How I passed the GCP Professional Cloud Architect Exam

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and with good reason, the GCP has a strong competitive advantage over other cloud providers when it comes to certain aspects such as Kubernetes, Big Data, Data Pipelines, and Analytics.

This certification is a great entry point into the GCP certifications, while it is not the easiest of the GCP certifications, it will give you a good foundation and overall understanding of the services GCP has to offer as well as design for cost-effective and fault-tolerant solutions.

Before you start

About this post:

  • 2 – 7 min average reading time
  • Suitable for beginner through to advanced

What you will gain reading this post:

  • A set of strategies to make the exam experience easier
  • A list of recommended training materials and providers

What you can do to help support:

  • Like, comment and share this article
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Now, let’s get started.

Strategies

On the day of the exam, you can feel nervous.

This is normal, but the conditions of the exam centers can also exaggerate that feeling.   

Set up yourself for success

As the date of the exam, approaches is to put yourself in a similar environment. 

  • Try putting yourself in a quiet room, such as those you find in a library. 

The more you can mimic the exam environment, the less the environment will add to your nerves on the day of the exam.

Managing your time

Managing your time is very important, not only do you need to be aware of how long it will take you to complete the exam, but also how long you will require to review your flagged questions before you do a final submission. 

  • The exam gives you 120 minutes when taking the exam make sure that you leave yourself enough time to review of the questions that you flagged.  

I gave myself 35 minutes, but you may require more or less time to perform your review.

What is important is you understand how much time you require and ensure you leave yourself enough time.

Keywords will provide direction

As you study for the exam you will notice keywords come up that best suit certain services

  • An example of this is if you are asked a question about migrating from an on-premise location to the cloud and you are running your on-premise ELT pipeline in Hadoop or Spark, you should automatically think about Dataproc as this would be the easiest way to move from your on-premise solution to the cloud. 

I recommend that you keep track of these various keywords that will pop up as they will help you be confident with the answers you select as well as allow you to move rapidly through some questions helping you with your time management.

Training Providers

Linux Academy

Linux Academy was one of the main training providers that I used all the way through to taking the exam. 

With the course I have linked below, you will get a good understanding and practical experience of how the different GCP services work and integrate. I highly recommend this course. 

https://linuxacademy.com/course/google-cloud-certified-professional-cloud-architect/

Braincert

Braincert was the other main training provider that I used all the way through to taking the exam. 

This consists of practice exams and sections that will not only familiarise you with the same standard of questions that GCP provides during the exams at the centers, it will also provide you with detailed explanations as to why the answer/s you selected were correct or incorrect, which will also help improve your knowledge and re-enforce your what you have learned.

https://www.braincert.com/course/16401-Google-Cloud-Certified-Professional-Cloud-Architect-Practice-Exams#

Update: The above link no longer appears available, if you have previously purchased those practice exams, then they are still available on login, but anyone who is searching for the above practice exams will no longer be able to find them.

The Exam

Unless you are scoring 90% or above consistently across all the practice exams then do not take the actual exam.

It is better to wait until you understand the concepts well, you can then go into the actual exam confident and provide yourself a very high chance of succeeding.  

Keep in mind

  • The difficulty of the questions you experience during the exam could vary greatly between individuals
  • You will be expected to answer questions about GCP services as well as use case-based questions regarding a few hypothetical organizations and scenarios they are moving towards
  • Some received questions during the exam that were similar or exact to those presented in the Braincert practice exams, for me that was the experience, making the exam much easier than expected
  • Do not let yourself become overwhelmed but instead focus on answering the questions as best you can
  • Start by eliminating answer/s that you know are incorrect
  • Ensure you read the questions a few times to grasp what they are trying to test you on and then if you are still not sure to make an educated guess
  • Make sure you flag the question to come back later and revisit the answer you initially provided.
  • You will be able to grasp how you are doing by the number of flagged answers you have
  • Answers that are not flagged you do not need to come back and revisit as you will be confident with the answer/s you selected

Following this will help you with your time management for completing and reviewing your exam before your final submission.

The Results

After a few days, you will be provided with your results via the Google Certification Management Portal.

You will get given

  • A badge that you can share with your employers or services such as LinkedIn
  • A transcript that you can share with your employer or potential employer
  • A pdf version of the certificate.
Professional Cloud Architect Certificate

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Author: Robert Leggett

I am a passionate, pragmatic and focused leader for people and technology. I love to converse in Spanish, play video games and spend time with my family.

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