Preparation Guide for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

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AWS certifications are one of the most sought-after certifications in the IT industry today. With the number of companies, small and big moving to the cloud, the market for AWS cloud is growing continuously. AWS has introduced a number of certifications ranging from Associate level to Specialty level. As, both the Big Data and AWS are highly regarded skills in the IT market. Taking up the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam will prove as a golden ticket for your career to launch to the higher levels.

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If you have knowledge of both, AWS and Big Data Analytics, then you are a pot of gold for recruiters and companies looking for skilled candidates. With AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam, you will not only get to increase your knowledge but also may get paid lavishly. To help you get ahead in your career, we are presenting a detailed preparation guide for the AWS Certified Big Data 鈥?Specialty exam; let’s start with the exam overview.

Overview of AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam validates the candidate’s expertise and technical knowledge in designing and implementing AWS services in order to obtain value from the available data set. It examines the candidate’s ability to execute AWS Big Data Services according to architecture practices. The AWS Certified Big Data-Specialty is a Specialty level exam and it requires in-depth knowledge of data analytics concepts.?

AWS Certified Big Data 鈥?Specialty Exam Information

Exam Name AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty
Exam Pattern Multiple Choice (with one correct answer out of given four or five options), Multiple Response ?(with two or more correct answers out of given five or more options)


Prerequisite None
Exam Duration 3 hours
Number of Questions Not Specified
Exam Fees USD 300

Requirements for the Exam

  • A minimum of 2 years of experience in handling AWS technologies
  • At least 5 years of experience in big data analytics
  • Knowledge of AWS services and architecture, and how to integrate them with each other
  • Considerable knowledge and experience of working with AWS security practices
  • Knowledge of how to access control to secure the data
  • Ability to design a cost-effective and scalable architecture to process data

Preparation Guide for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

鈥?/b>Before anything else, preparation is the key.鈥?Being prepared for the exam is the most required thing to pass an exam. With good preparation, you can certainly get great results. In this article, we are providing a step by step guide on how to prepare for the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam with the topics you need to cover while preparing for the exam. Here are the preparation steps –

1. Start with Official Exam Guide

To prepare for an exam, it is required to understand the exam objectives first. Official Exam Guide is a good start to begin your preparation for the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty – exam. The exam guide gives you a complete information about the exam i.e. prerequisites, requirements, exam overview, training resources, whitepapers, and the exam blueprint. This is highly recommended to go through this exam guide first at AWS website to start your preparation.

The exam blueprint specifies the subject areas covered in the exam with their weightage in the exam. The blueprint is the best way to understand the topics you need to focus during your preparation. The blueprint for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam, as given by the Amazon Web Services is –

AWS Certified Big Data 鈥?Specialty Exam Blueprint

Domain % of Examination
Collection 17%
Storage 17%
Processing 17%
Analysis 17%
Visualization 12%
Data Security 20%
Total 100%

2. Go Through Official Resources

Amazon AWS itself provides a number of resources to prepare for the AWS Big Data Certification. It is advisable to go through official resources once before moving to others. AWS offers Documentation, Whitepapers, and Sample Questions that you need to consider during your preparation.

Documentation: Amazon Web Services documentation is a complete set of information about the services from introductory to advanced level. Here, you can find any of the services and read a complete documentation on that. If you are a self-learner kind of person, AWS documentation can be a great source for exam preparation for you.

Whitepapers: AWS recommended white papers are a great source of knowledge for you. Make good use of them and read them thoroughly. Make notes while you鈥檙e studying the white papers, it will help you a long way when you do the pre-exam prep. Some of the recommended whitepapers are:

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    • Streaming Data Solutions on AWS with Amazon Kinesis.
    • Big Data Analytics Options on AWS.
    • AWS Database Migration Service Best Practice.
    • Migrating Applications to AWS: Guide and Best Practices.

Sample Questions: AWS itself is aimed to prepare you for the certification exam and thus offers set of 10 sample questions. These questions will help you understand which type of questions you may get in AWS Certified Big Data Specialty – exam. Although the number of questions is too less, it is recommended to have a look at these questions at least once.

