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AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam SAA-C03

How to Prepare for AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam?

AWS Official Update: The New Version of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam (SAA – C03) is available starting from August 30, 2022. Here is the definitive guide for ongoing AWS CSAA exam preparation (SAA – C02) that will help aspirants to achieve the certification.

If you are preparing for AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam certification then it tests your knowledge of AWS services and how to use them to design and deploy solutions.

In this article, you will learn how to prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. In the current scenario, this certification is the most popular and demanded certification exam globally. If you are planning to start your career in the cloud computing, then you should plan to pass this exam.

According to the recent survey, this certification leads the highest paid industry certifications. An AWS certified solutions architect may earn an average annual salary of more than $100,000. It’s awesome that you are ready to take the first step to boost your cloud career.

In this article, we are writing the step-by-step guide for the preparation of AWS certified solutions architect – associate certification exam. This preparation guide will help you to pass this exam on the first attempt.

If you have any questions on how to prepare for this certification exam, please send to our support mail id or post your comments.

How to Prepare for Your AWS Certification?

If you are planning to get AWS certified, you should start with Amazon’s official site to know about the AWS certifications. It is the best place for one to start getting information about the various certification exams offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS Certification Exams

There are 11 certifications offered by Amazon Web services (AWS). These certifications are divided into Associate Level, Professional Level, Specialty, and Entry-level. The Associate level certifications are the entry point while the Professional level certifications are the advanced certifications.

But it’s not mandatory, as per the latest AWS update one can directly take Professional or Specialty level certification. You may read this article to understand choosing the right certification for your career. Here is the list of AWS certifications:

Foundation Level Certifications
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
Associate Level Certifications
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
AWS Certified Developer – Associate
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
Professional Level Certifications
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
Specialty Certifications
AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
AWS Certified Security – Specialty
AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
AWS Certified Database – Specialty
AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

Here is the representation of available AWS certifications through infographic:

AWS Certification Path Infographics

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Exam

amazon-web-services-certified-solutions-architect-associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam is the basic level certification exam conducted by Amazon. If you are planning to build a career in AWS technology, this certification is the best start for your AWS cloud career. On completing this certification exam, you will have sufficient knowledge to work on the AWS services.

Here is the summary of exam details for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification:

AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam Details

Note: Amazon requests every candidate to sign up for the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before writing the exam. The exam takers are not allowed to disclose any of the exam details like the number of questions, type of questions, passing score, etc. If they reveal it publicly, Amazon is authorised to cancel their certification.

Latest Update on AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam

2022 – The New Version of the AWS CSAA (SAA – C03) is available starting from August 30, 2022.

Last date to take the current version of AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam is August 20, 2022

2018 – New version of the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam was launched and few changes were made in the exam blueprint as well as exam structure

2014 – AWS CSAA exam was released

Sign-Up for AWS Free Tier Account

AWS free tier is the free web services environment offered by Amazon for its first-time users. If you are new to the cloud computing world, then you must be aware that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading cloud platform across the world. It has weak challenges from Microsoft and Google. So, there are a great number of career opportunities if you have good knowledge on AWS and have an AWS certification.

Signing up for the free tier is an ideal way to start making your hands dirty. There is no shortcut, you will have to explore the AWS console once you have signed up for the free tier. It will provide you hands-on experience of working with Amazon Web Services.

Please visit the AWS website and sign-up for the AWS Free Tier Account.

AWS Console

Preparation Guide for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam

Preparing for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam? You may find a number of articles over the internet regarding the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam and its preparation. But it is not easy to keep all of the good content altogether or bookmark all of them.

However, it consumes a lot of time to find all the good content and keep that safe for further reading and learning. We understand the value of your time and effort at the time of the exam and so here we bring all the content related to AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam altogether so you can prepare well for the AWS certification exam.

The official site for AWS certifications itself provides a lot of study material that will be very helpful for you to prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification exam. Here is the complete preparation guide for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam –

1. Visit Official Certification Page

Just browse the official certification page at AWS website for any information about the exam, white papers, FAQs, etc. This information is the first step to start your exam preparation.

