Our Thoughts on the Beta Exam for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02)

Mark your calendars! March 2020 is the expected standard exam availability of the new version for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02). I took the beta exam this November in order to take a peek on the new technologies and scenarios that Amazon will probably add to the new exam version which they will release early next year.

My Preparation

As always, I read the official exam guide for the new AWS exam version. I noticed that there are only 4 domains in the new version, compared with the current version which has 5 domains. It seems that in the new version, they have left out the Define Operationally Excellent Architectures domain from the previous one.


Apparently, the exam guide didn’t include any specific whitepapers nor AWS training for preparation. So what I did was to purely rely on my existing knowledge and took the exam without any sort of review.

Exam Day Itself

I actually took the current SAA-C01 exam again last July just to ensure that our AWS practice tests in Udemy are up-to-date. The current one has 65 questions with a time limit of 130 minutes. In the beta exam, there is a total of 70 questions that you should complete within 150 minutes. I’m not sure if they will keep this format for the new version so we’ll see by then.

In terms of the exam difficulty and format, I would say that it is at par with the current one. It still has two types of questions: Multiple choice (one correct response and three incorrect responses or distractors) and Multiple response (two or more correct responses out of five or more options). The minimum passing score is unchanged at 720/1000.

As you may already be aware, after completing the exam, it wouldn’t say if I passed or not. There is no “You have successfully passed the ____ exam” message either. What I received was an email notification informing me that my results will available in my AWS Certification Account 90 days (13 weeks) or less from the close of the beta. If you passed the beta exam, it will result in a successful AWS certification credential.

Some New Topics to Prepare for

Without going into details, here’s the list of possible topics that you may encounter on the new version:

  1. Amazon FSx

  2. High-performance computing on AWS

  3. AWS Directory Service

  4. IT Certification Category (English)728x90
  5. AWS Global Accelerator

  6. AWS DataSync

Additional references:

High Performance Computing

Amazon FSx

Our team and I will begin the process of transitioning to the new version starting next year ensuring that our practice tests are kept relevant and up-to-date. Meanwhile, all the best to those who are taking their exams soon!


Jon Bonso @ Tutorials Dojo


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