Storage is an important domain of AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam. Let’s know about the Different Storage Solutions Offered by Amazon Web Services.

3. Get Some Real-time Experience

Nothing can beat the real-time experience. You can come across a number of questions related to real-world scenarios. So, it becomes important to have some practical knowledge. If you want to get hands-on experience with Amazon Web Services, just sign up for the Amazon Free Tier account. You will have access to all the services for 1 year without any cost. Why wait, sign up now and get your hands dirty with these services.

4. Online Training and Courses

If you are not that good at reading whitepapers and documentation, this step will be of great help for you. Training will make you understand the topics you need to study when you are preparing for the exam. The internet is a pool of such training materials and you can sign up for that. You can also find some training videos on the AWS website. The training will lay a strong foundation for you to start preparing for the exam. There are a number of online certification training providers, you can choose one of them for online training.

5. Read Some Recommended Books

How many of the resources be available, we can鈥檛 neglect the value of books. Books are always there for any certification exam, you just need to find some good ones and read them. Although, we don鈥檛 have too?many books for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam, here are the recommended ones –

Getting Started Guide: Analyzing Big Data with AWS – The book by Amazon Web Services, Getting Started Guide is the complete guide for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam. Reading this book will make you understand how to use

  • Amazon storage service (S3) for the storage of big data
  • Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances to process big data
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce for managing the storage, monitoring, cluster configuration, and analysis
Image Source:

Handbook of Big Data Technologies – As AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam requires an in-depth knowledge of big data analytics, this book is of great worth. This handbook, written by Zomaya, Sakr, Albert Y., and Sherif provides users an

  • Insight into the value and potential power of big data resources
  • An exhaustive examination of big data technologies
  • Practical and theoretical aspects of big data platforms
  • description of big data analysis on clouds
Image Source: 9783319493398

Understanding Cloud, IoT, and Big Data – This ebook by Md. Arifuzzaman gives a description of the Cloud, IoT, and Big Data along with how to architect complex solutions on AWS platform. This book is intended for technology professionals to have an understanding of Cloud and Big Data. On reading this book, you will also have a knowledge of Service Oriented Architecture, Data center architecture, virtualization techniques, and business proposition of IoT, Cloud, and Big Data.

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6. Practice Tests and Exam Simulators

The more hands-on experience you have, the more it is beneficial for you. There are a lot of practice tests available online. Take up these tests from one of the best providers. You will get an idea of how the questions will be asked in the real exam. Exam simulator gives you a real-time experience of taking the certification exam. You can try free tests but I鈥檒l recommend you to take the paid ones as they come with an exhaustive explanation to the answers. Whizlabs offers Practice Tests for AWS Certified Big Data Certification exam, and thus helps you to find your weak areas and work on them.

Preparing for AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty exam? Check your current level of preparation now with the Free Test!

Topics to Focus Upon for the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

  • Kinesis Stream and Kinesis Firehose: Kinesis Firehose and Kinesis Stream are big data terms which are related to streaming real-time data with destinations like S3, Es, and spunk. You will need to know the importance of Kinesis and its combination with Lambda. Learning where the Firehose will unload the content will be helpful. Know and understand why kinesis ingestion is better. Learn about features offered by KCL and KPL and learn when they are used to send/receive data.
  • S3: ?S3 is storage of the internet. With S3 you can store and retrieve data from anywhere anytime. S3 is a simple web service interface. Understand how to use S3 bucket, when to use s3 standards and S3 glacier.
  • DynamoDB: DynamoDB is NoSQL Database services for applications that need consistent and single-digit millisecond latency at any scale. Study how to design Local Secondary Indexes and Global Secondary Indexes. Study the right use case for DynamoDB. You might also get asked about key optimization.

It’s the time to get some knowledge about DynamoDB. Read this article – How to use DynamoDB??

