Hands-On Experience. How much focus?

Hi, I'm currently enrolled in the AWS CSA course. I have also used other training providers before LA and also supplementing with the Sybex exam guide book. I'm set to do the exam in mid-december/january, and i'm wondering how much practical experience is actually needed to pass the exam? Do not get me wrong, I like doing the challanges, I always follow along what is being done in the Management Console, and I do spend time playing around when I have spare time. But how much should I foucs on the practical part to pass the exam? I feel like all the quizes, test-exams and preparations I have done until now focuses on the understanding of AWS and it's services, not necessarily how to set it up and configure it in the Management console. As I said, I do try to use the aws management console and aws cli as much as possible, but I don't want to spend my time prepping for the exam doing something that will not be tested.
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    Michael M
    11-26-2018

    Hello,


    All of this is my opinion so you can agree or not agree as you like. I have taken a couple of the AWS exams with a co-worker and I passed and they did not. The edge that was a contributing factor was that I had done hands on labs.  There are larger parts of the exam that were memorizing a value or repeating something that was taught over and over ( 11 9's comes to mind ) but in the rest of the cases where it was asking about a process there is no substitute for being able to recall how to do something that you have already done. 
    This is especially true for portions of the exam such as networking and IAM. These are explained in the texts, but actually going in and configuring access or a VPC makes it so that you can remember it during the exam. This is especially helpful on the scenario questions. 
    Everyone learns a bit differently and so you may be able to get the job done and pass the exam based only on reading. I do know that for myself being able to sit down and do it has helped me learn it, pass the exam and pass job interviews.

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    Martin L
    11-26-2018

    Thanks! I appreciate your feedback. It's sometimes easy to forget that you learn by doing. I guess it's easier to see the context if you know how to do it and/or have some hands-on experience. Actually, I think your answer makes me realize I need to put more focus into hands-on training for the stuff i'm not 100% on. Maybe more so than reading about it. And of course, a certification does not hold much value if you are unable to perform the tasks required in real life.

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