Skip to main content

AWS Solutions Architect Certification Associate Level Exam: Are You Ready?

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 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.

Practice tests

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:

Videos

Labs

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.
Michael Jordan

Avatar

Written by

Michael Sheehy

I have been UNIX/Linux System Administrator for the past 15 years and am slowly moving those skills into the AWS Cloud arena. I am passionate about AWS and Cloud Technologies and the exciting future that it promises to bring.

Related Posts

Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 18, 2019

AWS Fundamentals: Understanding Compute, Storage, Database, Networking & Security

If you are just starting out on your journey toward mastering AWS cloud computing, then your first stop should be to understand the AWS fundamentals. This will enable you to get a solid foundation to then expand your knowledge across the entire AWS service catalog.   It can be both d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Compute
  • Database
  • fundamentals
  • networking
  • Security
  • Storage
Avatar
Adam Hawkins
— July 17, 2019

How to Become a DevOps Engineer

The DevOps Handbook introduces DevOps as a framework for improving the process for converting a business hypothesis into a technology-enabled service that delivers value to the customer. This process is called the value stream. Accelerate finds that applying DevOps principles of flow, f...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • DevOps
  • DevOps Foundation Certification
  • Engineer
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 2, 2019

AWS Machine Learning Services

The speed at which machine learning (ML) is evolving within the cloud industry is exponentially growing, and public cloud providers such as AWS are releasing more and more services and feature updates to run in parallel with the trend and demand of this technology within organizations t...

Read more
  • Amazon Machine Learning
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • Machine Learning
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 27, 2019

AWS Control Tower & VPC Traffic Mirroring

AWS re:Inforce 2019 is a two-day conference for security, identity, and compliance learning and community building. This year's keynote, presented by AWS Vice President and CIO, Stephen Schmidt, announced the general availability of AWS Control Tower and the new VPC Traffic Mirroring fe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • re:Inforce 2019
  • traffic mirroring
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 20, 2019

Working with AWS Networking & Amazon VPC

Being able to architect your own isolated segment of AWS is a simple process using VPCs; understanding how to architect its related networking components and connectivity architecture is key to making it a powerful service. Many services within Amazon Web Services (AWS) require you t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 19, 2019

AWS Compute Fundamentals Update

AWS is renowned for the rate at which it reinvents, revolutionizes, and meets customer demands and expectations through its continuous cycle of feature and service updates. With hundreds of updates a month, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes made available.   Here ...

Read more
  • AWS
Jeff Hyatt
Jeff Hyatt
— June 18, 2019

10 Steps for an Effective Reserved Instances Strategy

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers three different ways to pay for EC2 Instances: On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. This article will focus on effective strategies for purchasing Reserved Instances. While most of the major cloud platforms offer pre-pay and reservation dis...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 18, 2019

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 11 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Avatar
John Chell
— June 13, 2019

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 anal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
— June 11, 2019

Moving Data to S3 with Apache NiFi

Moving data to the cloud is one of the cornerstones of any cloud migration. Apache NiFi is an open source tool that enables you to easily move and process data using a graphical user interface (GUI).  In this blog post, we will examine a simple way to move data to the cloud using NiFi c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • S3
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— June 11, 2019

Amazon DynamoDB: 10 Things You Should Know

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL service with strong consistency and predictable performance that shields users from the complexities of manual setup. Whether or not you've actually used a NoSQL data store yourself, it's probably a good idea to make sure you fully understand the key ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • DynamoDB
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— June 6, 2019

The 11 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