AWS Advanced Networking Specialty: Some Tips

I recently passed my AWS Advanced Networking Specialty Certification (ANS). Despite having two CCIEs and a number of other cloud and networking certifications, this was a VERY tough exam, and I JUST barely passed! I walked out of the exam thinking that I failed – as I felt that I was only able to confidently answer about 60% of the answers correctly.

In retrospect, I would recommend others to first go through multiple other AWS certifications and training before attempting ANS. Specifically, I would recommend AWS Solutions Architect Associate, AWS SysOps Administrator associate and may be even AWS Solutions Architect Professional as the ANS certification, based on all the questions I got during my certification exam, expects you to have somewhat deep knowledge of a large variety of AWS services.

Prior networking experience helps, but, may be only for 20% of the questions. Large majority of the questions are very AWS specific (which is not a surprise). Also, majority of the questions are scenario based, similar to other AWS Associate or Specialty level exams, so you really have to understand how different services fit together – like Direct Connect and Transit Gateway, or DNS and AD, or often even three services, like VPN, S3 and VPC, etc.

As I have generally recommended in the past, it is important for deep understanding, learning, memory and retention to learn from multiple sources, and this certification would be no exception. Here are the resources that I highly recommend for study, training and passing ANS:

  1. Highly rated Udemy course jointly created by Chetan Agrawal and Stephane Maarek:
  2. Also on Udemy, really good quality practice exam questions, by Abhishek Singh and Stephane Maarek. These questions did a good job of mimicking the difficulty level of the real exam:
  3. Not as up-to-date, but, still great quality course on A Cloud Guru by Steven Moran and Brock Tubre: This course includes 65 question practice exam at the end. It’s not as good as the one by Chetan Agrawal, Abhishek Singh and Stephane Maarek, especially because probably 10-20% of the content and questions are dated, but it’s still good practice.
  4. Read the whitepapers listed on the AWS Advanced Networking Specialty page – many questions were directly from these whitepapers!

I would also recommend looking at AWS Skill Builder, which has a free ANS course, however, for me the delivery of that course got boring, so I didn’t go through the whole thing.

Good luck 🤞


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