AWS Solutions Architect Associate – Should I Take AWS SAA-C02 or SAA-C03 Exam?

Many candidates aspiring for the job role of AWS Solutions Architect are now facing the confusion of choosing between AWS SAA-C02 or SAA-C03. Both versions are suitable for the AWS Solutions Architect certification. However, AWS has recently extended the expiration date of its existing SAA-C02 exam by six months. Therefore, candidates are now worried about the choices for picking from the new or the old exam.

The difference between SAA-C02 and SAA-C03 is that the SAA-C03 is the new AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification exam. Since the SAA-C02 exam was about to retire on August 29th 2022 , many candidates might have made up their minds to sit for SAA-C03. So, which one is the better option among the two? The following discussion will help you make an informed choice from the two options you have to become an AWS Solutions Architect Associate.

Why Should I Choose an Exam for AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification?

Before diving into the reasons to go for AWS SAA-C02 or SAA-C03, it is important to note some facts. First of all, readers should know that the SAA-C02 exam will be available until August 29th 2022 . So, you have a lot of time to explore the SAA-C02 study guide and prepare well for the exam.


Candidates will still get a certification that is valid for three years by qualifying for the SAA-C02 exam. The release date for SAA-C02 was March 23, 2020. So, now the AWS SAA-C02 and SAA-C03 would be available concurrently for a short period of time upto August 29th 2022. Now, you can clearly see the main reason for diving into the debate of SAA-C02 vs SAA-C03.

Differences between the SAA-C02 and SAA-C03 Exams

A closer look at the difference between SAA-C02 and SAA-C03 can help in arriving at a promising decision. The exam format would not show any changes, and the number of questions will also, most likely, be the same. 


Content Outline

The content outline i.e., domains covered in the exams, differs considerably. For example, in the case of the SAA-C02 exam, you can find four domains, wherein the case of aws saa c03, there are four domains but the difference in new SAA-C03 is about weightage of the exam. 

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam is the current third-highest-paying IT Certification, according to a recent PCMag poll for the year 2022. Average annual earnings for AWS Certified Solutions Architects are $159,033. This can be assigned to the quick and ongoing transition of both small- and medium-sized businesses and major corporations to cloud computing.

As a result, you can witness considerable changes in the weighting of the other domains in the SAA-C03 certification exam. For example, the domain related to designing resilient architectures witnessed a substantial change from 30% to 26%. 

Exam Format

Now, candidates might want to know about comparisons of exam format in AWS SAA-C02 vs SAA-C03 exams. As a matter of fact, there is no significant change as you expected. The style and format of questions in the SAA-C03 exam are very similar to that of SAA-C02. The majority of the questions will present a scenario in the form of 1 to 2 lines associated with a specific question.

Therefore, candidates won’t have to struggle in navigating the format and style of the new SAA-C03 exam. The response formats are also critical factors that candidates evaluate for any potential changes, especially when comparing SAA-C02 vs SAA-C03 exams. You can find two response formats in the SAA-C03 exam, just like the SAA-C02 exam. 

Make the Right Decision

So, the best course for candidates, in this case, would be to prepare for the SAA-C03 exam. Why? The primary reason to choose from AWS SAA-C02 or SAA-C03 exams is the choice of a certification that proves expertise in new AWS technologies. The newly updated certification i.e., SAA-C03, reflects on new and emerging changes in the AWS landscape. Therefore, AWS SAA-C03 will be the ideal choice for candidates looking for long-term career opportunities on AWS.

Tips to Prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Certification Exam

After clearing your doubts regarding differences in the SAA-C02 vs SAA-C03 exams, let us focus on some brief pointers to prepare for the exam you choose. 

Download the Exam Outline and Use It as Your Study Guide 

The first and foremost requirement to prepare for the AWS SAA-C03 exam is the SAA-C03 study guide. Similarly, you would need the study guide for SAA-C02 if you are preparing for it. The study guide presents recommended learning resources to prepare effectively for the exam.

Most important of all, you should visit the official AWS certification page and download the exam outline. The exam outline helps you identify the different topics covered in the exam, thereby helping you find the ideal learning materials. 

Also Read : Preparation Guide on New AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam SAA-C03

Choose Helpful Online Training Courses 

The following step for any candidate should be to go for AWS SAA-C02 or SAA-C03 online training courses. According to the exam of your choice, you can select the ideal training courses from trustworthy portals such as Whizlabs. Online training courses help you drive your preparations in the right direction with a clear impression of exam objectives.

Therefore, you can specialize in topics related to the exam without having to mug up the whole syllabus. Most important of all, AWS CSAA online training course helps candidates in accessing helpful insights and information from subject matter experts and qualified professionals. 

Practice Can Only Help You Achieve Perfection

After training, candidates should validate their knowledge in practical tasks that would be in the exam. Therefore, SAA-C03 exam practice tests and sample questions can help candidates in gaining a thorough impression of their skills. Practice tests offer detailed visual reports of the outcomes of the candidate’s attempts.

The reports can help you identify the exact areas where you need improvement. In addition, practice tests are also a unique tool for exploring the same problem from multiple perspectives. As you take practice tests, again and again, you are more likely to develop innovative approaches for solving the questions.

Are You Ready to Make the Right Choice?

Now, the decision is up to you! Both the exams i.e., SAA-C02 and SAA-C03, are ideal choices for becoming an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate. However, the SAA-C03 exam reflects more on the updated AWS technologies. The ultimate objective of any individual seeking AWS certification is a promising career.

SAA-C03 offers you validation of expertise in new technologies that solution architects have to use on the AWS platform. However, the one thing that shall remain constant is the dedication required for qualifying an AWS certification exam. Candidates have to be very careful with the choice of the exam and the selection of reliable sources for preparation. If you want to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect, you have two options. Make the most of the one you choose.

We at Whizlabs move with the trends and so, we’ve updated our AWS Solutions Architect Associate training course to be aligned with both versions of the AWS CSAA exams. So, enroll now and get ready to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate.


These AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam questions closely resemble the actual exam and are excellent for pinpointing your areas of improvement. Once you’re confident and consistently scoring above 80% in this certification mock tests, you’ll be well-prepared to pass the real exam on your first try.

Whizlabs offers a range of resources to aid in your exam preparation, including practice tests, video courses,  Hands-on Labs, and access to the sandbox for real-time experiences.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment

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.

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