Amazon AWS Assessment Test: Practice & Tips (2022)

What Is the Amazon AWS Online Assessment?

The Amazon assessment for AWS roles is an online test given to candidates after they apply. It is comprised of a work simulation test, a technical test, and a personality test. The assessment takes about 2 hours to complete and passing it is crucial to advance in the hiring process.


What is the Layout of the AWS Assessment Test?

On Amazon's AWS assessment, you'll need to complete four sections that are actually standalone tests with unique characteristics (click to jump to their sections on this page):

  1. Work Simulation – This section tests your ability to take on real Amazon work scenarios. Completion time – approx. 50 minutes.
  2. Technical Knowledge Test - This section tests your proficiency in general technical work (understanding IP addresses for starters). This section is given to only some of the roles (Support Engineer or AWS SA for example). Completion time - approx. 45 minutes.
  3. Skills Survey – This questionnaire lets you tell Amazon what your various expertise and qualifications are. Completion time – approx. 10 minutes.
  4. Amazon Work-Style – A custom-made personality test for Amazon employees that relies on Amazon's 16 Leadership Principles. Completion time – approx. 10 minutes.
  5. Working With Customers Simulation - a scenario-based section that presents you with a series of emails from various co-workers. You need to rate the effectiveness of each response on a scale of 1 to 5. This section appears mainly on the AWS Assessment for Solution Architect positions.

As you’re going to see, these five sections let Amazon paint a complete picture of who you are as a candidate, professionally and personally.

Knowing what these sections are all about before taking the real assessment can really help you arrive prepared. Thus, increasing the chances of advancing to the next steps on Amazon's hiring process.

Let's take a more detailed look at the different sections:

 

Amazon Work Simulation:

In short, this section is a complex work scenario test.

To elaborate – this is a unique Amazon test that essentially lets candidates catch a glimpse of an employee's workday and the dilemmas he or she faces. Much like Amazon’s Hiring Simulation test.

The test is conducted by presenting you with 4 real-life work scenarios that involve "ongoing projects" you're taking part in.

For example, you’ll get a message from a co-worker that a customer’s server failed, and you’ll need to either rank or rate the possible solutions.

Moreover, you'll need to do the same with the possible responses of communicating the solution with your team and the client.

Remember, this position requires you to have both great technical AND interpersonal skills. So, the way you'll prioritize the given options is crucial to the way you'll be perceived by Amazon.

Essentially, this section lets Amazon catch two birds with one stone:

  1. See how you deal with professional dilemmas under pressure.
  2. Assess how you fit their work culture and values by the manner you choose to communicate with others.

 

Technical Knowledge Test

This section of the Amazon Web Services assessment requires the most professional experience out of the four mentioned.

On this test, you'll be presented with a series of 24 multiple-choice questions. These questions will test your technical knowledge in servers and connectivity.

Some of the subjects you'll face in these sections will include:

  • IPs
  • FTP issues
  • UNIX commands
  • Firewalls
  • Understanding response codes
  • Linux knowledge
  • DNS queries
  • Application layer protocols

Obviously, in this section experience matters. But - going through helpful materials before taking the test is more than worthwhile.

Even if you have lots of experience in architecting cloud and server solutions, there might be old concepts you haven't touched in a while.

It is much better to identify your weak areas prior to taking the test and work on them than to find out during the assessment. It can easily be the difference between making the cut and failing this assessment.

 

Technical Skills Survey

After you are tested on your technical knowledge, it's time for you to tell Amazon what your strong points and weaknesses in the field are.

For example, you'll be asked to rate your proficiency in Big Data or Linux, from "No Experience" to "Expert" on a scale.

In this section, it is better to be candid on where you stand and what your skills are. Remember – Amazon doesn't expect you, and other candidates, to be experts in all subjects.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare in advance. The point made in the last section holds true to this section as well; you can only gain from brushing up on technical concepts and studying them before taking this assessment.

That way you, and Amazon, can truly understand where you stand and where you fit in the AWS realm.

 

Amazon Work-Style Assessment

This is an assessment that a lot of Amazon employees, or "Amazonians" are familiar with.

Amazon has a distinctive work culture, which is summed up nicely by its famous Amazon 14 leadership principles.

The test functions to check your compatibility with these core values.

Take this question for example:

Amazon Work Style Assessment Sample Question

 

This test’s format doesn't let you stay ambivalent, and you shouldn't be. Amazon wants you to be decisive on this test. Knowing the 14 LPs in advance can help you take this aspect to your advantage.

On this question, for example, one important leadership principle that comes to mind is - "Learn and Be Curious".

This principle notes that Amazonians are "curious about new possibilities and act to explore them".

Even one of Amazon's solution architect team leaders stated the importance of this value in one of Amazon’s promotional videos.

So obviously, your answers should fall into that category. Thus, on this question, you should state that you do feel comfortable in unclear settings.

In conclusion, Amazon takes its LPs very seriously, and so should you. These LPs are an integral part of their work culture and comprise the basis for their personality assessments.

Taking the time and going through the 16 principles is a sure way to boost your performance on the AWS assessment in general and on the work-style assessment.

 

Working With Customers Simulation

This section takes 15 minutes to complete and it includes scenario-based questions that come in the form of emails from your Team Lead, AWS customers, and Co-Workers. For each scenario, you'll be asked to rate the effectiveness of several responses using the following rating scale:

  1. Ineffective – this response does nothing to address the scenario or could have negative consequences.
  2. Slightly effective – there is a positive element to the response, but it generally does not address the scenario very well.
  3. Moderately effective – a reasonable response to the scenario, but the solution is incomplete or may have unintended consequences.
  4. Very effective – a good response to the scenario, but one or more aspects of the response could have been better.
  5. Highly effective – an ideal response for the scenario.

*Note that you're not required to have any Amazon or AWS-specific knowledge to complete this test section.

The differences between the responses might be quite subtle to the untrained eye and it's not always clear what response you should choose. That's why it's better to get an early acquaintance with this unique format and learn how to answer it correctly.


Amazon AWS Assessment FAQs

What are the Next Steps If I Passed the Assessment?

That depends on your performance on the assessment. All candidates with a good passing score will proceed to a round of interviews and will then take an additional role-specific technical test. If you only pass with an average score, you'll need to pass an additional phone interview with an AWS employee. He or she will determine if you should advance to the round of interviews.

Is the AWS Assessment Hard?

That depends on two things – your experience and your compatibility with Amazon's core values. This is something you can work on with the right preparation and practice.

Is There a Time Limit to the AWS Assessment?

There isn't a time limit to this assessment. Only the first section includes a running clock of 2 hours, but it shouldn't take longer than an hour to complete.

When Will a Preparation Pack for My Role Be Available?

The Preparation Packs on this page are custom-made for the Solution Architect and Support Engineer positions. Looking for a prep pack for a different AWS position? Contact me at askdavid@jobtestprep.com


 

For other Amazon roles, including SDE, visit our Amazon main page.

 

author
Hi, I'm David, JobTestPrep's expert for the Amazon Assessment Tests. Have a question? Feel free to contact me at

 

Amazon, AWS, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website. Our materials are designed to help you prepare for the types of assessments you will encounter, but they are not identical to them.