I've been working with AWS lightly as part of my current role (in non-prod environments) for the past few months, but have a few years of Sys/Network Admin experience coming into the exam so I found the VPC/NACL's and Networking stuff easy to grasp.
I studied at a fairly leisurely pace for about 3 months, going through the Sybex AWS SAA textbook (which, as you could imagine was a bit out of date) as well as getting halfway through the ACloudGuru 2018 SAA material before the 2019 stuff came out.... And then all the way through the new 2019 video series.
As per my previous post, I wasn't impressed at the depth or breath of content covered by ACG... Lots of key points were seemingly glossed over and felt the test questions at the end of the modules & final exam were poorly written and at even at some times down right rediculous, for example there is a question that I recall where the correct answer is 'Sudgest your boss subscribe to A Cloud Guru to learn about cloud computing' jesus christ talk about attempted indoctrination, thanks marketing team!
Anyhow, I ended up purchasing a Linux Academy licence because of the lack of detail of ACG and started cracking in hard for the final month of study. I then found I The Tutorial Dojo Practice exam pack which then lead me to the Tutorial Dojo cheatsheets and as recommended by another Redditor the various AWS deepdive videos on YouTube (Thanks u/I_HAVE_PLOT_ARMOUR
What I would say is the breadth of topics in the TutorialDojo exams was probably overkill but worth it to be safe. As it did cover Amazon MQ, Glacier advanced retrieval times, STS, some nuances of KMS encryption options and tools like Perimeter Store which I don't recall any mention of by ACG.
Onto exam day, I did my last prac exam in the morning had a coffee and headed to the city. I completed the exam at a kiosk and had the pleasure of going through the identification process, holding my ID up like LeeLoo's MultiPass in The Fifth Element for what felt like 5mins waiting for the agent on the other end to verify my head. Then I'm asked to clear the desk which only had the testing centres material on the desk? Placed that stuff on the floor, whatever. Then there's text sent by the support rep about not covering my mouth during the exam, not talking or whispering during the exam. Jeez pretty intense considering I'm the only one in the 3x3m box.
Anyway I finally get the test underway and I felt a little wobbly as the questions were tough-ish to begin with and seemingly got easier as the test went on... But maybe that was just nerves.
Then about 45-50mins in I feel it building... slowly but surely my blatter decides - Yep, its full!
I noticed I'm now starting to rush questions - skim reading, looking for the key theme, choosing my answer, next... I held on for another 15mins before out of sheer desperation, popping open the support chat box asking if I can go to the bathroom. At this point my legs are crossed and I'm considering releasing the Kraken on the exam room floor! I see the ... Of the chat operator typing the reply...
'No bathroom breaks, you must complete the exam first'
Haha holy shit! I had about 20-25 questions left to get through... I took a deep breath or two and squirmed around a bit but powered through. Hoping that my bulging blatter full of urine and the speed reading wouldn't be my downfall.
Alas, I got to the end of the exam and then the post-exam experience rating questions (next!next!next!!!) I then see the 'congratulations! You have passed...' Thank the laaawd! I turned, bashed down the exam room door and sprinted straight to the bathroom!
A few days later I got my email advising I passed the AWS SAA exam with a 928. Way better than I expected! Maybe nearly bursting at the seams brings some kind of sub-human clarity to my brain? TLDR
: - ACG - Bad (Too light on detail) - Textbooks - Kinda out of date, but decent depth - Linux Academy, AWS FAQs, tech docs & whitepapers - Good - YouTube Deep dives and TutorialDojo cheatsheets and prac exams - Great - Not going to the bathroom before your exam! - Priceless