint: Familiarize yourself with the exam blueprint provided by AWS. It outlines the domains, topics, and weighting of each section. This will help you focus your studying efforts accordingly.
  2. Review Official AWS Documentation: AWS offers extensive documentation, whitepapers, and user guides for each service. Take the time to read through them as they provide valuable insights and best practices that may appear on the exam.
  3. Hands-On Experience: Gain practical experience by working with AWS services. Set up your own AWS account and practice implementing solutions, configuring services, and troubleshooting issues. Hands-on experience will deepen your understanding of the concepts and reinforce your knowledge.
  4. Training and Online Courses: Consider enrolling in official AWS training courses or online tutorials. These resources provide structured learning paths and cover the exam content comprehensively. They often include hands-on labs and practice exams to assess your progress.
  5. Practice Exams: Take advantage of practice exams to simulate the actual testing experience. Practice exams help you identify knowledge gaps and get familiar with the exam format. They also provide an opportunity to practice time management and build confidence.
  6. Join Study Groups and Forums: Engage with other individuals preparing for AWS exams by joining study groups or participating in online forums. Discussing concepts, sharing tips, and asking questions can enhance your understanding and expose you to different perspectives.
  7. Understand AWS Pricing: Familiarize yourself with AWS pricing models and how costs are calculated for various services. This knowledge is essential for questions related to cost optimization and estimating resource usage.
  8. Time Management: Allocate sufficient time for exam preparation and create a study schedule. Be mindful of the exam duration and plan your approach accordingly. Practice managing your time during practice exams to ensure you can complete all questions within the allotted time.
  9. Read Questions Carefully: Take your time to read each question thoroughly and understand what is being asked. Pay attention to keywords and any specific requirements mentioned in the question. Avoid rushing through questions and making hasty decisions.
  10. Stay Calm and Confident: On the day of the exam, stay calm and confident. Trust in your preparation and approach each question with a focused mindset. If you encounter difficult questions, mark them for review and move on. Maintain a positive attitude throughout the exam.

Remember, adequate preparation, hands-on experience, and a thorough understanding of AWS services and concepts are key to success in AWS exams. Good luck!

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