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The new AWS Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C02): What to expect

The new version of the Certified Cloud Practitioner exam will be replacing the old one on September 18. Here's what you need to know if you're going to take it.

Jan 23, 2024 • 5 Minute Read

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  • AWS
  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development

Planning to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam? On September 18, 2023, the existing version of the exam (CLF-C01) will be retired and replaced with the newer CLF-C02. 

As you might expect, the new version of the exam is a slightly different beast. The domain weightings are different, and it covers a range of new services, concepts, and tools. We cover all the different changes in the CLF-C02 below.

What's the difference between CLF-C01 and CLF-C02?

At a high level, there’s a decrease in questions on cloud concepts, billing, pricing, and support (though you’ll still need to study these). This gap is filled with a greater focus on security, compliance, cloud technology and services, which collectively will make up 64% of your exam. Some of the domains have also been renamed.

Here is an exact breakdown of the new exam weightings:

  • Domain 1 (Cloud Concepts): There will now be more focus on the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework.

  • Domain 2 (Security and Compliance): A big jump from 25% to 30%. There is now a deeper focus on governance.

  • Domain 3 (Cloud Technology & Services): Renamed and reorganized. This domain is now broken into sections like compute, database, networking, storage, AI/ML, and miscellaneous.

  • Domain 4 (Billing, Pricing, and Support): Renamed to include support, but the percentage dropped from 16% to 12%.

Some of the new services, tools, and concepts covered

There’s a lot of new services and concepts that have been added to the exam: you can find a full list by AWS here. However, if you’re after something a bit shorter to help you focus your study efforts, here are some services you should check out (It still looks like a ton, but don’t get discouraged!). In particular, I’d read up on concepts like the AWS shared responsibility model, support plans, and machine learning. 


Application Integration:

Business Productivity:



Cost Management:

Customer Engagement:


Developer Tools:

End-User Computing:

Frontend Web and Mobile:

Internet of Things (IoT):

Machine Learning:

Management and Governance:

Migration and Transfer:

Networking and Content Delivery:

Security, Identity, and Compliance:


Some areas to focus on to help prepare

  • Cloud Adoption: Understand the Cloud Adoption Framework as well as the Well-Architected Framework whitepapers.

  • AWS Shared Responsibility Model: Understand and be able to describe customer and AWS responsibilities.

  • Methods of deploying and operating in AWS: Understand different ways to provision and operate in AWS using different services in the exam guide list.

Also, something else to keep in mind is that The Well-Architected Framework has been updated this year, so take a look at it and make sure that you are all caught up on updates to the Pillars themselves. If you need to brush up on what was updated, check out our AWS Well-Architected Framework Deep Dive course.

Certified Cloud Practitioner prep courses you can take

If you haven't started studying for the exam yet, feel free to start using the current material listed below. Even though they are labeled currently as CLF-C01, they will still cover many of the same things. Keep your eyes peeled for the new course to be released for the new exam, which will be listed with CLF-C02 in the title.

  1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) Course

  2. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) Practice Exam 1

  3. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) Practice Exam 2

Some recommended AWS Whitepapers to help prepare

AWS Provided Exam Preparation

What hasn't changed with the CLF-C02?

Things that haven’t changed with the new AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam is the include the number of questions, how they are scored, the exam costs, and some of the services covered (they’ve just moved around a bit).

The number of questions and scoring

The exam itself will still consist of 65 multiple choice and multiple response questions. The exam questions will include 50 questions that actually affect your score. The other 15 are unscored questions used to collect performance data on their future use. It is also still pass or fail with scores ranging from 100 to 1000 and you'll need a 700 score or higher to be considered passing.

The costs

The exam is still 100 dollars US and will still be offered at a facility or remotely, but remember if you are taking it remotely, ensure that whatever device and room you are using meets requirements AHEAD of exam day!

The staple topics

AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda are now in their own category listed as Serverless. Services like Amazon EC2, Amazon QuickSight, Amazon Aurora, AWS Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch (to name a few) are still included as well.

How soon can I register to take the new exam?

According to AWS, registration for the updated exam (CLF-C02) opens August 22, 2023, and the exam is available to take starting September 19, 2023. 


Phew! That was a lot to take in, but don't let that keep you from starting. Luckily, we are here to help you prepare for this exam and its updates. Thank you for reading with me today. Remember, deep breaths and baby steps, and as always, keep being awesome, gurus!

Jess Alvarez

Jess A.

I never thought I would ever work in the tech industry, but took my customer service skills to a phone position at a tech company. From there, I dove into Linux and AWS. As I learned more, I climbed through the ranks and became an AWS Cloud Administrator working on hundreds of very different kinds of environments. I made it a point to try to teach others when and where I could. From there, I jumped over to government tech and gained many other skills including working with Docker, Ansible, etc. It was then that I decided to jump into spreading the knowledge I had gained more directly and joined A Cloud Guru. Here I am now getting teach the next wave of technologists and cloud gurus! It is my goal to ensure that more people realize that there is a place for them in tech if they are willing to work for it and remember deep breaths and baby steps! Keep being awesome, gurus!

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