Amazon AWS Assessment: What to Expect & How to Prepare

Many AWS roles fall somewhere between technical and customer-oriented roles. They need you to help clients choose the AWS solution best suited to their needs.

You must also possess the skills to explain the reasons for your choice to the clients in a language that’s accessible to them.

Amazon needs employees that have both types of skills for this work. To do that, Amazon uses a multi-stage assessment that evaluates different aspects of the employee’s skills and personality.

Here you will find detailed information on all aspects of the AWS assessments, including information on every section of the test.

Amazon aws assessment

What Is The Amazon AWS Assessment Test?

AWS candidates are given this test after their initial application. It contains a work simulation assessment, a technical skills test, as well as a personality test. The test lasts about two hours. If you want to be hired, you must pass this test.

What Is the Structure of the AWS Assessment Test?

The assessment is comprised of four sections, each of them effectively its own separate assessment.

  • Work Simulation – Tests your ability to respond to real-life workplace challenges. About 50 minutes to complete.
  • Technical Knowledge – Evaluates general technical knowledge (for example, understanding basic IP address operation). This is a section reserved for only some of the positions at AWS, for example AWS SA or Support Engineer positions. This takes about 45 minutes.
  • Skills survey – A brief questionnaire about your skills and qualifications. Takes about ten minutes to complete.
  • Work Style Assessment – A custom personality assessment that tests your compatibility with the Amazon Leadership Principles. It will take you about ten minutes to complete.
  • Working With Customers – In this section, you’ll confront a series of simulated co-worker messages. You must rank the effectiveness of their responses between 1 and 5. This is mostly a section that is set for Solution Architect rules.

The five sections above are used by Amazon to create a full view of the candidate’s personal and professional qualities. Having a deep understanding of the sections can help you ace the AWS assessment and proceed to the next stage in the hiring process.
Let’s look at them in more detail.

Amazon Work Simulation

The Work Simulation requires candidates to resolve simulated versions of situations that an Amazon employee would face in the real workplace, somewhat like the Hiring Simulation test.

During the test, you will have to resolve four workplace scenarios that will revolve around “ongoing projects” in which you are taking part.

You could be given a coworker email informing you that a client server just crashed, and you will have to rate or rank different solutions. You will also have to compare different options for communicating your chosen course of action to the team and the customer.

Note that we are talking about testing for positions that require a combination of interpersonal as well as technical skills. As such, your ability to evaluate the different options in this test is key to success.

The Work Simulation allows Amazon to address two issues:

  1. Evaluating the candidate’s ability to resolve workplace scenarios under pressure.
  2. Evaluating the candidate’s fit with Amazon’s work culture.

Technical Knowledge Test

This part of the AWS Online Assessment is where the wheel meets the road in terms of your professional skills and experience.

The candidate is presented with 24 questions that test his knowledge of connectivity and server technology.

Subjects were seen in this test include, but are not limited to:

  • UNIX commands.
  • Unix commands.
  • Application level protocols.
  • IPs.
  • FTP issues.
  • Firewalls.
  • Linux.
  • DNS queries.
  • Response codes.

Experience is very important if you want to do well in this part of the test, but studying before the exam is very helpful. Even if you have done a lot of work in server and cloud solution architecture, there might be some knowledge you want to refresh.

As with any other text, it’s best to find out which areas require more practice before the test rather than finding out afterwards. Adequate preparation can easily make the difference between failing and passing.

Technical Skills Survey

When you complete the technical knowledge test, you will have to answer a questionnaire about your strengths and weaknesses.

You will need to rate your skill in a range of technical subjects on a scale from “No experience” to “Expert”.

Here it is best, to be honest about your knowledge. Amazon does not expect any of the candidates to have expertise in all subjects.

That does not mean you should not study. Just like with the previous test, you can only improve your chances by working hard and preparing. This will help both you and Amazon know what your knowledge level is and find your rightful place in the AWS world.

Amazon Work-Style Assessment

Most Amazon workers are familiar with this test in one way or another. It evaluates whether the candidate is a good fit for Amazon’s workplace culture, as expressed in the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles.

For instance:

The format of the test doesn’t let you stay on the fence about any of the issues that you’ll be asked about. Amazon wants candidates to commit to an answer.

If you know the 16 Leadership Principles, you can make use of this element of the test to your benefit.
For example, in the question above, the key leadership principle is Learn & Be Curious.

In this promotional video, you can see Kris, an Amazon Team Leader, talk about how important this Leadership Principle is to ‘Amazonians’.

You should answer with this in mind – for this particular question, it means that you should say that you feel comfortable in unclear situations.
Amazon takes the Leadership Principles seriously indeed – and it expects you to do the same.

Leadership Principles are at the foundation of Amazon’s workplace culture, and this sets the tone for all Amazon personality tests.
Learning the Leadership Principles is a good way to improve your score for the AWS Assessment Test in general and this section in particular.

Working With Customers Simulation

In this section, candidates must respond to a set of scenarios that are presented in the form of email from coworkers, clients, or superiors. You must rate every scenario from 1 (Ineffective) to 5 (Highly Effective). Answering this section does not require any AWS or Amazon experience. The section takes about fifteen minutes to complete

It’s not always clear which response you should choose because the differences between the responses may be very subtle. This is why it’s best to learn about the format in advance and practice to improve your score.


What Comes After the Assessment?

Candidates that get a good passing score will move on to a set of interviews followed by technical evaluations specific to the role they hope to be employed in.

If you only get an average score, you will have to go through a phone interview with an Amazon employee who will decide if you can move on to the next stage in the process.

Is the AWS Assessment Hard?

This depends on your knowledge levels and your compatibility with Amazon’s workplace culture. If you practice, you will probably do well.

Is the AWS Assessment timed?

The assessment does not have a strict time limit. The first section has a two-hour clock, but you should be able to be done within an hour.