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
  • Follow this blog to receive notifications of new postings

Now, let’s get started.

Strategies

Setup yourself for success

On the day of the exam you are likely to feel a little nervous, this is normal, but the conditions of the exam centres can also exaggerate that feeling.    My recommendation 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.  I found the more I was able to mimic the exam environment, the less the environment added to my 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 I took the exam I made sure that I left myself at least 35 minutes to perform a review of the questions that I flagged.  You may require more or less time to perform your review, but 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 on how the different GCP services work and integrate with one another,  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 practise exams and sections that will not only familiarise you with the same standard of questions that GCP provide during the exams at the centres, 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#

The Exam

My recommendation is unless you are scoring 90% or above consistently across all the practise exams then do not take the actually exam, 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.  

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 organisations and scenarios they are moving towards, some had experiences where they received many questions during the exam that were similar or exact to those presented in the Braincert practise exams, for me that was the experience I received, making the exam much easier then I expected.

If you don’t find yourself in that situation, my recommendation is to 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 make an educated guess and make sure you flag the question to come back later and revisit the answer you initially provided.

I found as the exam went on I became more focused and at the end of the exam, I went back and revisited all the answers that I flagged (which were questions that I was not certain of the answer or simply provided an educated guess against).

If you follow this strategy you will be able to grasp how you are doing by the number of flagged answers you have, where answers that are not flagged you do not need to come back and revisit the answer as you are confident with the answer/s you selected and in turn it will also help you with your time management for completing and reviewing you exam before your final submission.

The Results

After a few day, you will be provided with your results via the Google Certification Management Portal, it will give you 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, and a pdf version of the certificate.

Professional Cloud Architect Certificate

Author: Robert Leggett

I am an experienced and passionate leader that enjoys educating and contributing to the technical community. I love to converse in Spanish, play video games and spend time with my family.

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