2. Understand the Exam Blueprint

Exam blueprint contains the exam objectives. It explains what are the domains/ subject areas that are covered in the exam. The below table mentions the domains covered in the AWS certified solutions architect associate exam with their percentage in the exam.

Exam Content Domain % in Examination 
Domain 1: Design Secure Architectures 30%
Domain 2: Design Resilient Architectures 26%
Domain 3: Design High-Performing Architectures 24%
Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures 20%

3. Read AWS Books

The choice of good books is very important for the preparation of an exam. So, it is recommended to prepare through some good AWS books to pass the AWS architect certification exam. The first book you should read is the official study guide for AWS certified solutions architect associate exam. But, that itself would not be sufficient, so here is the list of AWS books for AWS solutions architect associate exam –

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide: Associate Exam 1st Edition by Joe Baron, Hisham Baz, Tim Bixler, Biff Gaut, Kevin E. Kelly, Sean Senior, John Stamper
  • Amazon Web Services in Action by Andreas Wittig and Michael Wittig
  • AWS For Admins For Dummies 1st Edition by John Paul Mueller
  • AWS Administration Cookbook by Lucas Chan, Rowan Udell

4. Read AWS White Papers

It is most recommended to read the AWS white papers while preparing for an AWS certification. Reading few important white papers will help you to get a good idea of the Amazon Web Services. Some of the important white papers you should go through are –

  • Overview of Amazon Web Services
  • AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices
  • AWS Security Best Practices
  • AWS Storage Services Overview

5. Hands-on Practice

Not to mention, practice is required for the perfection. So, it is one of the important steps during the preparation of AWS certified solutions architect associate exam. Whizlabs providing free hands-on labs account if you are purchasing the courses. You don’t have to create your own AWS account using the credit card, Whizlabs would pay for all your practice.

We do have hands-on labs for AWS, Azure, GCP where you can work with real-world materials and environment  to learn new concepts and skills.

Let’s try our Playground and get certified!!

AWS CSAA Exam Hands-on Labs

This will give you a very good idea on how to use those services. Most of the questions asked in the exam are scenario based questions which expect you to choose the correct answer based on a certain scenario. Unless you have the experience, you will not be able to answer them properly.

6. Try Video Course

Whizlabs providing one of the best and very detailed video lectures to prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect certification exam. Here is the snapshot of what’s covered in our course:

AWS CSAA Exam Video Course

7. Sample Exam Questions

A set of 7 sample questions is available on the official AWS website. It is important to review them to understand the type of questions that are asked in the exam. Essentially, this would help you to get a basic idea about the exam pattern. More than that, it’s not going to help you much. But, it is worth reading once before you start the preparation for the AWS architect certification exam.

8. Go Through FAQs

Every Amazon Web Services have their own FAQs section. This section would provide a good clarity on the various concepts of Amazon Web services. Moreover, these sections explain the do’s and don’ts of each service. That will be very helpful for the exam preparation.

9. Try Practice Exams

The final step to prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect certification exam is to try Practice Questions or Mock Exam Simulators to gain confidence to appear for the real exam. Whizlabs is #1 mock exam questions provider that replicate the real exam pattern. Here is the features of Whizlabs practice exams:

  1. The questions are designed for the real exam format
  2. You can enable practice mode to practice each question instead of sit for the full exam
  3. Hands-on labs are integrated to the questions. For example: Suitable labs that are required for a question topic is integrated to the question itself.
  4. A very detailed report is available to validate your strengths and weakness
  5. Unlimited number of attempts are allowed

CSAA Exam Practice Questions

10. Download WhizCard

WhizCard is the quick revision tips that are very useful for the last minute preparation. It is must for scoring high on the exam.

