Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide

Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineering Exam is designed for professionals who are eyeing a career in cloud computing.

There may be lots of questions in mind such as which topics should I focus on while preparing for the exam? What type of questions I may encounter during the exam? What are the best resources for the exam preparation, and so on.

This Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide aims to answer all questions that you may have in mind and more.

Overview of a Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform or GCP is a cloud platform offered by Google. This platform offers more than 90 IT products, which are widely used by IT professionals and developers across small to mid-sized and large enterprises to gain a strategic advantage by increasing their productivity, accessibility, and flexibility.

Google Cloud Platform is offered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). You can choose the right solution based on your requirements.

GCP stands third in the list of the top cloud providers in 2021, with AWS and Microsoft Azure at the first and second positions. The adoption of GCP has accelerated in recent years due to several benefits they offer.

The following benefits offered by the GCP make them popular with businesses across the world.

  • It is widely chosen by small to mid-sized businesses due to its better pricing compared to other cloud platforms.
  • Its partnership with Cisco is leveraged by large enterprises.
  • Gartner recognizes GCP for its pricing, as you can pay as you use. There are several flexible contracts and deep discounts offered, too.
  • GCP offers advanced technical capabilities, with AI/ML, as well as data analytics tools.
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has gained immense popularity during COVID-19 where its strategies for multi-cloud workloads were appreciated. Google Meet was widely used and appreciated by business users across the world.
  • Google Cloud is currently being offered in 24 regions, as well as 73 zones.

Having known the benefits of this platform, it is quite obvious to get anxious about the role played by a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer in various business organizations. The next section introduces you to the same.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer

An Associate Cloud Engineer conceptualizes and deploys enterprise applications, monitors their performance, and maintains different enterprise solutions to ensure they meet performance metrics.

An Associate Cloud Engineer is a person who may be already working on-premises solutions and public clouds.

This examination tests their knowledge on using and deploying Google Cloud Console, as well as the command line interface required to perform platform-based tasks to maintain one or several deployed solutions.

An Associate Cloud Engineer must be comfortable working with Cloud Shell, Cloud Console, and Cloud SDK.

The next section of this Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide offers an overview of the exam including its duration and requisites.

An Overview of Google Certification Exam

It is always better to gain an overview of the exam duration, types of questions, and exam format before attempting it.

This information gives you confidence and allows you to plan your attempts before you sit for the exam.

The following pointers will offer you quick insights on Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineering exam.

  • The exam duration is 120 minutes or 2 hours and you have to attempt 50 questions at this time.
  • The questions will be presented in multiple select and multiple-choice formats.
  • Although available in English, you can attempt the exam in languages such as Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Indonesian.
  • You can take the exam at your nearby test centre or remotely. Click here to locate your nearby test centre.
  • If you prefer to take this online-proctored exam remotely then you need to meet certain testing requirements. You can click here to read the requirements.
  • At the time of writing this post, the registration fee for the exam is $125 plus taxes, which may differ as per the location.
  • There are no prerequisites for attempting the exam.
  • This exam is generally recommended to those who have at least 6+ months of hands-on experience with Google Cloud.

Other Important Information

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to attempt Google Cloud Platform Associate Engineer Exam or other Google exams.
  • Like all Google Cloud certifications, the validity of the Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineering exam is two years.
  • A candidate needs to recertify to maintain the certification.
  • You can attempt recertification at least 60 days or 2 months before the expiration date.
  • Any attempt to attain recertification 60 days before the expiry will lead to rejection or in many cases revocation of the current certification.
  • If you fail the exam on the first attempt, you need to wait for fourteen days to take the exam. If you fail the exam for the second time, this waiting period will extend to 60 days, and for the third time, the waiting period will extend to 1 year.

Who Can Appear For the Exam

Here is the list of candidates who can attempt the exam.

  • Any professional from the IT industry.
  • Developers, data architects, and data engineers who eyeing a career in cloud computing.
  • Any professional who is accountable for setting and managing cloud applications.

Top 5 Benefits of Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam

Clearing a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam not only allows you to build a career in cloud computing but also benefits you in several ways. The following are the 5 ways as to how your life is set to change after this exam.

