Skip to main content

AWS Certifications Study Guide, Part 5: AWS Solutions Architect Professional Level

(Update) We’ve recently added some great new content to prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Certification. This hands-on oriented Learning Path provides over 70 hours of interactive content comprised of hands-on labs, video courses, and a preparation exam. Take a look at the Solutions Architect Learning Path.

 On top of that, we’ve also released some great new content to prepare for all AWS certifications, visit Cloud Academy’s AWS library for the latest on AWS certifications.


This fifth post of our AWS Certifications Study Guide is all about the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Level certification, currently the most challenging certification in the Solutions Architect path. In fact, it is the next step after the AWS Solutions Architect Associate we discussed in part 4 of our Study Guide, and it represents a significantly major advancement in your career as a Cloud professional, given that the breadth, width, and complexity of this certification is way bigger compared to the former. In this post, we will see what it is thought for, what topics represent the backbone of this certification, and as usual a few hints about how to become a certified AWS Solutions Architect Professional.
aws solutions architect professional

The AWS Solutions Architect Professional level path

This path brings the Solutions Architect Associate to a new level about the complexity of the infrastructures you are expected to be able to design. You will be tested for your experience in designing complex, multi-tier, distributed applications, and systems on AWS, taking in due consideration all the cost control strategies recommended by best practices, and providing those architectures with high-availability, fault-tolerance, and top reliability levels.

You will be tested about your capacity of being able to identify and gather the requirements for the project you are working on, making recommendations for implementation and deployment carefully based on them. You need to understand and assess the tradeoffs in all the architectural decisions and choices you will take, also providing best practices and guidance to the rest of your team for the whole lifecycle of the project. The strongest focuses, anyway, are on scalability, reliability, durability, security, and cost-effectiveness. Most if not all the AWS services will be a subject for this path, and advanced networking is a crucial point here, so expect to find a lot of quizzes about VPC, DNS, Load Balancing, and whatnot. Also, knowledge about self-healing techniques, disaster recovery, and fail-over strategies is important, as well an effective mastering of all the storage solutions available.

Skills needed to pass the AWS Solutions Architect Associate level exam

As you may notice, these general goals are not that different from the Associate certification, but they are pushed to a new level and a bigger order of complexity, meaning that you will need a very high level of experience and training to get over it. AWS recommend two or more years of hands-on experience as a Solutions Architect, and of course a deep and thorough knowledge of the AWS documentation for each and every service in the family is mandatory.

Also, you are expected to have good general IT knowledge. Concepts like Content Delivery Networks, relational and non-relational databases, the major networking protocols like HTTP, DNS and of course TCP/IP should be something you know like the palm of your hand. Some knowledge about software deployment and DevOps are important too, as there are some questions focusing on this kind of topics too. Needless to say, all the topics of the Associate level are relevant for Solutions Architect Professional level too, but that shouldn’t be a big deal, given that you can access the Professional level only once you have successfully achieved the Associate level already.

The AWS Solutions Architect Associate Level is a challenging certification, and you should ensure you are really ready for it before scheduling the exam. Nevertheless, you have plenty of resources ready to help you.

How to get ready for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam

First and foremost, read the part #3 of this AWS Certifications Study Guide, where you can find a lot of general yet important suggestions to get ready for this certification. Then go to the AWS Certifications website and thoroughly read all the details you find there, especially the page dedicated to the AWS Solutions Architect Professional path and the exam guide. Also, read the sample questions, a nice document to get an idea of what kind of quizzes you will find in the real exam.

Also ensure to deeply review all the AWS Documentation, which is extremely rich and thorough, and take your time to follow our courses on AWS, and in particular the course we launched a few days ago for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Level. We are already working on a course for the Professional Level, which will be out soon, and will cover in full details all the topics that are relevant for this certification.

Written by

Andrea Colangelo

Software Engineer with a solid focus on QA and an extensive experience in ICT. Above all, Andrea has a very strong interest in Free and Open Source Software, and he is a Debian and Ubuntu Developer since years. Non-tech interests include: Rugby, Jazz music and Cooking.

Related Posts

Sanket Dangi
— February 11, 2019

WaitCondition Controls the Pace of AWS CloudFormation Templates

AWS's WaitCondition can be used with CloudFormation templates to ensure required resources are running.As you may already be aware, AWS CloudFormation is used for infrastructure automation by allowing you to write JSON templates to automatically install, configure, and bootstrap your ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • formation
Andrew Larkin
— January 24, 2019

The 9 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?

As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing.As the market leader and most ma...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS certifications
Andrew Larkin
— November 28, 2018

Two New EC2 Instance Types Announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 – Monday Night Live

The announcements at re:Invent just keep on coming! Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. If you're not too familiar with Amazon EC2, you might want to familiarize yourself by creating your first Am...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
  • re:Invent 2018
Guy Hummel
— November 21, 2018

Google Cloud Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
Khash Nakhostin
Khash Nakhostin
— November 13, 2018

Understanding AWS VPC Egress Filtering Methods

In order to understand AWS VPC egress filtering methods, you first need to understand that security on AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructur...

Read more
  • Aviatrix
  • AWS
  • VPC
Jeremy Cook
— November 10, 2018

S3 FTP: Build a Reliable and Inexpensive FTP Server Using Amazon’s S3

Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
Guy Hummel
— October 18, 2018

Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks

Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Microservices
Stuart Scott
— October 2, 2018

What Are Best Practices for Tagging AWS Resources?

There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...

Read more
  • AWS
  • cost optimization
Stuart Scott
— September 26, 2018

How to Optimize Amazon S3 Performance

Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
Cloud Academy Team
— September 18, 2018

How to Optimize Cloud Costs with Spot Instances: New on Cloud Academy

One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • SpotInst
Guy Hummel and Jeremy Cook
— August 23, 2018

What are the Benefits of Machine Learning in the Cloud?

A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Machine Learning
Stuart Scott
— August 17, 2018

How to Use AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....

Read more
  • AWS