Getting ready for the AWS Solutions Architect certification exam
Cloud Academy has a wealth of material to help you prepare for the Solutions Architect certification exam. But the question often bothering newcomers to AWS is “How will I know when I am ready?”
This is something that probably concerns anyone preparing for any AWS certification but, since the associate level of the Solutions Architect certification is generally the first one you’ll take at AWS, it will require the greatest attention.
So what, exactly, will you need? Amazon recommends that you have at least one year of practical experience with AWS before attempting to achieve Solutions Architect certification. Personally, I’m not sure that this is always necessary, but I do believe that you definitely will need some practical experience.
Of course no two readers will come to this with the same background and understanding of the way things work on AWS, and consequently, there is no one learning path that will work best for everyone. One thing I can say is that a very good measure of whether or not you’re ready is the AWS practice exam. This will cost you USD $20, but in my opinion, it’s money very well spent. Besides being a great way to get a feel for the kind of questions you’ll face in the real thing, the results can give you a really good sense of whether you are ready to take the full exam.
The associate level Solutions Architect certification requires a 65% score, so if you were to take the practice exam and score 55%, you’ll know that you are almost there but need to brush up on areas you are not too sure about. Since you won’t receive “marks” on individual questions from the practice exam (just an overall score), I would suggest you keep track of any questions that come up that you are not sure about. Perhaps you could simply jot down a quick note, like “don’t understand CIDR?” or “need to understand VPC’s better,” etc.
That should give you some sense of what you still need to work on. However, if you were to take the practice and get 20%, you will obviously need a bit more work before you sit for the main exam. The other thing to keep in mind is that the practice exam is only 20 questions but the main exam is 55 so you shouldn’t attribute too much importance to your practice result.
Besides the practice exam, to help you visualize the kinds of questions you’ll encounter, AWS provides a few sample questions for free here.
Cloud Academy Solutions Architect Certification resources
Cloud Academy has lots of resources to help you here as well. Taking the associate level Solutions Architect certification preparation quiz is a great way to test your readiness. One of the really nice things about the Cloud Academy quizzes is that the correct answers and their in-depth explanations are instantly available, allowing you to quickly fill in gaps in your knowledge. But more relevant to our discussion: if you’re able to smoothly sail through the Cloud Academy quiz, then you should be fairly confident that you’re ready to take the Big One. And if you’re still having trouble, just take it again.
Of course, there’s no reason why you should ignore Cloud Academy’s other resources. Here’s a checklist of courses and labs you could use to make sure you haven’t missed anything:
- AWS Solutions Architect Level Certification Course – Part 1 of 3
- AWS Solutions Architect Level Certification Course – Part 2 of 3
- AWS Solutions Architect Level Certification Course – Part 3 of 3
- How to Architect with a Design for Failure Approach
- Load Balancing with ELB
- Introduction to IAM
- Automated data management with EBS, S3, and Glacier
So to answer the question “Am I ready to sit for the AWS Solutions Architect certification?” here’s how I would approach it: take the practice exam to assess your basic level, identify the areas where you’re weak and study up. Then take the full exam when you feel you are ready.
And if you don’t pass the full exam on your first try, don’t be too upset, these are all important steps towards your goal:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
New Content: Platforms, Programming, and DevOps – Something for Everyone
This month our team of expert certification specialists released three new or updated learning paths, 16 courses, 13 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon....
Mastering AWS Organizations Service Control Policies
Service Control Policies (SCPs) are IAM-like policies to manage permissions in AWS Organizations. SCPs restrict the actions allowed for accounts within the organization making each one of them compliant with your guidelines. SCPs are not meant to grant permissions; you should consider ...
New Content: Focus on DevOps and Programming Content this Month
This month our team of expert certification specialists released 12 new or updated learning paths, 15 courses, 25 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon. Ja...
New Content: Get Ready for the CISM Cert Exam & Learn About Alibaba, Plus All the AWS, GCP, and Azure Courses You Know You Can Count On
This month our team of intrepid certification specialists released five learning paths, seven courses, 19 hands-on labs, and three lab challenges! One particularly interesting new learning path is Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Foundations. After completing this learn...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
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 companies. With all that in mind, the s...
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...
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide
Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020. The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some ...
New Content: AWS Terraform, Java Programming Lab Challenges, Azure DP-900 & DP-300 Certification Exam Prep, Plus Plenty More Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Big Data Courses
This month our Content Team continues building the catalog of courses for everyone learning about AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, this month’s updates include several Java programming lab challenges and a couple of courses on big data. In total, we released five new learning...
Where Should You Be Focusing Your AWS Security Efforts?
Another day, another re:Invent session! This time I listened to Stephen Schmidt’s session, “AWS Security: Where we've been, where we're going.” Amongst covering the highlights of AWS security during 2020, a number of newly added AWS features/services were discussed, including: AWS Audit...
AWS re:Invent: 2020 Keynote Top Highlights and More
We’ve gotten through the first five days of the special all-virtual 2020 edition of AWS re:Invent. It’s always a really exciting time for practitioners in the field to see what features and services AWS has cooked up for the year ahead. This year’s conference is a marathon and not a...
WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead
At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...
Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future
Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...