  1. You will gain hands-on experience with Google Cloud Platform processes and tools.
  2. You will gain access to Google Cloud Platform technologies and services.
  3. You will earn a Google badge, which will add value to your career.
  4. You can be assured of your capabilities as a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer.
  5. You stand a high chance of finding employment with companies like LinkedIn, Accenture, Larsen & Toubro, Genpact, and so on.

Note: Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify, Twentieth Century Fox, and Paypal are a few popular social media platforms using GCP.

Tips to Prepare for Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineering Exam

This section of the Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide offers insights on important aspects of the exam right from the preparation to the type of topics you can expect and more.

Important Resources for Exam Preparation

The following are a few important resources that you need to follow for exam preparation.

  • You can access the comprehensive Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide here.
  • Developing an understanding of Google Cloud and its functions will help you clear the exam. You can access the comprehensive Google Cloud document here.
  • You can take the sample practice exam on Google Cloud to check your confidence and knowledge level. You can click here to attempt this exam.

In addition to these, you can take online training on the following platforms:

  • CertoMeter
  • Coursera
  • Udemy
  • Linux Academy

Objectives of the Exam

This exam focuses on five domains and you need to be well-versed with them to successfully clear the exam.

  1. Setting up a cloud solution environment: This may involve activities such as creating cloud projects, assigning users to IAM roles in a project, manual and automated management of users in the cloud, and managing billing configuration.
  2. Planning and configuring a cloud solution: This may include planning and estimating the use of a particular GCP product using the pricing calculator, planning and configuring computing resources, data storage options, and network resources.
  3. Deploying and implementing a cloud solution: Under this domain, the activities may include deploying and implementing compute engine resources, Google Kubernetes Engine resources, App Engine, data solutions, networking resources, and cloud marketplace.
  4. Ensuring the successful operation of a cloud solution: This domain focuses on the activities such as managing: compute engine resources, Google Kubernetes Engine resources, App Engine, and Cloud run resources, storage and database solutions, and networking resources. There is also a focus on monitoring and logging, where the cloud engineer may be required to perform activities such as creating Stackdriver alerts based on resource metrics, creating Stackdriver custom metrics, viewing and filtering logs in the Stackdriver, and so on.
  5. Configuring access and security: In this domain, you may be tested for your knowledge on managing identity and access management (IAM), managing service accounts, and viewing audit logs for managed services and projects.

Important Topics to Focus During the Exam Preparation

You need to dedicate at least 2-3 hours every day towards the exam preparation for at least two months if you wish to clear the exam on the first attempt.

To clear the exam, you need to focus on some important topics in the official Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer exam guide.

