My path to AWS Solutions Architect – Associate

As a part of Pearson Internal Employees’ Learning and Certification Program, I was given the opportunity to take the exam, in 2018 Q2. But due to the release schedules and other work, I was unable to complete within Q2. But determined to complete in Q3 2018.
So in this post, I’m going to explain my experience for the exam and the steps I’ve followed.

Things I’ve followed to get certified.

  1. Created a personal account in  https://console.aws.amazon.com, you need  a credit/debit card to use the free tier resources.
  2. Purchased the https://www.udemy.com/aws-certified-solutions-architect-associate/ course from Udemy. Cost around 10$ at that time.
  3. Official Book from Amazon. https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/aws-certified-solutions/9781119138556/
  4. Book the exam using (cost around 150$) https://www.aws.training/
At the beginning I’ve got no idea regarding the scope of the exam other than [5], Older exam consists of 130 questions and the 2018 February updated with 65 questions. Had to do the latest one but there were less resources regarding the new version even in official exam guide [6].

I was recommended the course in Udemy taught by Ryan Kroonenburg. I purchased the course and followed every lesson of it. And I did the practical sessions using the aws console. So I had a better idea on the practical exercises. Then I did the exercises again alone to verify that I can do them by myself. For sections like VPC, I did try out several complex scenarios with security groups, NACL’s so I got the confident.

The course was good and it covered a lot, but for the exam I think that will not be enough. At the end of each section I read the FAQ section in the amazon official documentation. When doing the mock exercises in the course I was worried that it contained questions asking exact numbers for certain AWS services, but in real exam I did not encounter such questions.

But you need to have a clear understanding of certain comparisons aspect of scalability, availability and cost wise.

For example when talking about AWS EBS storage classes, you need to understand the different use cases for the ESB classes, General purpose SSD, EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD, Throughput Optimized HDD, Cold HDD. See below graph [7].

[7]. https://aws.amazon.com/ebs/features/

Almost all the questions are scenario based and you have to select the correct answer. Maybe they are looking for the COST aspect for the answer, or maybe the performance aspect. My personal opinion is that, you need to visualize those different classes with the rough numbers in mind.

And for some questions you have to compare cross services. For e.g. S3, EBS, EFS.



After I got confident enough, I booked the exam on 12th October 2018. From the 65 questions I flagged around 10 questions. Which means I was confident on 55 questions which make me above the minimum score. But trust me it was not easy as I thought it would be. However I was able to score got certified.

My final word for the exam takers, don’t take it easy, and practice and learn to compare the services to purpose the best solution in terms of cost and performance wise.

Wish you guys all the best for the exam 🙂

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