AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam tips

7 Expert Tips to Pass your AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam 

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C03) exam is one of the most sought-after certifications, preferred by all cloud professionals across industries. The certification is a gateway to advanced AWS skills and helps you scale in your career and open new horizons. But you would need to take care of many things apart from merely going through the syllabus. What are they?  

Qualifying for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification needs a systematic preparation plan that helps you gain a 360-degree view of the domain. Theory alone doesn’t suffice the prep you need for SAA-C03 certification.  

This blog will detail of AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam tips to help ease the process. But first, let’s have a quick look at the certification overview.

It’s time to dive in!

An Overview of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Certification  

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification or SAA-C03 exam helps you gain holistic skills to perform tasks critical for a solutions architect role. The exam will validate your ability to design solutions that best fit the AWS Well-Architected Framework. It will also test your abilities to carry out technical processes like:  

  • Designing solutions to incorporate AWS services to meet business needs at present and future
  • Designing secured, resilient, high-performing, and cost-optimized architectures
  • Reviewing existing solutions and determining improvements

To be eligible for this certification, you must have at least a year’s experience designing cloud solutions compatible with AWS services. Apart from this, you would also need detailed knowledge and skills in the following:  

  • Computing, networking, storing, creating database AWS services and AWS deployment, and managing services 
  • Deploying, handling, and operating workloads on AWS and implementing security controls and compliance 
  • Working with the AWS Management Console and the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) 
  • Managing AWS Well-Architected Framework, AWS networking and security applications, and AWS global infrastructure 
  • Identifying AWS services that can meet key technical needs 
  • Defining technical requirements for AWS-based apps 

Read More: How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect? 

Why should you go for AWS Certified Architect Associate Certification? 

The SAA-C03 exam is an excellent way to upgrade your career and open doors to new opportunities. This advanced course will help you make your profile shine bright to recruiters and make you a valuable asset to the organization. Here are a few reasons why you should pursue SAA-C03 certification.  

 Enhanced credibility  

This cert testifies to your AWS skills and knowledge. It will help highlight your deep expertise in designing, implementing, and operating apps and infrastructure on AWS. This can enhance your credibility and recognition in your organization, boosting the potential of your profile and portfolio to clients.  

 Better job opportunities  

We all know the demand for AWS experts and cloud professionals with advanced AWS skills is soaring. Do you know that 89% of recruiters consider AWS certification a differentiating factor in a candidate? This means having a nuanced certification like the AWS Certified Architect Associate certification up your sleeves will increase your chances of getting high-profile jobs, help you stand out in an overcrowded job market, and give you a competitive edge.  

High salaries 

AWS certification is a milestone in your salary negotiation and helps you clock salaries much higher than non-certified ones. According to a study, an AWS Certified Solutions Architect earns as much as $121,000 annually, while a non-certified candidate earns around $110,000 annually.  

 Enhanced problem-solving skills 

Advanced certifications like SAA-C03 exams are the best way to improve problem-solving abilities. You get hands-on experience with a wide range of AWS services and technologies and master concepts like security, storage, database, and analytics. This helps you build strong problem-solving skills, think critically, and navigate real-world challenges associated with dynamic cloud platforms like AWS.  

7 AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam Tips 

To help you pass the SAA-C03 exams without any hassles, here are seven pro tips to include in your prep strategy.  

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam Tips 

 Step 1: Go through every element of the exam guide 

Download the study and review guide for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification to get a complete exam overview. Understand the certification goals, prior requirements, and domains. Then, note the resources you need to give your preparation an edge.  

The AWS SAA-C03 exam guide will help you navigate the syllabus and prioritize your preparation schedule. It outlines the complete structure of the SAA-C03 exam and sets your expectations for the course. You will also find the detailed domain divisions and the topics the exam covers. For every domain, you will find the list of skills that you would need to build and perform as an AWS-certified solutions architect associate.  

 Step 2: Prepare a calendar  

If you are a full-time professional, you may find it challenging and overwhelming to devote equal attention to both studies and work simultaneously. The most effective solution is to build a calendar and develop a plan encompassing every course element so you don’t leave anything behind. Devote undivided attention to each topic and allow ample time for revisions and hands-on skills.  

Step 3: Go through all concepts of AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam one by one 

The SAA-C03 covers a lot of concepts. Make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Here’s what you must do.  

  • Before applying for this certification, ensure a comprehensive understanding of the AWS infrastructure and basic cloud concepts. Learn key fundamentals like AWS EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon VPC, Amazon Route 53, etc., and other things that primarily shape the cloud infrastructure.  
  • Additionally, you would need a thorough understanding of designing secure, scalable, and cost-optimized solutions on AWS. You must also sharpen your understanding of deploying and managing AWS resources effectively.  

Here are a few things for you to explore in-depth.  

  • Mapping Multi-Tier Architectures to AWS Services, such as web/application servers, firewalls, caches, and load balancers. 
  • Understanding managed RDBMS through AWS RDS (MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Aurora). 
  • Grasping the concepts of Loose Coupling and Stateless Systems. 
  • Comparing Different Consistency Models in AWS Services. 
  • Understanding how AWS CloudFront can optimize your application for cost-efficiency, speed, and security. 
  • Implementing Route tables, Access Control Lists (ACLs), Firewalls, NAT (Network Address Translation), and DNS (Domain Name System). 
  • Applying AWS Security Features in conjunction with traditional Information and Application Security practices. 

