AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Certification Preparation for AWS

Duration60h 24m
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AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Certification Preparation Update


  • 16th August 2019 - Added: 'Using Elastic Load Balancing & EC2 Auto Scaling to support AWS workloads' & 'Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk'
  • 20th May 2019 - Compute Fundamentals for AWS updated to include content on Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) & Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS)
  • 10th April 2018 - One Zone Infrequent Access storage class for Amazon S3 added to Domain Four - Storage Optimization
  • 7th June - moved DynamoDB Lab from Fundamentals to Domain One / removed Amazon RedShift Lab from Fundamentals/
  • 7th June 2018 - Added Database Fundamentals course to LP

Learning Path Overview

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Examination is intended for those individuals who perform a Solutions Architect role. This exam validates an examinee's ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. The Cloud Academy Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Learning Path has helped thousands of students master the AWS Solution Architect - Associate Certification. Our certification Learning Path is specifically designed to prepare you for the AWS certification exam released Feb 2018. "Hands-on experience" is mentioned in the first three prerequisites of the AWS Exam Blueprint, so we have included more hands-on Labs in this latest release of our Learning Path to fast track your learning and help you succeed.

Intended Audience

This Learning Path is suitable for anyone wanting to become an AWS Solution Architect and to pass the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification exam. Until August 2018 AWS will have two versions of the Solution Architect Associate Exam available. If you are new to the Solution Architect Associate exam, we suggest starting this new Learning Path building around the latest certification exam guide.


A basic understanding of cloud computing will help. We provide an introduction to AWS services, however, if you are new to cloud computing you might want to consider completing our What is Cloud Computing? Course first. 

What's Included in the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification Preparation:

  • 28 high definition video courses
  • 23 hands-on labs
  • 10 quiz sessions
  • A final preparation Exam

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize and explain the core AWS services and applications
  • Determine and define Resilient Architectures
  • Determine and define Performant Architectures
  • Determine and specify how to secure architectures and applications
  • Determine and define cost efficient architectures
  • Determine operationally efficient architectures


Built around the five domains of the AWS exam guide, this Learning Path provides over 57 hours of curated content - including 24 hands-on Labs, summary checkpoints, chalk talks, flash cards, exam tips, and a final preparation Exam to help get ready for sitting the certification exam. With this Learning Path, you will have everything you need to prepare for demonstrating your ability to design cloud solutions on Amazon Web Services. 

The Learning Path agenda is as follows:

Introduction to AWS Compute, Storage and Databases

First, we learn to recognize and explain the fundamental compute storage, and database services that we need to know for the AWS Solutions Architect–Associate exam.

Domain one: Designing Resilient Architectures

  • Learn how to recognize and select the most appropriate storage service
  • Learn how to select and design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services
  • Determine how to design a multi-tier architecture solution
  • Determine how to design highly available, architectures using AWS services

Domain two: Defining Performant Architectures

  • Learn how to recognize and select performant storage and databases
  • Learn how to select and apply caching to improve performance
  • Learn how to use AWS services together to design solutions for elasticity and scalability

Domain three: Securing Applications and Architectures

  • Learn how to secure application tiers
  • Determine how to secure data at rest and in transit
  • Learn how to design and secure a virtual private network and manage access to assets and services within it

Domain four: Designing Cost-Optimized Architectures

  • Learn how to select and design cost-optimized storage
  • Determine how to select and design and cost-optimized compute

Domain five: Defining Operationally-Excellent Architectures

  • Learn how to apply your knowledge of AWS services to define and continuously optimize a solution design for operational efficiency

Exam Preparation

  • Flashcards
  • An Exam primer
  • A final 130-minute exam simulation to help you prepare for sitting the AWS certification Exam


We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at if you are unsure about where to start or if would like help getting started.


What skills are required for cloud computing?

In today’s cloud computing sphere there are numerous skills and abilities required to be considered capable to be able to professionally and successfully execute. These skills include (and are not limited to): Database and programming skills, Linux, DevOps, quality assurance, and information security.

What does a Cloud Architect do?

A Cloud Architect is an IT specialist who is responsible for deploying overseeing a company’s cloud computing strategy. This includes cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring. Cloud architects oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments.

How many AWS Solution Architects are there?

As of today, there are around 26,000+ Solutions Architects in the industry. With AWS offering, both Associate and Professional, certifications; you can push your skills and credibility to further success with these invaluable certifications.

How long does it take to study for AWS certification?

To study for an AWS certification around other commitments usually takes around two months. This involves investing about 80 hours of study. For complete beginners 120 hours would be more advisable, giving a chance to start with the fundamentals and then moving on to the next stages.