  1. Computing: This is the prime focus area in this exam, and you can expect around 40-50% of questions from the computing domain. The following are a few important topics to focus on:
    1. Compute Engine: In this, you need to develop an understanding of the following areas:
      1. Market place use cases
      2. Instances
      3. Managed and Unmanaged Instance Groups
      4. Snapshots
      5. Images
      6. Types of auto-scaling
      7. Uses of the external IP address
      8. High availability
      9. Importance of metadata and labels
    2. App Engine: In this, you need to focus on the following areas:
      1. Deploying applications on App Engine using CLI
      2. Use cases on App Engine Version functionality
      3. Splitting the traffic between multiple App Engine versions
      4. Appropriate utilization of flexible or standard flexibility
    3. Google Kubernetes Engine:You may get at least 7 to 8 questions on this topic. The following are some popular sub-topics of Google Kubernetes Engine.
      1. Deployment of docker file
      2. Creating docker file and understanding the container registry
      3. Understanding autoscaling in Kubernetes
      4. How to use pods for deploying a container application in Kubernetes Engine
      5. Configuring application monitoring and logging of Google Kubernetes Engine
    4. Cloud Functions: Under this, you need to focus on the following areas:
      1. Writing cloud functions using JavaScript, Go, Python 3, or Java
      2. Connecting and extending cloud services
      3. Learning events and triggers
      4. Deploying functions
      5. Calling functions: HTTP, Firestore, Pub/Sub, Storage, Scheduled, and more
  2. Networking: This is the next important segment in the Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide. You will get at least 20-30% of questions from this segment. In this, you need to focus on the following topics:
    1. Configuring firewalls and use cases
    2. Shared VPC
    3. VPC peering vs VPN vs Interconnect
    4. Firewall functions such as Ingress/Egress traffic, deny, allow, etc
    5. VPN including Interconnect, Cloud VPN, etc
    6. Types of use cases and load balancing including internal, external, TCP/IP, HTTP, and so on
    7. CIDR Addressing
  3. Google Command Line Utility: In this, you need to focus on gcloud commands such as gsutil, pubsub, instance, container, etc. You can learn how to create an instance from the command line, how to increase the size of Kubernetes clusters, and so on.
  4. Data: In this segment, you need to focus on the following pointers.
    1. Cloud Storage: Here you need to focus on the following areas:
      1. Conversion or changing of storage classes
      2. Regional vs Multi-regional vs Coldline vs Nearline
      3. Automated deletion of Objects transfer and objects between different storage classes using lifecycle policies
      4. Planning, as well as the configuration of data storage options such as Cloud SQL, BigQuery, Cloud Bigtable, and Cloud Spanner
      5. Cloud SQL/ Spanner: Here you need to focus on failover, horizontal scaling, and so on.
      6. Big Query: You need to focus on data sharing.
  5. IAM: IAM stands for Identity and Access Management. In this, you need to learn:
    1. List and describe the roles using CLI
    2. Filtering the roles and members using the GCP Console
    3. Assign permissions->roles->users
  6. Projects: Here you need to focus on how:
    1. To create projects
    2. To create and manage projects via CLI
    3. To link projects with the billing accounts
    4. To list and describe the existing configurations
  7. Billing Accounts: In this segment, you need to focus on topics such as:
    1. Required roes to create, as well as manage the billing accounts
    2. Understanding the existing relations between Billing accounts & Projects & Organizations
    3. Setting up billing exports to estimate monthly/daily charges
  8. Bigdata Tools: Under this, you can focus on:
    1. Data analytics tools use cases
    2. Questions based on Pub/Sub use cases and integration with other services
    3. Difference between Dataflow vs Dataproc
  9. Stackdriver: This is another topic where you need to focus on:
    1. Importance of Stackdriver in the Google Cloud and its working
    2. Creating and configuring the workspaces
    3. Creating alerts on Stackdriver based on resource metrics
    4. Adding projects from different GCP accounts to a Single Stackdriver account via CGP console
  10. Service Costing/Pricing Calculator: Ensure you go into details of service costing and pricing calculator to understand how it works.

Note: These topics are taken from popular blog posts and experiences shared by successful candidates.

A Few Important Tricks to Crack the Exam

The Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Guide may look exhaustive, but that doesn’t mean you cannot crack the exam at the first attempt. Here are some tricks that may help.

  • Remember all important terminologies and keywords associated with different technologies and tools in the GCP. For instance, for Kubernetes - Container Orchestration; Microservices, and Dedicated Interconnect - No Network Hops, High-Speed Connectivity, and Big Table - IOT operations, Low Latency, etc.
  • Practice, practice, and practice the gcloud commands to learn them properly. There are no tricks to avoid them.

Attempt Hands-on Practice for Confidence

For hands-on experience in cloud computing, you can access Qwiklabs, which is a hands-on cloud lab.

This platform offers credentials to Google Cloud Platform. This allows you to learn things in real-time without simulation. Here, you will get temporary login.

  • Cloud Engineering –
  • Google Cloud Essentials –

Take Mock Tests for Better Preparation

All the aforementioned pointers will help you tackle the exam, however, this Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer exam guide will look incomplete without the mention of mock tests or practice exams.

Although these steps, comes after all other steps discussed here, this is one of the most important ones.

Ensure you practice as much as you can from a trusted platform.

Today, you may find several resources that offer free practice tests for Google Cloud certifications. However, not all may be reliable or useful to you.

This post ends by introducing you to CertoMeter’s Google Cloud Certified - Associate Cloud Engineer practice exam. Here, you can take a free test before making a final decision.

At the time of writing this post, there are 4 paid tests available. These practice tests are designed to offer you the exact experience and feel of the real exam.

The practise questions are continuously updated to maintain their accuracy and relevancy.

Curated by-

Ms. Mahima Garg

She is a technology enthusiast and an author who is passionate about ideation, planning, implementing, integrating, and managing business processes for business growth. This led her and the team to build a Global IT Certification and Preparation Platform for professionals which help them get certified and enhance their career growth. With 20+ years of experience in IT and Management, she believes to impart what she has learned in her exciting career.

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