Review By: Karl Robinson
Time taken to Prepare
Detailed Review Of Preparation
Last week I passed the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam with a score of 940 out of 1000 - I think I am happy to call this 'flying colours'!
I had not expected to score so well, considering 3 days before my exam I scored 57% on a practise test - pass mark is 65%. So that's where the real cramming started!
I prepared over approximately 1 month, by purchasing the A Cloud Guru 'AWS Solutions Architect Associate' course on Udemy.
The course has around 13 hours of video content, which, if you are like me, takes way longer than 13 hours to actually watch. I often have to pause or rewind so I can make detailed notes - I find if the information goes in through the ears and back out through the fingers it gets retained better.
I put all of my notes into Microsoft OneNote, with separate pages for each chapter of the training. This makes it easier for me to review while revising.
I tried taking the practise test before starting the course - I already had the AWS Cloud Practitioner certificate, so I figured 'how hard can it be?'. I soon discovered that for me, it was quite a bit harder, so I abandoned the practise test about hald way through and decided to watch all of the training.
A lot of the training is lab based - you follow along with the instructor and get things to work in your own AWS free tier account. I thought - I'll skip the labs, I'll just watch the videos and make notes. This was a mistake.
Once I got to the end of the videos, I took the practise test and failed - 57%.
So, I figured I had better do the labs, particularly around VPC configuration which I found the hardest to grasp (as a non techie).
I followed through the labs and managed to get everything to work correctly in my own AWS account. Then, on the advice of the instructor Ryan Kroonenberg) I tried to build out a whole custom VPC with subnets, NAT gateways etc, from memory.
Once I was able to do this, I figured I was ready for the exam. Which was lucky, as I had booked it in to focus the mind, and I only had one more day left to revise!
Day before the exam - no revision. I figured if I don't know it now, I never will.
Day of the exam - I forgot my glasses! Managed to find a cheap pair of reading glasses near the test centre, so I could read the questions without eye strain.
The exam has 65 questions, and you are given 130 minutes to respond.
I think I had answered all questions in 60 minutes, but I had marked quite a few for review. So I took another 60 minutes to review all of my answers, and I did change quite a few of them - which must have been incorrect on the first run through given that my score was 94%.
I left with 10 mins still on the clock, but I had done what was needed.
So there you have it - my journey to AWS Solutions Architect Associate in 30 days!
Benefits From Certification