AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

The AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some clear benefits:

  • Increases marketability to employers
  • Provides solid credentials in a growing industry (with projected growth of as much as 70 percent in five years)
  • Market analysis shows it is the highest paying AWS IT certification in 2019

If the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate is your next certification, you’re probably wondering where to start in your preparation. What do you need to learn? How long will it take? Don’t worry. At Cloud Academy, we’ve got you covered with this complete AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate study guide. Our Learning Path contains everything you need to know for this certification, organized step by step. This article explains how to use our Learning Paths, and how much time it takes to prepare for the exam.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate study guide: What is a Learning Path?

Cloud Academy offers a wide variety of video courses, quizzes, and Hands-on Labs on different areas of cloud computing. Our Learning Paths help you get from where you are to where you want to go. The Sol Arch associate learning path is essentially your AWS certified Solutions Architect – Associate study guide.

Our Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path contains all of the courses, labs, and quizzes you need to help you pass the AWS certification exam.

Each type of content on the Learning Path serves a different instructional purpose:

  • Video courses provide guided lectures on key areas of the exam, with examples.
  • The Hands-on Labs provide direct access to the AWS service test areas.
  • Quizzes are the opportunity to show what you’ve learned, with links to AWS documentation.

The Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path focuses on:

  • Designing highly available, cost-efficient, fault tolerant and scalable systems
  • Implementation and deployment
  • Data security
  • Troubleshooting

Using the Learning Path

An essential element of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate study guide involves understanding the gaps in your knowledge. First, consider what you already know and what you need to know. Where do you have experience in computing or working with cloud services? What basic cloud service types (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, for example) are you most familiar with? How does this prepare you for the Solutions Architect exam?

Second, take a look at the general knowledge prerequisites. The only prior knowledge recommended for this Learning Path is basic familiarity with core AWS functions. If you know these functions, then you are ready. (If you are new to AWS, or want a refresher, start with the Fundamentals of AWS Learning Path first).

Third, the Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path naturally builds from AWS fundamentals to more advanced areas. For the best approach, start at the beginning with the first course and continue step by step. Complete each activity in order to ensure that you’re familiar with services like EC2 or DynamoDB. Then, move on to test your knowledge in the labs and quizzes.

You see, there is no secret. Just make sure that you understand the fundamentals of AWS, and go from there.

How long will it take?

This is a natural question. Passing the exam requires being well prepared, and how long that takes depends on where you start.

On average, we recommend approximately 80 hours of preparation for the Solution Architect – Associate Exam, as long as you have some AWS experience. This includes study across all of your resources, including our Solutions Architect Learning Path, and any other resources that you choose. (Here you will find more advice and recommended study resources for the Solutions Architect – Associate Certification). With a full-time job and other commitments, investing 80 hours of study usually takes two months.

If you are entirely new to AWS, we recommend approximately 120 hours or three months to prepare. Start with the fundamentals, and then move to the Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path.

Where to focus your time

How much of the Solutions Architect – Associate exam connects with your current or previous work experience? This will give you an idea of where to focus your time on learning new topics. We’ll discuss some basics below, and I highly recommend this webinar where two experienced professionals give insight into preparing yourself for certification exams.

About 60 percent of the Solutions Architect – Associate Exam focuses on Designing Solutions. If you work in Solutions Design or Architecture, or if your role includes these responsibilities, these topics, concepts, and services may already be familiar to you.

Another 30 percent of the Solutions Architect Associate exam concentrates on security and troubleshooting, which might be familiar to those with an IT or System Administrator background.

The remaining 10 percent focuses on deployment and implementation, which may be familiar to developers or programmers. However, the Solutions Architect – Associate Exam focuses mainly on infrastructure. As a result, the concepts and services covered in the exam may be entirely new if your primary experience is in software programming or coding.

Ultimately, where you decide to focus your time and how much time you spend depends on you. The best approach to our Learning Path is to delve deeply into any unfamiliar territory. Watch and rewatch the videos (and post your questions as comments – we will respond!). Take your time in each Hands-on Lab to get comfortable with the different services in AWS. Finally, explore the AWS documentation links in the quizzes.

