The Amazon Web Services Solution Architect Associate Certification is one of the most popular certifications in the certification roster of AWS. However, many candidates struggle with preparations for the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.

This blog covers detailed preparation steps to help you understand the certification exam objectives and best practices for preparation.

The significance of cloud computing deals with the implications related to the consumption of resources. The cloud helps businesses and individuals in accessing computing resources without having to invest massive upfront costs in setting up the resources physically.

The overall value of the global cloud computing market could easily cross the $623 billion mark by 2023.

Amazon Web Services is one of the leading cloud providers with around 52% market share. In addition, AWS provides many professional cloud certifications that are recognized by top employers. So, many candidates look for suitable methods to prepare for this in-demand AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification.

Try Now: AWS Solution Architect Associate Free Practice Exams.

AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification

Before searching for the best materials for AWS certification preparation, it is important to review the details of the exam. In this case, you need to turn your focus towards the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification.

Interestingly, AWS has introduced a new exam, i.e., SAA-C02 for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification. The SAA-C02 examination is suitable for individuals aspiring to work in the role of solutions architect.

Basically, the certification exam aims to evaluate the capabilities and knowledge of candidates for architecting and deploying highly robust and secure applications with AWS technologies.

Candidates should also understand the certification objectives to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. Here is an outline of some of the abilities verified by the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification,

  • Effective demonstration of fluent knowledge regarding architecture and deployment of applications with higher resilience and security based on AWS technologies.
  • Candidates have the ability to define solutions by leveraging architectural design principles to resolve customer requirements.
  • Candidates have the acumen for facilitating implementation guidance to the organization on the basis of best practices across a project’s lifecycle.

Prerequisites for AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification

Read: How I got AWS Cloud Practitioner Certified in My 3rd Year of College?

Now, the next important piece of detail to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification refers to exam prerequisites. The different prerequisites for AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification do not imply any mandatory eligibility criteria for the exam.

On the contrary, the prerequisites serve as excellent guiding pointers for ensuring that you are ready for AWS certification preparation. Here is an outline of the recommended knowledge and experience requirements in the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.

  • Hands-on experience in using AWS services for networking, database, compute, and storage.
  • Practical experience in AWS services for deploying and managing solutions.
  • Skills for identification and definition of technical requirements pertaining to AWS-based applications
  • Skills for identifying the AWS services complying with specific technical requirements
  • Knowledge of the fundamental architectural principles for developing solutions on AWS cloud
  • Understanding of ideal best practices to build applications on AWS platform with higher reliability and security
  • Familiarization with AWS global infrastructure
  • Fluency in interpreting network technologies with respect to their functions in AWS
  • Knowledge of security features and tools offered by AWS and their association with conventional services

Basic Information about AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification

With a detailed impression of the exam objectives and prerequisites, it is important to move towards the next step of the preparation guide for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.

The basic details of the exam are highly critical for every candidate to understand the exam properly and approach it with confidence.

The information about duration, formation, and type of questions in the exam provide substantial confidence to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.

  • Candidates could encounter a total of 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions.
  • The exam is administered either through an online-proctored exam or at a testing center.
  • The total duration of the exam is 130 minutes, and the exam fee is $150 USD.
  • Furthermore, candidates could avail the exam in four different languages such as English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
  • Another important detail in the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification refers to the passing score for the certification. The exam score is reported on a scale of 100 to 1000, and the passing score for candidates is 720.

Aspiring to pass AWS Solution Architect Associate SAA-C02 exam on the first attempt? Check out the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam reviews from the certified professionals. 

Domains Covered in AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02) Exam

The AWS Solution Architect Associate exam study guide offers a clear impression of the learning resources and materials you need for the exam. However, it is important to reflect on the content of the certification exam to develop a good study guide.

As a matter of fact, the content outline of the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification exam also helps in finding out priorities for subjects in the exam syllabus. Here is the exam blueprint that you need to prepare for this in-demand certification.

Domain 1: Resilient Architecture Design

The first module in the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification deals with the expertise of candidates for designing resilient architectures. The topics covered in this domain include,

  • Designing multi-tier architecture solution
  • Designing architectures with higher availability and fault-tolerance
  • Skills for creating effective decoupling mechanisms by leveraging AWS services
  • Selection of suitable storage with desired resilience

Domain 2: High-Performance Architecture Design

The second module is also an important requirement to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. It focuses on verifying skills for designing architectures with the assurance of high performance by covering the following topics.

  • Identification of compute solutions for specific workloads with higher elasticity and scalability
  • Selection of storage solutions for specific workloads with high performance and scalability
  • Selection of networking solutions for specific workloads with assurance of high performance
  • Selection of database solutions for specific workloads with assurance of high performance

Domain 3: Secure Application and Architecture Design

The third module of the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification is also crucial for candidates as it addresses one of the important requirements in the role of AWS solution architects. You can prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification by covering the following topics in this module.

  • Best practices for designing secure access for AWS resources
  • Approaches for designing application tiers with desired security
  • Selection of suitable alternatives for data security

Domain 4: Cost-optimized Architecture Design

The final module in the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification is also critical for the success of candidates. It tests the capabilities of candidates to design solution architectures with desired levels of cost optimization. Here is an outline of the topics covered in this domain,

  • Identification of storage solutions with better cost-effectiveness
  • Identification of compute and database services with better value for the cost
  • Skills for designing network architectures and optimizing the cost factor

Also Check: Preparation Tips for AWS Solution Architect Associate Exam Preparation

Best Practices in Preparation Guide for AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification

Preparation Guide for AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification

A clear impression of all the topics covered in different domains boosts the AWS certification preparation efficiency for all candidates. Candidates could easily point out the subtopics and search for relevant materials to study and prepare for them.

