CLEAR Your Terraform Associate Certification Exam
Resources and Tips that helps you pass Terraform exam, and help you obtain your certification
The Terraform Associate certification is for Cloud Engineers specializing in operations, IT, or development, or any other related role to provisioning and maintaining IT infrastructure, and/or dealing with multi-cloud environments, or you are interested in learning Infrastructure as code with Terraform.
- Assessment Type: Multiple Choice
- Duration: 1 hour
- Length: 57 questions
- Price: $70.50 + plus locally applicable taxes
- Format: Online proctored only
- Testing Centers: PSI
- Language: English
- Expiration: 2 years
- Product Version: 1.0 or higher
The certification will test you in Terraform Core ( Terraform open source) and Cloud offerings not to forget its self-hosted solution Terraform Enterprise.
Here are some of the topics covered in the exam are:
- Infrastructure as Code
- Terraform benefits compared to other IaC tools
- Terraform workflow
- Terraform state mechanism
- Terraform provides & Modules
- Terraform Cloud
Note that this is just a brief lookup at the exam objectives you can view them all on the Study Guide by HashiCorp.
Exam Preparation Resources
Each one has his/her way of learning, in this section, I will try to list all the resources type that you can use to prepare for your certification exam.
It is the first place I would go to to learn about any related topics to Terraform, the hashicorp team did a great job making the docs so accessible and structured in a way that makes it easy to consume the content, however, I would have preferred it if they can add the night mode for night owls like me :)
Just a quick note, when reading the documentation you will come across some commands/ HCL expressions that are deprecated, know that the exam objective is a little bit outdated and soon the hashicorp team will release The New Exam Format 003.
The study guide is a must-read because it breaks down the exam objectives and orders them by difficulty, so you start learning the basics and progress to more advanced topics.
For each exam objective, you can find related documentation pages to deepen your knowledge and tutorials to sharpen your skills, however learning an automation tool without knowing the platform to automate on is a bit useless which is why the tutorials are diverse, you can choose which major cloud providers AWS, Azure, GCP you want to work with, or container runtimes like Docker and Kubernetes
if these technologies sound like gibberish to you, you can still learn terraform through some basics plugins like the Local Plugin for managing local files, HTTP Plugin for making HTTP requests, and TLS Plugin for cryptographic tooling like generations asymmetric keys.
I personally went through this guide before passing the exam and I can say that helped me clarify some concepts that I couldn’t grasp while watching video courses.
NOTE: I would highly recommend having a little bit of AWS Knowledge because it will help you learn quickly, and for the simple reason that the documentation provides examples in AWS Plugin, I do not know if this will change in future documentation versions but it is worth knowing it.
3 - Video Courses
It is by far the most popular way of learning these days, the instructor prepares slides in which he/she explains topics and hands-on labs you can find these courses on E-Learning platforms like Udemy, ACloudGuru, or on Youtube.
However be careful, you will find some free courses that are outdated or the content does not align with the exam objectives, I am not saying that all free courses are outdated there are some free courses with good explanations.
Some of the courses I came across are :
- HashiCorp Terraform Associate Certification Course by Andrew Brown [YOUTUBE] FREE
- HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate — Hands-On Labs by Bryan Krausen & Gabe Maentz [UDEMY] PAID
- HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate 2023 by Zeal Vora [UDEMY] PAID
- HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate By [ACloudGuru] PAID
I am not affiliated with any of these platforms nor with these instructors all I listed here is based on my own experience, in case I missed important courses you can contact me via Email or LinkedIn I would be happy to add them to the list.
4 -HandsOn Experience
By far the best way to learn any technical topic for me, Terraform is a tool and the exam expect you to have an intermediate level of working with Terraform so the best way is to practice through either Terraform tutorials or follow HandOn with the instructor, or through personnel projects.
Exam Questions Format
There are four types of questions on the exam
- True or False: present you with a statement and ask you to choose whether it is true or false.
- Multiple Choice: ask you to select a correct answer from a list. only one answer is correct the others are distractors.
- Multiple Answer: ask you to select multiple correct answers from a list. gives you a hint as to how many options are correct.
- Text Match: presents you with a statement and asks you to fill in the blank by typing an answer into a text box.
You can find more details and how these questions are represented in the Terraform Sample Questions
My Exam Preparation
I first started learning to terraform on the ACloudGuru platform with their free course, however, I felt that the content is outdated but it helped me so I went and bought HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate — Hands-On Labs & Brian’s Practical Exams too, the process was simple I followed the instructors on the videos and did all the hand-on tasks, however, each time I finish a section I went to the exam guide and read its corresponding documentation and also did the related tutorials. I did all the practice exams the day before passing and I passed all of them that’s when I realized that I am fully prepared to take the exam.
It took me about one month or less to be fully prepared to pass the exam, I watch videos course, do hands-on tasks, and read the documentation every day, it depends on your exposure to terraform if you have never heard of terraform maybe it will take you more then one month, or if you had little experience with terraform in the past it may take you 15 days, and if you are working with terraform professionally you can take 8h to look briefly the exam guide.
My experience passing the exam
The exam was not an easy task, I had to focus, and one thing that helped me a lot is to break the exam into springs to focus on each spring, and take short breaks between springs, another thing is to flag questions that you are uncertain about but be careful flagging too many questions at end you will not have enough time reviewing all of them. each question I tried to give the best answer I saw. I finished the exam in 30min and I took 10mins to review my answers. After I told my proctor, I got right away my result.
Before you pass the exam.
Before you pass the exam make sure you had plenty of experience working with terraform and its ecosystem. Here are some bonus resources that will help you clear your exam.
- One Free Terraform practice exam by ExamPro Platform
- 250 Practice Questions For Terraform Associate Certification
In conclusion, in this article, I tried to share my experience preparing to Terraform associate certification, thank you for reading this blog post, I would be very happy to know if this content helped you in any way.