I recently passed the Terraform Associate exam and wanted to share how I prepared for it. I ended up passing with a 94% grade, so I think this approach worked pretty well.
\ I’m going to add the timeline to this post so you can see how much time it took. I did set an aggressive exam date and had to cram for it over a weekend. It is definitely possible to spread this work out over more time.
Step 1: The Skillmix Course
I am one of the co-author’s of the Terraform course on Skillmix. This step is difficult to replicate if you don’t feel like writing a bunch of content! However, the second best thing to writing a course, is taking one. The Skillmix course has many hands-on labs that will give you practice writing HCL and using the CLI.
\ This course covers all the major
\ Timing: Allow yourself 1-3 weeks to complete this course.
Step 2: Take the Practice Quiz
\ Timing: I took this practice quiz on the Saturday before the exam (2 days before exam). It took about 2 hours to complete the quiz and grade it.
Step 3: Studying What I Got Wrong
I missed a lot of the questions on the practice exam! You can see how many I missed here. That was ok to me; it showed where I needed to focus.
\ I went through my wrong answers, diligently opening the link associated with the question. I had a stack of printer paper and took hand-written notes to summarize the key points on the page.
\ I ended up writing about 10 pages worth of notes. This included things like summarizing data types and constraints, writing out commands and describing them, etc.
\ Timing: This took about 3 hours on Saturday, and 4 hours on Sunday before the exam.
Step 4: 90 Minutes of Review Before the Exam
My exam was scheduled for 8am on Monday morning. I woke up early and was able to do about 90 minutes of review before the exam. I wanted to be confident, so this was more of a relaxed review of my notes vs. a frantic cram session.
It was a lot of fun to prepare for this exam. As far as technical exams go, it wasn’t one of the harder ones. Of course, passing is all about being prepared. I hope this article gives you a better understanding of what it takes.