GCP Associate Cloud Engineer | What to Expect

Introduction Link to heading

I recently passed the Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer certification exam. I started studying for this exam soon after passing the GCP Cloud Digital Leader exam with the eventual goal of achieving the GCP Cloud Security Engineer exam. I spent about two months studying for the Associate Cloud Engineer certification.

Associate Cloud Engineer Certification

Before taking on this exam Link to heading

As a part of your certification path, you can optionally take the GCP Cloud Digital Leader exam before attempting the Associate Cloud Engineer exam. I recommend taking it if you are new to cloud in general. It covers Google’s services at a basic level and focuses more on the business aspects of cloud. If you already have cloud experience, you can probably get away with skipping it and going straight to the Associate Cloud Engineer exam. However, it is a great way to get introduced to Google’s questions and exam structure.

Additionally, you should be somewhat familiar with networking fundamentals and Linux command line basics before jumping into this exam.

Planning Link to heading

I recommend planning out your study path. For example, I wrote down which sections of the course that I planned on accomplishing for a given week. This allowed me to stay on track and organized while studying for this exam. It also meant that I was able to accomplish my goals as I finished each section, which kept me motivated.

Exam Structure Link to heading

The exam is fairly straightforward with no trick questions. You’ll have 120 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions. I had plenty of time to answer all questions and review them all at the end. Additionally, it’s good to know that you can move back and forth between questions. You can also flag questions while taking the test, with the ability to review them at the end.

Resources Link to heading

  • Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer course from Exam Pro – This was my main study resource. It essentially includes all of the information that you need in order to pass the exam. Be aware, this course is very information-dense, but it was incredibly useful, informational, and practical. The course includes:
    • Videos
    • Quizzes
    • Flashcards
    • Cheat sheets
    • Practice exams
    • Hands-on labs
  • Additional hands-on experience – I’ve practiced a lot by setting up different applications using a wide array of cloud services, like Compute Engine, GKE, App Engine, Cloud Run, Cloud Storage, Load Balancing, and more. This is vital to understanding these services better and passing the exam.
  • Official Google Cloud documentation – While setting up applications in GCP, I had to reference the documentation quite a bit. This will often provide much more detail about a service that you wouldn’t normally come across in a course or on your own.
  • Official Google Sample Questions – This is a good resource to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you’ll get on the exam.
  • Exam Guide – Google’s exam guide will describe all of the topics that will show up on the exam. You should reference this throughout your study process to make sure that you are on track. You must know all of these topics in order to pass this exam.

Study Tips Link to heading

  • I recommend focusing on Google’s core services and features:
    • Cloud IAM
    • Compute Engine
    • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
    • App Engine
    • Cloud Storage
  • I did not receive many questions regarding the glcoud command. I did not expect this, as many other resources indicated that knowing this command is essential to passing this exam. However, I did receive a few questions on it. And because of that, I recommend becoming familiar with the gcloud command and its structure. For every service that you deploy or configure through the console, you should do the same thing through the CLI.
  • Utilize practice exams after finishing the course or when you feel that you are near the end of your study path. Give yourself a few days or weeks to take the practice exams, learn from them, and take them again. Once you are consistently passing them, you are ready to take the real exam.
  • Get as much hands-on practice as possible.

Conclusion Link to heading

The Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer is a great way to learn Google Cloud and certify your knowledge. After spending some time studying, learning, and practicing, you’ll be able to obtain this certification.