The AWS Training and Certification team recently announced that there’s yet another version release of its popular AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam will be released this August 30, 2022. Its new exam version would be SAA-C03.

Take note that the current version (SAA-C02) will only be available on August 29, 2022 so you still have time to recertify. The new SAA-C03 will be focused on Security, as shown on its official exam guide.

History of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam (SAA-C03)

Let’s take a look at the brief history first of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam.

It all began in 2013 when Amazon Web Services (AWS) began its Global Certification Program. Back then, its primary purpose of validating the technical skills and knowledge for building secure and reliable cloud-based applications using the AWS platform. Individuals can prove their AWS expertise to their current and future employers by successfully passing the AWS exam. This is the very first AWS certification that was launched followed by the other two role-based certifications: Systems Operations (SysOps) Administrator and Developer Associate later that year.

AWS launches the Professional and Specialty-level certifications which continuously expanded its certification program and since then, it has covered various domains such as machine learning, data analytics, networking, and many others. New and updated versions of the AWS certification exams are released on a regular basis to reflect the service changes and to include the brand-new knowledge areas.

An updated version of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate certification was launched after almost 5 years since its initial release. it was launched in February 2018 with an exam code of SAA-C01. And after two years, in March 2020, AWS released yet another version of the exam (SAA-C02).

Now, the SAA-C03 version for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate certification will be available on the 30th day of August 2022. Based on this trend, I’m assuming that the new version will be coming in 2024, with an exam code of SAA-C04, based on the exam convention.

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Is there an Exam Lab section in SAA-C03?

No, it doesn’t. You can confirm this on the official exam guide for the SAA-C03 exam.

This comes to me as a surprise since I initially thought that AWS will eventually include an Exam labs section on all of its new AWS Certifications team. Apparently, this is not the case as the new SAA-C03 AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate and ANS-C01 AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty exams, Which will be released on the latter half of the year, don’t have any labs at all.

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What are the topics that are in the scope of the SAA-C03 exam?

First off, this list is quite long so brace yourselves! But please don’t be frustrated and get scared by its sheer length. With proper training and study strategy, you would be able to adequately cover these topics on your review:

Analytics:
• Amazon Athena
• AWS Data Exchange
• AWS Data Pipeline
• Amazon EMR
• AWS Glue
• Amazon Kinesis
• AWS Lake Formation
• Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK)
• Amazon OpenSearch Service (Amazon Elasticsearch Service)
• Amazon QuickSight
• Amazon Redshift

Application Integration:
• Amazon AppFlow
• AWS AppSync
• Amazon EventBridge (Amazon CloudWatch Events)
• Amazon MQ
• Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)
• Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)
• AWS Step Functions

AWS Cost Management:
• AWS Budgets
• AWS Cost and Usage Report
• AWS Cost Explorer
• Savings Plans

Compute:
• AWS Batch
• Amazon EC2
• Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling
• AWS Elastic Beanstalk
• AWS Outposts
• AWS Serverless Application Repository
• VMware Cloud on AWS
• AWS Wavelength

Containers:
• Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR)
• Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)
• Amazon ECS Anywhere
• Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)
• Amazon EKS Anywhere
• Amazon EKS Distro

Database:
• Amazon Aurora
• Amazon Aurora Serverless
• Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)
• Amazon DynamoDB
• Amazon ElastiCache
• Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra)
• Amazon Neptune
• Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (Amazon QLDB)
• Amazon RDS
• Amazon Redshift
• Amazon Timestream

Developer Tools:
• AWS X-Ray

Front-End Web and Mobile:
• AWS Amplify
• Amazon API Gateway
• AWS Device Farm
• Amazon Pinpoint

Machine Learning:
• Amazon Comprehend
• Amazon Forecast
• Amazon Fraud Detector
• Amazon Kendra
• Amazon Lex
• Amazon Polly
• Amazon Rekognition
• Amazon SageMaker
• Amazon Textract
• Amazon Transcribe
• Amazon Translate

Management and Governance:
• AWS Auto Scaling
• AWS CloudFormation
• AWS CloudTrail
• Amazon CloudWatch
• AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI)
• AWS Compute Optimizer
• AWS Config
• AWS Control Tower
• AWS License Manager
• Amazon Managed Grafana
• Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus
• AWS Management Console
• AWS Organizations
• AWS Personal Health Dashboard
• AWS Proton
• AWS Service Catalog
• AWS Systems Manager
• AWS Trusted Advisor
• AWS Well-Architected Tool