  • Quicksight: Quicksight is a fast cloud-powered business analytics services. You might get asked a question on virtual representation with Quicksight.
  • Redshift: AWS Redshift is a fully managed, fast data warehouse which helps you analyze your data using SQL and BI. You will need to know the overall architecture and know how to load data using Redshift. Redshift is an important topic and you will need to know the importance of the COPY command, leader, node slices and computer node. Learn how to migrate data using ?UNLOAD command. Tuning performance using right sort key. One question on loading data in redshift is asked. For this, you should know what instances and slices are.
  • IoT: Questions mixed with topics like DynamoDB and Kinesis stream. You will require knowledge of:
    • IoT Rules
    • Device Registry
    • Device Gateway
    • Device Shadow, etc
  • Machine Learning: Understanding of selecting the right model for specific business requirements and scenarios is required. Knowledge of which kinds of models are used by AWS machine learning is required.
  • Security: IAM roles, data encryption for S3. DynamoDB and Redshift, HSM.
  • Data Pipeline: Some questions might be asked on Data Pipeline and Lambda and when to use it. Questions on backup, restore data into other various AWS regions might be asked.

Don鈥檛 Forget These Topics While Preparing for AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

  • RCU and WCU, DynamoDBs performance control from RCU and WCUs viewpoint.
  • Understanding of how key choice effects performance.
  • Understand when and how to use KCL. Know what features it has and when and how to use it.
  • Thoroughly understand spark and spark streaming concepts.
  • Integration of Redshift and Kinesis.
  • In-depth knowledge DynamoDB, AWS Redshift Workload Management, and managing queues.

Topics on Which Questions are Unlikely to be Asked in the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam

  • Very limited questions on networking.
  • Limited questions related to ELB and auto scaling groups.
  • No questions on CloudFormation and OpsWorks.
  • No Beanstalk questions.
  • Limited questions on SQS and SNS.

Tips to Remember During AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam Preparation

  • Hands-on experience is a must. Get as much hands-on experience as you can. It will help you a lot as the questions asked are based on real time scenarios.
  • Training and Practice tests are very helpful in order to prepare for the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam.
  • Making use of the social media platform will be very beneficial for you as the people who have already appeared for the exam give valuable feedback. Clear your doubts well in advance before the main exam as this will avoid last-minute anxiety.
  • Signing up for User groups and Discussion forums will also help you in the same way.
  • Watch the AWS Youtube channel re:invent in order to get updates on the latest technological changes and advancements. There is a huge collection of videos and tech talks which will be helpful for you to prepare for the exam.
  • Experience on Big Data will take you miles as just practicing the tests will not help you. AWS Certified Big Data Specialty is a higher level exam and it requires you to have the in-depth knowledge. Get as much experience as you can and it will take you miles.

Average Salary of an AWS Certified Big Data Specialist

Salaries usually depend on your knowledge and experience on the subject. There is no doubt that Big Data and AWS are a deadly combo and are very much in demand in the IT market today. Clearing the AWS Certified Big Data specialty exam is rather difficult and would require you to have deep knowledge and experience in Big Data Analysis on AWS. As the specialty exams require you to have a minimum of 5 years of hands-on experience, it is presumed you have good knowledge on the subject. So, there is not any doubt that the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty certification can fetch you some handsome salary.

As per the Indeed Salary Report 2018, the average salary a Big Data professional can earn may vary from $70,008 – $129,811 according to experience. This range gets even broader when the candidate is an AWS Certified Big Data Specialist.

Final Words

The AWS Certified Big Data Specialty exam is one of the toughest exams and it requires you a lot of hands-on experience. It is advisable to have prior knowledge of Big Data technologies on AWS. The more experience you have, the more it is beneficial for you.

An AWS Certified Big Data salary can range over 130,000 USD per annum. But getting an AWS?Big Data certification will not guarantee you a six-figure salary. All that matters is your knowledge and experience. The AWS Certified Big Data-specialty certification will help you in terms of skills and also help you get a higher salary. It might not be easy but worth taking a shot.

This preparation guide will help you to become an AWS Certified Big Data Specialist. All you need to do is just follow the preparation guide, gain more and more knowledge, and pass the certification exam. If you are done with your preparation and looking for some effective AWS Big Data Certification Exam Practice Material, Whizlabs will help you achieve that. Focus on the training and prepare well following the study guide, you will surely achieve great results.

Wish you the luck for your exam!

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