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

1 courses

In this Introduction we outline the content of the learning path, introduce common terminology that you are required to know for the Solution Architect Associate curriculum and provide a high level introduction to some of the AWS services relevant to the So...

2 courses

Understanding the fundamentals of AWS is critical if you want to deploy services and resources within the AWS Cloud.  The Compute category of services are key resources that allow you to carry out computational abilities via a series of instructions used by...

3 courses

Course Description Elastic Load Balancing and EC2 Auto Scaling are widely used features within AWS to help you maintain reliability, availability and reduce costs within your environment.  As such, it's fundamental that if you are designing, operating ...

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

6 courses

Course Description One of the core building blocks of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is that of storage, and AWS provides a wide range of storage services that allow you to architect the correct solution for your needs.  Understanding what each of thes...

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

10 courses

Overview This course will provide you with an introduction to the cloud database services offered by AWS. In this course we will first we explore the fundamentals of cloud databases, outline the cloud databases provided by AWS before exploring how to get st...

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.

14 courses

The services within the AWS Management Fundamentals course focus on maintaining and monitoring AWS applications and systems, to ensure they are compliant, properly configured, operating at required utilization thresholds, and protected from any potential ou...

15 courses

This course has been designed to give you an overview of the AWS Virtual Private Cloud and its associated networking components.  This will help you to architect and build your VPC for a variety of different work loads and use cases.  The topics covered wit...

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

19 courses

This lecture provides a brief introduction to Domain One - Designing Resilient Architectures. The requiremments for this domain are as follows:1.1 Choose reliable/resilient storage. 1.2 Determine how to design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services. 1.3 D...

20 courses

Designing Resilient Architectures. In this module we explore the concepts of business continuity and disaster reovery, the well architected framework and the AWS services that help us design resilient, fault tolerant architectures when used together.We will...

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.

24 courses

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery web service which integrates with other Amazon Web Services products to give you an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no minimum usage commitments. During th...

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...

26 courses

Course Description AWS Elastic Beanstalk can help you deploy and scale your applications and services with ease and without you having to worry about provisioning components and implementing high availability features such as elastic load balancing and...

27 courses

Summary - Domain One - Designing Resilient ArchitecturesIn this module we introduced the concepts of high availability and fault tolerance and we learn how to recognize and explain how we go about designing highly available, fault tolerant solutions on AWS....

28 exam-filled

Domain One: Designing Resilient Architectures

29 courses

Introduction- Domain Two - Designing Performant Architectures This domain comprises 24% of the exam and has the following requirements:2.1 Choose performant storage and databases.2.2 Apply caching to improve performance.2.3 Design solutions for elasticity a...

30 courses

Course Description With an on-premises data backup solution within your data center, it’s critical for your business to have a disaster recovery plan built into your business continuity plans. You need to have a plan in place should a disaster occur that a...

31 labs

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

32 courses

Course Description This course provides an introduction to working with Amazon DynamoDB, a fully-managed NoSQL database service provided by Amazon Web Services. We begin with a description of DynamoDB and compare it to other database platforms. The course ...

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.

34 courses

This is a beginner level course intended for anyone who is interested in learning the basics about the Amazon ElastiCache Service. We will discuss the concept of caching and how it relates to the Amazon ElastiCache service. We will define and discuss Elasti...

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...

39 courses

Summary - Domain Two - Designing Performant Architectures In this module we learnt how to recognize and select the best storage options for on premise back up and disaster recovery. We learnt how to launch and Auto scaling group behind an Elastic Load Ba...

40 exam-filled

Domain Two: Designing Performant Architectures

41 courses

Domain Three - Specify Secure Application and Architectures - Introduction Securing Applications and Architectures comprises 26% of the exam criteria and requires the following:3.1 Determine how to secure application tiers.3.2 Determine how to secure data....

42 courses

Outline: Designing Secure Applications and Architectures. In this course we learn to recognize and explain what encryption is at a high level. We will then cover the various encryption options provided by AWS and how we can secure application tiers by apply...

43 courses

This course looks at one of the key Security services within AWS, Identity & Access Management, commonly referred to IAM. This service manages identities and their permissions that are able to access your AWS resources and so understanding how this service ...

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.

46 courses

Cloud Security is a huge topic, mainly because it has so many different areas of focus. This course focuses on three areas that are fundamental, AWS Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting. These three topics can all be linked together and having an u...

47 courses

When implementing different AWS services and architecting them within your environments, whether it be production, test or dev, do you know your security responsibilities for these services? It is very likely that you are using services from three differen...

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 

50 courses

Course Description Unencrypted data can be read and seen by anyone who has access to it, and data stored at-rest or sent between two locations, in-transit, is known as ‘plaintext’ or ‘cleartext’ data.  The data is plain to see and can be seen and under...

51 labs

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

52 courses

Domain three - Summary - Designing Secure Application and Architectures

53 exam-filled

Domain Three: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures

54 courses

In this module we will firstly introduce the concepts of cost optimization and how AWS compute services can be selected and aplied to optimize costs. We will review the various instance types available, and how the purchasing options available can be selec...

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

57 courses

Domain Five -Defining Operationally Excellent Architectures-  Introduction  Defining Operationally Excellent Architectures- comprises 6% of the exam criteria and requires we understand how to choose design features in solutions to enable operational excell...

58 courses

In this module we will apply the skills we have learnt thus far to select and combine AWS services together to create a highly available web site. First we will create a strawman design based on the requirements we are given. Then we will implement the solu...

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.

61 courses

Domain Five -Defining Operationally Excellent Architectures-  Summary In this module we applied the skills we have learnt thus far to select and combine AWS services together to create a highly available web site. First we defined a solution design based o...

62 courses

A summary of the content we have covered in the Solution Architect Associate for AWS Learning Path 

63 courses

These study aids will help refresh your knowledge of core concepts covered in the Solutions Architect Associate learning path.Run the 30min primer video before you go in to sit your exam.Review the exam prep memory cards

64 exam-filled

Preparation Exam: Certified Solution Architect - Associate for AWS


Aug 16 2019

Added courses:

  • Using Elastic Load Balancing & EC2 Auto Scaling to support AWS workloads
  • Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Aug 12 2019

Edited the order of some items in the learning path to better accommodate a logical learning flow

About the Author

Learning paths36

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.