We don’t want to tell anyone to spend more or less time preparing for the exam. Therefore, you will want to consider your areas of expertise and how they relate to this certification. Finally, if you already have AWS experience, you can use 80 hours of study as a starting point and adjust your strategy from there. The best approach takes the best practices and advice from many sources and is tailored to fit your experience, goals, and schedule.

Good luck!

Avatar

Written by

John Chell

John enjoys the mixture of creativity and learning science in educational publishing, with a focus on building and organizing assessment. Outside of work, he is an audiophile who loves exploring new music, teaching his daughter new songs, and attending and performing live music.


Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 8, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Exam Prep, Azure Courses, Google Associate Cloud Engineer Exam Prep, Programming Labs, and Much More

Free content on Cloud Academy More and more customers are relying on our technology and content to keep upskilling their people in these months, and we are doing our best to keep supporting them. While the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make a small contribution to he...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— April 3, 2020

Breaking News: All AWS Certification Exams Now Available Online

Remote proctoring for all AWS certifications Cloud Academy is an Advanced AWS Technology Partner, and we are happy to announce all AWS certification exams are available online!  What does this mean for you? You can stay focused on your certification goal. Or you can start a certifica...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS certification
  • AWS Certifications
Connie Benton
Connie Benton
— April 1, 2020

How To Build a Career with AWS Certifications

From Iaas and PaaS solutions to digital marketing, cloud computing reshapes the world of technology. As the influence of this technology grows, so does investment. Tens of billions of dollars are being spent on cloud computing-related services each year. This influx is continuing to inc...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
Vijayakumar Athithan
Vijayakumar Athithan
— March 27, 2020

What is Cognito in AWS?

Web applications usually allow a valid username and password combination for successful sign in to the application. Modern authentication flows incorporate more approaches to ensure user authentication. When using AWS, this is no exception, thanks to the abilities and features offered b...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Cognito
  • Solutions Architect
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— March 20, 2020

The 12 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
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— March 17, 2020

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: How Do AWS Certifications Increase Your Employability, How to Become a Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer, and more

With everything going on right now, it's likely that the only thing you've been reading lately is related to the coronavirus pandemic. It's important to stay informed during these times, but it's also good to jump into something that can take your mind off of the current situation for j...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • programming
  • Security
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— March 13, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— March 7, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Intro to GitOps; AWS Courses; Java, Python, Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, & Docker Playgrounds; and much more

New Lab Playgrounds This month, our Content Team released six new "playground labs." Our playground labs provide a safe and secure sandbox environment for you to explore your own ideas, follow along with Cloud Academy courses, or answer your own questions — all without having to instal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • gitops
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • lab playground
  • programming
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— March 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Intro to GitOps; AWS Courses; Java, Python, Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, & Docker Playgrounds; and much more

New Lab Playgrounds This month, our Content Team released six new "playground labs." Our playground labs provide a safe and secure sandbox environment for you to explore your own ideas, follow along with Cloud Academy courses, or answer your own questions — all without having to instal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • gitops
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • lab playground
  • programming
Patrick Navarro
Patrick Navarro
— March 4, 2020

AWS Certifications: How Do They Increase Your Employability and Progress Your Career?

AWS certifications are no walk in the park. They’re designed to validate in-depth, specialist knowledge and comprehensive experience, often requiring months of dedicated studying to earn even for those already working with the cloud platform. But the rewards that AWS professionals ca...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS certification
  • certification
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— February 21, 2020

Elasticsearch vs. CloudSearch: AWS Cloud Search Choices

Elasticsearch vs. CloudSearch: What's the main difference? Let's compare AWS-based cloud tools: Elasticsearch vs. CloudSearch. While both services use proven technologies, Elasticsearch is more popular, open source, and has a flexible API to use for customization; in comparison, CloudS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloudsearch
  • elasticsearch
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— February 13, 2020

Cloud Academy Content Roadmap Updates

Welcome to our Q1 2020 roadmap. This is the content we plan to build over the next three months, between February 1 - and April 30, 2020. Let's look at some of our roadmap highlights. Atlassian Bamboo for CI/CD We had a lot of requests for practical guides on how to apply DevOps tool...

Read more
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Docker
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
  • Machine Learning