11. Online Articles and Forum Discussions

You can find a number of articles about AWS certifications on the technical blogs. If you are good at reading articles, it can help you a lot. Just use your research skills and find some good articles on each and every topic of AWS certified solutions architect associate certification subject areas.

Also, there are some discussion forums, you can participate in them and ask your question. There, you will get the experts answers to all of your queries about the exam, exam objective, exam information, and exam topics.

Exam Preparation Tips & Tricks

Here I am listing the actual tips and tricks that would help you to pass this exam.

The following topics are mostly covered in the exam:

  1. Compute
  2. Cost management
  3. Database
  4. Disaster recovery
  5. High availability
  6. Management and governance
  7. Microservices and component decoupling
  8. Migration and data transfer
  9. Networking, connectivity, and content delivery
  10. Security
  11. Serverless design principles
  12. Storage

Important Tips

  1. Download study guide from AWS official site and go through each and every concepts. This makes you to remember the important concepts.
  2. Start your AWS free tier or Sign-up with Whizlabs account to get the hands-on experience on AWS labs. Whizlabs providing 200+ free AWS hands-on labs.
  3.  While you are preparing for the exam, keep taking the notes and maintain them safely. These notes are important to revise just before the exam.
  4.  You have to imagine yourself as an architect and apply the contents using the AWS best practices and well architected framework.
  5.  AWS documentations and AWS FAQs are the most important part of your preparation. Keep reading them again and again to understand all the concepts.
  6.  Completely read the well architected framework where most of the questions would be asked from the design concepts.
  7. Most of the questions may be asked around three-tier architecture like EC2, VPC, and databases so plan to study them how to use subnets, multi-AZ, security groups, NACL, ELB, Auto-scaling, etc for designing highly available, fault-tolerant, and secure systems.
  8.  Learn the concepts of :
    1. AWS EKS
    2. AWS ECS
    3. AWS CloudTrail
    4. AWS Config
  9. Study all the AWS services which helps you to connect the on-premise systems to cloud systems.

Certification Exam Study Materials

  1. Sample Free Questions
  2. Latest Exam Release
  3. AWS Certification Benefits
  4. How to reduce AWS Bill?
  5. Popular AWS Services
  6. AWS EC2
  7. AWS Ingress and Egress
  8. Solutions Architect Certification Books

Importance of AWS Certifications in Getting AWS Jobs

AWS offers a number of certifications as per the different job roles on the AWS platform. These certifications help the candidates to validate their knowledge and expertise, thus to stand out of the crowd in this era of competition. Due to the availability of certifications, it is recommended to get certified if you are an IT professional working in AWS domain.

Nowadays, the AWS certification course has become a recognition of one’s skills of working on the AWS platform. These certifications increase your creditability for a job position. First, you need to gather proper knowledge and find the answer to this question to take the right decision.

Previously there was a learning path to be followed for the AWS certifications but now Amazon Web Services has made AWS certifications more flexible. So, they have removed the requirement of a prerequisite certification exam for another certification exam. It is even possible to take a professional level or a specialty level certification directly now.

As we have stated above that getting certified with an AWS certification proves invaluable in getting a job. There are a number of AWS Jobs that you can get with the AWS certifications. All you need to do is find the relevant certification as per your job position, prepare well, and pass the certification exam, crack the interview and you’ll get your dream job.

Latest Updates

In this section you will find the latest updates on this certification exam. Here we update the latest version, new updates to the exam, etc. Stay tuned for the latest updates!!

Here is the summary of comparison between last two changes in the certification exam.

Old Version

Domain
Weightage

Designing Resilient Architectures

34%

Designing Performance Architectures

24%

Specifying Secure Applications and Architectures

26%

Designing Cost-Optimized Architectures

10%

Defining Operational Excellent Architectures

6%

New Version

Domain
Weightage

Designing Resilient Architectures

30%

Designing High-Performance Architectures

28%

Designing Secure Applications and Architectures

24%

Designing Cost-Optimized Architectures

18%

So, we can note that the new exam would focus on cost-optimization and higher performance of AWS solutions architecture. Therefore, candidates have to emphasize harder on these topics for qualifying the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to prepare for AWS Solution Architect?