Media Services:
• Amazon Elastic Transcoder
• Amazon Kinesis Video Streams

Migration and Transfer:
• AWS Application Discovery Service
• AWS Application Migration Service (CloudEndure Migration)
• AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS)
• AWS DataSync
• AWS Migration Hub
• AWS Server Migration Service (AWS SMS)
• AWS Snow Family
• AWS Transfer Family

Networking and Content Delivery:
• Amazon CloudFront
• AWS Direct Connect
• Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
• AWS Global Accelerator
• AWS PrivateLink
• Amazon Route 53
• AWS Transit Gateway
• Amazon VPC
• AWS Virtual Private Network (AWS VPN)

Security, Identity, and Compliance:
• AWS Artifact
• AWS Audit Manager
• AWS Certificate Manager (ACM)
• AWS CloudHSM
• Amazon Cognito
• Amazon Detective
• AWS Directory Service
• AWS Firewall Manager
• Amazon GuardDuty
• AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
• Amazon Inspector
• AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS)
• Amazon Macie
• AWS Network Firewall
• AWS Resource Access Manager (AWS RAM)
• AWS Secrets Manager • AWS Security Hub
• AWS Shield
• AWS Single Sign-On
• AWS WAF

Serverless:
• AWS AppSync
• AWS Fargate
• AWS Lambda

Storage:
• AWS Backup
• Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)
• Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS)
• Amazon FSx (for all types)
• Amazon S3
• Amazon S3 Glacier
• AWS Storage Gateway

Which AWS services are NOT included in the SAA-C03 exam?

The following AWS services and features do not represent each and every AWS offering which is excluded from the SAA-C03 exam content. This is only a non-exhaustive list of AWS services and features that are not covered on the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate exam. Nonetheless, this list can give you an idea of the AWS services that you do NOT need to focus on.

Analytics:
• Amazon CloudSearch

Application Integration:
• Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow (Amazon MWAA)

AR and VR:
• Amazon Sumerian

Blockchain:
• Amazon Managed Blockchain

Compute:
• Amazon Lightsail

Database:
• Amazon RDS on VMware

Developer Tools:
• AWS Cloud9
• AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK)
• AWS CloudShell
• AWS CodeArtifact
• AWS CodeBuild
• AWS CodeCommit
• AWS CodeDeploy
• Amazon CodeGuru
• AWS CodeStar
• Amazon Corretto
• AWS Fault Injection Simulator (AWS FIS)
• AWS Tools and SDKs

Front-End Web and Mobile:
• Amazon Location Service

Game Tech:
• Amazon GameLift
• Amazon Lumberyard

Internet of Things:
• All services

Machine Learning:
• Apache MXNet on AWS
• Amazon Augmented AI (Amazon A2I)
• AWS DeepComposer
• AWS Deep Learning AMIs (DLAMI)
• AWS Deep Learning Containers
• AWS DeepLens
• AWS DeepRacer
• Amazon DevOps Guru
• Amazon Elastic Inference
• Amazon HealthLake
• AWS Inferentia
• Amazon Lookout for Equipment
• Amazon Lookout for Metrics
• Amazon Lookout for Vision
• Amazon Monitron
• AWS Panorama
• Amazon Personalize
• PyTorch on AWS
• Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler
• Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth
• TensorFlow on AWS

Management and Governance:
• AWS Chatbot
• AWS Console Mobile Application
• AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry
• AWS OpsWorks

Media Services:
• AWS Elemental Appliances and Software
• AWS Elemental MediaConnect
• AWS Elemental MediaConvert
• AWS Elemental MediaLive
• AWS Elemental MediaPackage
• AWS Elemental MediaStore
• AWS Elemental MediaTailor
• Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)

Migration and Transfer:
• Migration Evaluator (formerly TSO Logic)

Networking and Content Delivery:
• AWS App Mesh
• AWS Cloud Map

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Quantum Technologies:
• Amazon Braket

Robotics:
• AWS RoboMaker

Satellite:
• AWS Ground Station

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