AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam Tips
Hey Fellow Architects – we would like to take this opportunity to share with you some very helpful exam tips shared by our students who have successfully achieved their AWS Associate certification. We found these buried in the Q&A section of our AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Practice Test course and we thought they were just too handy not to share with everyone. 🙂
Ideally, a target score of 90% and above in all 6 sets of our practice tests will indicate that you are ready to face the real exam and will increase your chances of passing. It’s also very important to thoroughly read all the explanations we have provided at the end of each set along with the references we cited (including the cheat sheets).
Aside from the practice tests and courses, read the white papers and DON’T OVERLOOK reading the FAQ on core features such as Auto Scaling, ELB, EC2, RDS, Lambda, CloudWatch, as well as the well-architected framework, design principles, and disaster recovery.
If you do not have that much work experience yet in AWS, it’s best to supplement your review with hands-on sessions using the AWS free tier account. (https://aws.amazon.com/free/). As stated by Davender, who passed the exam a few months ago: “Folks, the majority of questions on the new exam are scenario-based questions. Every question, for the most part, will make you think thru AWS concepts and will make you select the best service based on either the least expensive, most scalable, most highly available/durable architecture.”
While the questions and topics that appear in the exam vary a lot, one thing is common in the advice of all students who have passed the exam, which is to have a good understanding of the AWS concepts. We believe that there are no shortcuts towards achieving success in life and the same goes for the AWS certification exam – practice a lot, get a better understanding of the concepts by reading the detailed explanations and reference links at the end of each set of the practice tests, enroll in other video courses, and do some hands-on training – and you should be good to go!
We also recommend reading these whitepapers and FAQs:
- AWS Security Best Practices
- AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Architecting for the Cloud AWS Best Practices
- Practicing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery on AWS Accelerating Software Delivery with DevOps
- Microservices on AWS
- Serverless Architectures with AWS Lambda
- Optimizing Enterprise Economics with Serverless Architectures
- Running Containerized Microservices on AWS
- Blue/Green Deployments on AWS
- Amazon Simple Queue Service
- Amazon DynamoDB
- Amazon ElastiCache
- Amazon Kinesis
- AWS Lambda
- Amazon API Gateway
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk
- AWS Identity and Access Management
- AWS Key Management Service
Spot keywords and know what they mean: Least expensive, most reliable, elastic and so on are all keywords that immediately should trigger your thinking towards a specific service. You will see a lot of questions where several answers could provide a viable solutions but only one answer can be the most cost-effective solution that the question is looking for. What we observed during the exam was AWS is now moving a lot into mixing services in one question. I would call this the bigger picture approach in asking questions. Most of the questions were about the “most cost-effective“, “highly available“, “configure with less effort“, etc.
The free 2 hour AWS Exam readiness training (https://www.aws.training/Details/Curriculum?id=20685) may come in very handy in prepping you for the exam by exploring the exam’s topic areas and how they map to architecting on AWS and to specific areas to study. The course reviews sample exam questions in each topic area and teaches you how to interpret the concepts being tested so that you can more easily eliminate incorrect responses.
Lastly, if you’re not feeling that confident yet, remember that you can always reschedule the exam to a later date for free (as long as you do it at least 48 hrs before actual exam schedule). I did the same thing when I was preparing for the CSAA exam and the extra one week I got to further review and focus on my weak points has helped me to ultimately pass the exam on my first take.
Here is a compilation of other tips and tricks given by our students who eventually succeeded in acquiring their AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification.