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How to prepare for SnowPro Advanced: Administrator certification

In March 2022 I got a chance to participate on beta program for totally new Snowflake advanced certification for Administrators. In that time I have been already working as Snowflake admin for 3 years so I thought it might be good prerequisite to go and try the exam together with providing my feedback for the questions. Finally, after two months I got my exam results and I passed! 🎉

That’s why I thought it would be good to put together some quick tips how to prepare for this fresh exam and let others know what to expect and how to prepare.

There is one mandatory prerequisite — You need to hold the SnowPro Core Certification in order to be allowed to take this admin exam.

SnowPro Advanced: Administrator badge 🤩

Resources

In April 2021 I published another blog post called How to get SnowPro Certified covering the entry level (Core Designer) certification and Advanced Architect. Some of those tips are still valid so I can recommend to briefly check that one too.

As always the best resource for exam areas and covered topics is exam guide and study guide.

Exam guide contains domain breakdown together with percentage range of exam questions for each domain. You will also get the high level info about each domain — what features and techniques are covered.

Below are covered domains and percentage for each:

SnowPro Advanced: Administrator — exam domains

Study guide then adds links to Snowflake documentation for each and every topic so you can quickly get to the right documentation page explaining the feature.

Snowflake documentation which is available at https://docs.snowflake.com/en/ was one and only learning resource I used for exam preparation. It is sufficient resource. You will find everything what you might need. I would repeat myself but it is really well written and structured knowledge resource.

Hands-on experience is a must

As a key prerequisite I really consider to have a hands-on Snowflake experience, ideally in Administrator role or at least partly doing admin tasks. I have been Snowflake admin for 3 years and maybe 60 or 70% of the exam topics I’ve actively used or tried during that time. Then it is much easier to understand the concept behind the topics. Of course I did not know all the details or configuration parameters. That is something what I had to refresh or learn because usually I do not remember such things as they are quite easily and quickly available in docs.

Exam tips

Expect many scenario based questions which are also quite long. Many times it has happened to me I had to read it multiple times because during the reading I got lost in described setup.

Many times the questions are also build in the way that the right answers are not directly connected to the question but you need to „connect the dots“ in your head and find it. I mean you just need to imagine the scenario/setup with the described configuration and connect it with the used features, their limitations or possibilities. Nice example of such question is the sample question number 5 from the study guide. Question is about dynamic data masking together with data sharing, so you just need to connect both features together and know how the masking policy behaves in data share.

And there is more similar questions. To me this is „connect the dots“ of different features in given scenario and find the right answers. I hope it is clear what I meant. Do not expect only straightforward questions. You will really need to think about the given scenarios. Especially here I think the real hands-on experience is irreplaceable. Because you might have done similar use case in your projects or you have a experience with different complex tasks and you have a feeling what everything might be needed to successfully implement such scenario. If not, it might be difficult to „connect all the dots“. At least for me it would be.

Also expect questions which will ask you directly about some specific command or connector parameter. It is good to know the basics/most often used ones.

Read the questions carefully. It might be question about the most optimal solution from cost point of view but answers will also contain options giving the most effective solution and vice versa.

Go through the features like data sharing, cloning, replication and learn which objects can or can’t be cloned, shared or replicated. I put everything together into single table available here: What can you share, clone, or replicate in Snowflake? There is collected information from various documentation pages.

If you do not use it, have a look on query execution plans and what information it offers.

Go through the GRANT command in detail and know how to grant things and how to check what has been granted to role or on role. Snowflake RBAC model should be your friend.

Go through system views available in ACCOUNT_USAGE schema and know what to find where and how to make it available to non admin roles.

There are also questions about Snowflake Organizations, Marketplace or Data Exchange. Those might be features which are not used by everyone. Be sure you understand them.

Good luck! 🤞🏻

I hope this helps you little bit with some insights what to expect from this new certification exam. Enjoy the learning. It is the best thing on certification preparation. You will learn so many new things and strengthen the knowledge of those areas which you already know.

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Tomáš Sobotík

Tomáš Sobotík

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Lead data engineer @Tietoevry. Currently obsessed by cloud technologies and solutions in relation to data & analytics. ☁️ ❄️