How long does AWS certification last?

Recertification is required every three years for all AWS Certifications. six months before the credential is about to expire, AWS will send an email notification reminding you to recertify your credentials.

What is the difference between a Solution Architect and Technical Architect?

Though similar in name and both ensuring that networks operate efficiently, the Solution Architect and Technical Architect roles both specialize in different areas. Focusing on an organization’s overall needs, a solutions architect varies from a technical, where the technical focus on a specific area.


Your certificate for this learning path

Learning Path Steps

4 labs

By completing this hands-on lab, you will be able to create your first Amazon EC2 instance using the AWS Management Console.

5 exam-filled

Knowledge Check: AWS Compute Fundamentals

7 labs

Learn to create your first Amazon S3 bucket, create a logical folder for organizational purposes, and upload content to it and set custom metadata using the S3 console

8 labs

EC2 instances can use multiple storage volumes, learn how to add and manage them using EBS.

9 exam-filled

Knowledge Check: AWS Storage Fundamentals

11 labs

You will learn the steps to create and use the MySQL Relational Database using Amazon RDS.

12 exam-filled

Knowledge Check: Database Fundamentals for AWS

13 labs

A hands-on lab introducing you to the high performance and high availability Amazon Aurora database engine.

16 exam-filled

Knowledge Check: Working with AWS Networking and Amazon VPC

17 labs

Learn how to create an isolated network using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

18 exam-filled

Exam: Foundations for Solution Architect Associate

21 labs

This lab introduces the basics of Auto Scaling in Amazon Web Services. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Auto Scaling service automatically adds or removes compute resources allocated for your cloud application, in response to changes in demand. For application...

22 labs

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fast, reliable, scalable, fully managed message queuing service. You can use SQS to transmit any volume of data, at any level of throughput, without losing messages or requiring other services to be always available.

23 labs

CloudWatch is a monitoring service that AWS provides. You can use it to monitor AWS resources or custom resources, inside or outside AWS.

25 labs

You can easily and inexpensively use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host a website that uses client-side technologies (such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) and does not require server-side technologies (such as PHP and ASP.NET). This type of site is called a st...

28 exam-filled

Domain One: Designing Resilient Architectures

31 labs

 During this lab we will understand how to launch an Auto Scaling group behind a Classic Load Balancer

33 labs

Move your first steps using DynamoDB. Create tables with and withoud secondary indexes, learn how to add new rows and query your data by using the AWS Management Console.

35 labs

ElastiCache is a web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory cache in the cloud. This lab experience will guide you during the creation of an Elasticache cluster and its the first usage.

36 labs

Learn how to listen to DynamoDB update streams and process batches of records with AWS Lambda to augment your database behavior.

37 labs

Learn how to invoke a Lambda function to process and manipulate notifications published on SNS topics.

38 labs

Learn how to configure and use AWS CloudTrail and CloudWatch in cooperation with each other to monitor AWS infrastructure and services. Whenever an Instance is stopped or terminated and alarm will trigger (using AWS SNS) and deliver an email notification to...

40 exam-filled

Domain Two: Designing Performant Architectures

44 exam-filled

Knowledge Check: Overview of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

45 labs

Learn how to create and manage IAM users, groups and policies to securely control access to AWS services and resources.

48 labs

Learn how to increment the network security creating a public and private subnet on VPC and filter traffic using network ACL

49 labs

Learn how to manage our organization using IAM Users and Groups and IAM Roles 

51 labs

Learn how to use CloudWatch to monitor EC2 instance logs for failed SSH attempts

53 exam-filled

Domain Three: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures

55 labs

In this lab you will learn how to create EC2 spot instances, how they can be used in AWS and how to handle instance interruptions.

56 exam-filled

Domain Four: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures

59 labs

A CloudFormation stack can manage DynamoDB tables, Elastic IP's, EC2 instances, Virtual Private Cloud networks and security groups, Route53 zones and records, IAM users, CloudWatch logs and alarms, S3 buckets, and much more. In this lab you'll use CloudForm...

60 labs

For controlled deployments and efficient deployment services of code on EC2 instances, Elastic Beanstalks provides a superior interaction model and developer tools experience.

64 exam-filled

Preparation Exam: Certified Solution Architect - Associate for AWS

About the Author

Learning paths40

Andrew is an AWS certified professional who is passionate about helping others learn how to use and gain benefit from AWS technologies. Andrew has worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.  His favorite Amazon leadership principle is "Customer Obsession" as everything AWS starts with the customer. Passions around work are cycling and surfing, and having a laugh about the lessons learnt trying to launch two daughters and a few start ups.