Step 4: Checkout the documentation for SAA-C03 concepts  

To help you explore AWS solutions architect concepts in depth, AWS provides numerous whitepapers, FAQs, and fact sheets. These documents will guide you through the critical tools you need to build your AWS solutions and will work as a playbook for real-world scenarios.  

AWS Well-Architected Framework 

This framework provides best practices for designing secure, high-performing, cost-optimized, and reliable applications on the AWS cloud. Understanding this framework is essential for the SAA-C03 exam as it heavily emphasizes its principles. Refer to the official documentation:   

AWS Documentation Library 

AWS provides extensive resources covering all its services in detail. While not solely focused on the SAA-C03 exam, this resource is invaluable for understanding various AWS services’ capabilities and technical tools relevant to the course.  

AWS follows many best practices to help professionals build effective, high-performing solutions and apps. You can find them in the AWS FAQs section, where you can discover the tools and their usage in great detail. These FAQ documentations include: 

Step 5: Go through AWS webinars and tutorials  

AWS offers many webinars and on-demand sessions to give you insights and a better understanding of the course. The platform provides:  

Digital Training on AWS Technical Essentials  

The training introduces you to essential AWS and common solutions and covers the basic AWS concepts of computing, storage, database, networking, security, and monitoring. You will work in AWS through various hands-on courses, explore necessary techniques to increase your knowledge of relevant AWS services and learn to make informed decisions that best fit your business needs.   

On-demand Training on AWS Power Hour: Architecting on-demand 

Here, you will learn to design robust, high-performing, cost-optimized, and secure architecture in the AWS environment. This training will prepare you to pass the SAA-C03 certification and help you better understand architecture through real-world examples.  

Classroom Training on Architecting on AWS   

This training gives you unlimited course access, including an annual AWS Skill Builder subscription. It gives you the flexibility of digital training, and you can choose when, how, and where to pick from the integrated topics and solutions covered in the certification.  

Step 6: Developing practical skills  

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification will require you to develop hands-on skills to develop efficient apps that align with AWS. You will find various hands-on labs that will help you achieve the same. Some of the widely used hands-on labs for this certification are:  

  • Querying items in DynamoDB with PartiQL Statements. 
  • Introduction to SQS DeadLetter Queue. 
  • Creating a User Pool in AWS Cognito Using Terraform. 
  • Understanding and Configuring Layered Security in an AWS VPC Using Terraform. 
  • Introduction to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). 
  • Introduction to AWS Identity Access Management (IAM). 
  • Introduction to AWS Elastic Load Balancing. 
  • Deploying Amazon RDS Multi-AZ and Read Replica, Simulating Failover. 
  • Creating and Subscribing to SNS Topics and adding SNS events for the S3 bucket. 
  • Migrating EBS volumes from gp2 to gp3. 
  • How to Encrypt an S3 bucket using AWS KMS and monitor the activities with CloudTrail. 
  • Creating a DynamoDB table and performing various table operations using NoSQL Workbench. 

You can also check out AWS Sandboxes, which let you play in the AWS environment, understand the scope and challenges of the infrastructure, and perform various activities in the isolated AWS infrastructure.   

Also Read: Hands-on Labs Prepare for SAA-C03: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 

Step 7: Practice with More Sample Papers  

This is the most important step in your prep strategy. This step will help you implement all the theoretical and practical knowledge. Various AWS SAA-C03  exam question dumps and sample papers are available to commence your assessment. However, for starters, go for the ones available on the AWS portal to get an idea of the exam structure. These question papers come with exhaustive answers and help you conduct critical self-evaluation. You can also check out our exclusive sample papers with nuanced answers curated by domain experts.  


What is the validity of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam?  

This cert exam is valid for three years.  

 How many questions are there in the SAA-C03 Certification exam, and what is the pattern? 

 This exam has 60-70 questions, in multiple-choice questions and multi-select patterns. 

 What are the passing marks?  

70-75% is the qualifying mark.  

How much does the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Certification exam cost? 

The exam costs USD 150.  

 What are the prerequisites for the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam?  

To be eligible for this certification, you need at least one year experience in:  

  • AWS technology 
  • IT experience and skills to map on-premises to the cloud 
  • Other cloud services 

 What is the syllabus of the Hashicorp Certified Terraform Associate Certification exam? 

The exam covers four domains:  



Secured architectures 


Designing architectures 


High Performing architectures 


Cost Optimized architectures 



This blog helps you understand and frame the best preparation strategy for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification. You should focus on gaining theoretical knowledge and developing practical skills for holistic preparation for the SAA-C03 exams. However, remember that to achieve complete efficiency in the exam, you would need authentic and upgraded resources that will keep you abreast of all the changes in the AWS infrastructure and the new exam patterns.  

That’s why Whizlabs brings you a thoughtfully designed, well-curated training program for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. Find out our practice papers, video lectures developed by industry leaders, and hands-on labs and sandboxes to sharpen your practical skills. Want to learn more about our AWS training programs? Reach out to us today.  

About Basant Singh

Basant Singh is a Cloud Product Manager with over 18+ years of experience in the field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Instrumentation Engineering, and has dedicated his career to mastering the intricacies of cloud computing technologies. With expertise in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), he stays current with the latest developments in the industry. In addition, he has developed a strong interest and proficiency in Google Go Programming (Golang), Docker, and NoSQL databases. With a history of successfully leading teams and building efficient operations and infrastructure, he is well-equipped to help organizations scale and thrive in the ever-evolving world of cloud technology.

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