The content outline of the certification exam gives a promising instrument to build the foundation of the preparation guide for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.

However, brushing up your knowledge about the basics of the certification exam is not sufficient to help you achieve success. On the contrary, you need the support of various best practices followed by experts for qualifying for the exam.

It takes usually between 2–4 months to prepare if you work full time depending on your schedule and prior experience levels with AWS. Let us take a look at some helpful pointers that can help you get through the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification easily.

  • Never Forget the Basics

As discussed already, the fundamental details of an exam are highly crucial for ensuring the chances of success. Before you start to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification, it is important to understand the exam itself. A detailed overview of the exam format, type of questions, passing score, methods for registration, and exam prerequisites can help you overcome your doubts about the exam. Candidates should rely on the AWS solution architect associate certification page on the official AWS website for accurate exam information.

  • Create a Study Guide

Once you have learned the basic information regarding the exam, it is important to create an AWS Solution Architect Associate exam study guide. Candidates should review all the topics covered in different domains of the exam and search for the relevant preparation materials. The content outline of the exam offers profound advantages of flexibility to include suitable learning resources that can support your preparations. Most important of all, candidates don’t have to be confused about the topics they have to study for the certification.

  • Official AWS Documentation

One of the most underrated instruments to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification is AWS documentation. A detailed impression of the domains and subtopics covered in the certification exam can help you search for them easily. The official AWS documentation on topics included in the certification exam can deliver profound learning outcomes. If you want the perfect foundation-level understanding of the exam topics, then the official AWS documentation is your reliable answer.

  • Online Training

The prospects of self-study are undoubtedly helpful for ensuring successful results when you prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. Once you have decided to prepare for the exam, you need to start choosing viable online training courses. It is important to note that many online course providers would claim the facility of assured results with their courses.

On the contrary, it is also important to check whether they deliver on their claims. So, you need to check online training courses to help you with the preparation guide for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. First of all, you need to focus on the coverage of all topics of the SAA-C02 exam in the training course.

At the same time, you should also check whether they offer expert guidance and practical learning resources with the course. Subsequently, the most important trait in an online training course provider also refers to the facility of customer support. You don’t want to be stuck with a course to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification, which does not offer any support for clearing doubts.

On the contrary, you need a training course with the assurance of responsive and relevant support for course-related topics. Candidates could rely on the testimonials by previous learners who took up the course and find out whether it is helpful or not. The research, efforts, and time you invest in finding the right online training course could help you prepare for the exam with ease.

  • Always Trust the Value of Practice

Many candidates don’t understand the importance of practice in the preparations for a certification exam. Before you prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification, you should know that the exam will include performance-based questions. The performance-based questions test the skills of candidates for applying their knowledge to solve real-world problems.

Therefore, candidates need considerable levels of practice to address performance-based questions. In addition, the practice also helps candidates in familiarizing with the exam format. As a result, candidates wouldn’t experience any difficulties in adjusting to the exam.

Regular practice with mock tests and sample questions can ensure that the experience of candidates in taking the exam is just like a fish swimming in water. Most important of all, practice tests can help candidates identify their strengths and weaknesses among the exam topics. Therefore, candidates could work on resolving their weaknesses before the actual exam with the help of AWS Solution Architect practice tests.

Preparation Tips for Real Exam

1. Practice Questions till you get at least 90% in the mock exams. Read through the explanations for better understanding of the concepts. 

2. Some important topics you should pay close attention to: 

  1. Within databases – RDS, Read Replicas, Multi-AZ, Aurora, Backups, Monitoring, Use cases for Migration
  2. ELB (Diff b/w ELB and NLB)
  3. S3 and Cloudfront
  4. Lambda
  5. Containers (Fargate and Ec2)
  6. FSx->Storage Gateway
  7. EFS
  8. IAM
  9. Placement Groups for high network throughput
  10. Elasticache
  11. EC2 
  12. VPC implementation and understanding its use cases, Peering, Direct Connect
  13. Automatic rotation of encryption keys
  14. Cost optimization for nat gateways
  15. Route 53
  16. Application Load Balancer

3. Go to AWS console and CLI and try out things yourself. All decent video courses have hands-on labs in them. DO NOT skip these. 

4. Read the FAQs for the most important AWS services – Cloudfront, DynamoDB, AWS Glue, RDS, Aurora, Lambda, ECS, Kinesis Data Streams/Firehose/Analytics, CloudTrail, AWS SWF, AWS Step Functions, Route53, EC2, S3, VPC, SQS, IAM, Inspector, Trusted Advisor, AWS Backup, DataSync, Global Accelerator, Storage Gateway, Elastic Beanstalk, DynamoDB, RDS, Aurora, Lambda, Kinesis, S3, EC2, Route53, Cloudfront, SQS, ECS

5. Read the AWS Well-Architected Framework whitepaper

6. Exam questions are confusing for a reason. So, if in doubt use the process of elimination when you are not sure of the answer and have to guess. Remember there is no penalty for wrong answers. 

7. Time pressure can cause you to panic. So, do not spend a lot of time on difficult questions. Mark them for review and come back to them at the end.

Bottom Line

So, you can clearly observe how easy it is to prepare for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. You need to understand the exam thoroughly and overcome your initial fears about the exam. Then, you can capitalize on the readily available learning resources such as whitepapers and official AWS documentation.

Subsequently, candidates can move towards professional online training courses for their preparations for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. Most important of all, candidates could also strengthen their preparations with practice tests and sample questions.

On a final note, you can make your mark in the field of cloud computing with an AWS certification. Go ahead and grab your start your preparation now with the AWS Architect Associate practice tests now.