Tips to Pass the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam
The cloud computing infrastructure market is growing every year due to scalability, reliability, and lower capital expenditure to the companies.
14:30 15 May 2020
The demand for cloud services is driven by various technology-dependent industries like healthcare, banking, manufacturing, telecommunications, and others. Adoption of new technologies like Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) is further fueling the demand for cloud computing.
Though migration to the cloud flexibly and efficiently is a daunting task for many, it is worth adopting. Progress is continually being made to make the migration easier with the help of hybrid cloud solutions. Such solutions integrate public cloud and private cloud services with the existing on-premises infrastructure. Currently, cloud services are offered by providers in three forms - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
When you talk of the leading cloud service providers contributing to the major part of the overall cloud service infrastructure market, then you would hear only one name. And that is AWS or the Amazon Web Services presented hosted by none other than the eCommerce giant Amazon. As Forbes points out, the public cloud infrastructure market grew 31.3% and was worth over $32 billion in 2018, and AWS was the top vendor that owned nearly half (47.8%) of the overall market.
Let us know more about AWS, top AWS certifications, and tips to pass the AWS Solutions Architect exam.
AWS, as the company website says, is the world’s most comprehensive and widely accepted cloud platform that offers around 175 fully-featured cloud services globally. Moving your existing applications to the cloud is made much easier and faster with AWS as it incorporates emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and data lakes and analytics. One of the major reasons why companies look up to AWS is its pay-as-you-go approach for pricing. You only need to pay for the services you use and for the time you want, eliminating the need for long-term contracts and complex licensing issues.
Enterprises like Expedia, Royal Dutch Shell, General Electric, Philips, Brooks Brothers, as well as startups like Airbnb, Lyft, Mapbox, and Nextdoor are some of the popular clients leveraging AWS services for their business.
Apart from the services, AWS also offers certifications to prove your expertise in using different services. Some of the popular certifications are:
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (Foundational AWS Certification)
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (AWS Operations Certification)
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate (AWS Developing Certifications)
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate(AWS Architecting Certification)
This article particularly talks about the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification. So, let dive in.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
Professionals who apply for this certification are capable of designing available, cost-effective, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS. On achieving this certification, they can demonstrate their expertise in architecting and deploying secure and robust applications on AWS. They can also offer implementation guidance based on best practices throughout the project lifecycle.
Here are the areas in which you should have expertise before applying for the certification - how to use storage, compute, networking, and database AWS services, AWS global infrastructure, security features and tools provided by AWS, basic architectural principles of developing on AWS Cloud, and more.
The associated exam for this certification is AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate (SAA-C02). It is a 130 minutes exam in which you’ll face multiple choice and multiple answer type questions. Your score will be reported in the range of 100 to 1000 with a passing score as 720.
The main content domains (along with weight) covered in the exam are:
Domain 1 - Design Resilient Architecture - 30%
Domain 2 - Design High-Performing Architectures - 28%
Domain 3 - Design Secure Applications and Architectures - 24%
Domain 4 - Design Cost-Optimized Architectures - 18%
Now that you have got a basic idea of what the exam is all about, here are some tips to help you pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam.
Make a study plan
The first step to prepare for any exam is to take a detailed look at the exam guide, syllabus covered, important domains, and other details. After knowing this, create a plan and decide how much time you’ll be spending on each domain. Stick to that study plan and try to complete studying on that timeframe itself.
Collect the right study material/take a course
With a pool of resources available over the internet, you may get overwhelmed with the options. So researching and selecting the most appropriate study material is necessary. On the other hand, taking up an online training course saves you of this effort. Courses are offered by AWS as well as other training providers to help you learn from scratch. If you have less spare time, go for a training course.
Take up mock tests
When you finish your preparation, it's time to test your knowledge through mock exams. For this too, you can rely on AWS as it provides some of the most useful practice tests for aspirants. As the questions are multiple answer types, you can follow the process of elimination. If you are not sure about the correct answer, eliminate the options that don’t align at all. This will increase the chances of getting the right answer.
Revise important topics
After going through mock tests, you’ll get the idea of your strengths and weak areas. So the idea is to strengthen your preparation in all the important topics like distributed system architecture, pros and cons of SQS, SNS, and SWF, AWS Lambda and API gateway, setting up AWS VPCs, storage gateways, and more.
Apart from these steps, it is highly recommended to follow AWS whitepapers and case studies. They provide you the most in-depth and practical content useful to pass the exam. It also includes AWS best practices, implementations, design practices, and which service fits best in a particular situation.
So without further ado, start preparing for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification today!