The Terraform Associate Certification is a widely recognized credential that demonstrates proficiency in using Terraform to manage infrastructure. This certification is ideal for professionals seeking to advance their careers in cloud computing, DevOps, and infrastructure management.
Preparing for the certification exam can be challenging, as it requires a deep understanding of Terraform's features and functionality. In this blog post, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for the HashiCorp Terraform Associate Certification, including tips on what to study, how to approach the exam, and resources to help you succeed.
The HashiCorp Terraform Associate Certification tests your knowledge in 9 key areas:
- Understand infrastructure as code (IaC) concepts
- Understand the purpose of Terraform (vs other IaC)
- Understand Terraform basics
- Use Terraform outside of core workflow
- Interact with Terraform modules
- Use the core Terraform workflow
- Implement and maintain state
- Read, generate and modify configuration
- Understand Terraform Cloud capabilities
It is worth checking the official exam guide for the types of things you will be required to know under each of those key areas.
When I am studying for an exam I like to print out the areas of objectives and score out the areas I already know or am confident in. Whatever is left afterwards forms the start of my study plan.
The exam is an online proctored exam, and the exam provider is PSI. The exam is made up of multiple-choice questions and you are allocated an hour to complete the exam.
The price at the time of writing the exam is USD 70.50, and no free retakes are included within that price.
On successful completion of the exam, you will receive a digital badge from Credly that you can use in your email signature, digital resumes, or social media. The badges link back to a real-time verification that describes your qualifications.
Your certification will be valid for 2 years. Six months before your certification expiry date you will be able to renew your qualification by re-sitting the Terraform Associate exam.
With any technology, I always recommend getting hands-on experience as part of your learning journey. You don’t necessarily need to be using Terraform within a production environment to get hands-on experience. There are several free products and cloud providers you can access to get “real life” experience of using it to deploy and manage your infrastructure.
To help you on your learning journey here are some great resources that can help you:
- Terraform in 10 minutes - I've created a video which covers off Terraform in 10minutes. A great starter video if you are new to Terraform completely.
- 13-hour Terraform Associate Certification course video: This free video was created in 2021 to help people pass the Terraform Associate certification. Andrew Brown walks people through various key points that will be covered within the exam. It may be a little out of date now there is a new version of the exam, however, the core topics are still the same. Andrew has some follow on demos using AWS throughout the video.
- Learn Terraform with Azure - This video by freecodecamp.org walks you through some basics of Terraform and has you deploying resources within Azure.
- Official Hashicorp Studio Guide - Hashicorp have created a study guide that will help you navigate their documentation against the exam objectives.
- WhizLab Practice Tests - You can buy some practice tests from WhizLabs. These are great milestone checkers, you can work through a practice test they have designed and check where your learning is. I personally love using practice tests to check what knowledge I have retained from my studying and discover the areas where my knowledge needs some attention.
Whether you have used Terraform before or you are starting from scratch the Terraform Associate Certification is a good challenge.
One thing to remember is Terraform is cloud agnostic so my recommendation would be to stick with the cloud provider you are familiar with. The code works the same across all platforms so there is no need to go and learn a new cloud provider’s technology to pass this exam.