Preparation time completely depends on the experience and knowledge level. If you have good hands-on experience and concepts, then it may take only 2-4 weeks of time to prepare and get certified as a AWS developer. If you are a fresher without any prior hands-on experience, then it might take 2-3 months time to pass this exam.

What is the salary of AWS Solutions Architect?

Based on the 2022 survey, the average salary for a solutions architect in the United States and Canada is around $150,000. In India, annual salary is around INR 25 lacs.

What is considered out of scope for the target candidate?

Out of scope syllabus for CSAA exam topics

Summary

To conclude, you need to study hard and prepare well to pass the AWS solutions architect associate exam. We hope this article will be very helpful for you to prepare for the AWS certified solutions architect certification exam. At Whizlabs, we’ve created AWS certification training online courses and practice tests with the maximum dedication to cover all the exam objectives.

Here is the snapshot of Google Trends for the keyword “AWS certification”.

Google Trends for AWS Certification Search

And thus, we are aimed to help the students to pass the exam on the first attempt. Our exam simulator has a very detailed explanation for each question. This will help you to understand why an option is correct or incorrect. So, follow this guide and get ready to become a certified AWS Solutions Architect.

Have any questions about the AWS certification exams, please feel free to put a comment below or write at Whizlabs Helpdesk. We will be happy to answer your queries.

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

35 COMMENTS

    • Hi Kumaresan,

      You can send us a mail with twitter link of your post to claim the discount. We will offer you discount voucher for that specific product.

  1. I have passed my first AWS Solutions Architect – Associate with 80%. Thanks! Whizlabs.
    Question bank is too good.

    Overall Score: 80%

    Topic Level Scoring:
    1.0 Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems: 69%
    2.0 Implementation/Deployment: 100%
    3.0 Security: 90%
    4.0 Troubleshooting: 100%

    • Hey Mayank,
      Congrations !! 🙂 🙂 .. I need to appear for the certification in next few days due to some compliance thing @ work. Do you have any pointers that could help me prepare for the battle? 😛

    • Hi Mayank

      can yu help me with the practice questions please.
      my mail id is :muttal.me@gmail.com

      let me know, so that it would be of great help.
      Thanks
      sahana

  2. I have bought the exam prep already from Whizlabs. Can I get a 25% discount as money back if I tweet this link ?

  3. Hi all..just cleared my AWS CSA-A exam (with 32 days of prep) scoring 93% thanks to whizlabs and it’s excellent practice material. What i liked the most about whizlabs is detailed explanation for each question, which prepares up simultaneously for many more scenerios at the same time. I kind of liked the interface also and ability to view/review your results in depth. Thanks Whizlabs for really good quality practice questions, now started preparing for developer associate exam. Looking forward to similar experience in other AWS exams also. Thanks so much. Neeraj

  4. HI

    can you kindly let us know how many attempt can we take for this below online practice course

    AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate,,,

  5. I want to do the coarse on sysops admin associate,
    What are the services need to learn for getting the sysops admin certification

    • Hi Venkat,

      These are the main services you’ve to learn: Cloudwatch, EC2, EBS, RDS, ELB, ElasticCache, AWS Billing system. Apart from these, many other topics are there. So, It’s my recommendation to go for AWS Certified Solution Architect Online Course or Practice Tests and get certified.

  6. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  7. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to do not forget this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

    • Hi Purushottam,

      We have 7 practice tests and section tests.

      As for as EC2 is concerned – 7 Practice tests cover all possible scenarios for EC2. So we didn’t create a separate EC2 section test.

      If you feel that any particular scenario is missing, please do let us know. We will surely add new questions for those scenarios.

  8. Is this the latest now ? I see last update is on April. Can I get the link for practice tests to purchase the same with updates upto October ?

  9. Hi,
    COuld you please update, do practice tests updated for 2019 AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exams.

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