So what is it?
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification is one of the most sought-after credentials for cloud engineers. While this post will focus on how to pass it, particularly if you are not a cloud engineer, it is critical to understand why this certification is so significant.
While there are other public cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications are the most sought-after due to Amazon’s dominant market dominance. Whether you are a hands-on engineer or a consultant by profession, this experience is highly useful to have on your CV.
AWS Partner Network certification
To be quite clear: The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam is not for the faint of heart. This is not a test for which you can just purchase a stack of practice tests, retake them again, and hope to pass. The examination is heavily scenario-based. Anyone interested in learning how to prepare for AWS certification should take note of the following: AWS designs their questions in such a manner that they can be passed only by someone with real-world experience and a thorough grasp of their services.
Tips for Passing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Exam in SIX Easy Steps
And now for the specifics on how to prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification even if you lack any engineering or AWS background.
1. Obtain certification as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
While this post provides methods for earning your Solutions Architect – Associate certification, if you lack prior AWS technical experience or expertise, I highly advise passing this first. This test is a 1,000-foot overview and may be passed in as little as two weeks with daily study.
To be honest, even if you have prior knowledge with AWS, it may be worthwhile to take this test because the certification examinations include AWS capabilities you may have never utilized.
What you’ll need to pass this exam in less than two weeks is the following:
Consider some these practice tests. Please keep in mind that these practice tests cover just the most difficult problems on the exam. If you are having difficulty with the practice examinations but are still on the verge of passing, you should do well on the actual test. The actual test is far simpler than these.
Take notes during the course and arrange them so they may be used as part of your Solutions Architect test study guide.
Re-watch all of Ryan’s summaries at 2x speed on the day of your test. This is a fantastic way to summarize all you need to know.
2. Successfully complete ACG’s AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification course.
While this course is insufficient for a total novice to pass, it is an excellent course that will serve as the basis for your test preparation. It covers everything on the test in some form, with a few holes here and there (which we’ll discuss).
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE COURSE
Take thorough notes and create a well-organized study guide.
Download the courses to your A Cloud Guru app for offline listening. Replay lectures and summaries while driving or walking your dog. My preparation method included extensive daily immersion, such as this.
Avoid skipping the hands-on labs. Using AWS, in my opinion, is the greatest method to understand AWS. This will significantly aid in the internalization of lecture information.
3. In-depth examinations of certain AWS services
As noted previously, the ACG course lectures alone are insufficient for the majority of students to pass. There are a few services that will appear often on the test, and you will need a firm grasp of them to succeed. The most effective method of learning what you need is to simply utilize them in hands-on laboratories.
The following areas are suitable for deep diving:
AWS Virtual Private Cloud logo
I originally struggled with an overall grasp of VPCs, but Cole Morrison’s paper and its analogies were quite helpful. I strongly advise you to read it if you are unsure about VPCs. Also:
Complete the ACG VPC Hands-on Labs. These are located outside of the course in the Hands-on Lab portion from step #2. Complete each lab by filtering on “AWS” and “VPC.” They last only a few minutes each yet are quite beneficial.
The test contains a high percentage of VPC questions. Develop the ability to construct one from memory.
Recognize the distinctions between VPN and Direct Connect.
Amazon Web Services S3 logo
Parts of the A Cloud Guru S3 Masterclass course are available for download. You do not need to complete the full course to sit for the test; only a few topics that come up often are required, including:
Access control lists vs. bucket rules
Options for S3 encryption
Types of storage
Policies pertaining to the lifecycle
Amazon Web Services RDS logo
Take the ACG’s Introduction to RDS course, with an emphasis on frequently asked questions, such as the following:
Replication of Multiple AZ
Recognize Replicas Recognize snapshots
Amazon Web Services RDS logo
Ascertain that you have a thorough understanding of AWS Analytics and data warehousing tools:
Streams vs. Firehose vs. Analytics in Kinesis
Redshift vs. Kinesis vs. EMR (they will include scenario-based questions)
The distinctions between Athena and the Kinesis AWS Lambda logo
LAMBDA AND SERVERLESS COMPONENTS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Take the ACG’s Introduction to Lambda course but concentrate on the following:
What types of events and services are often utilized with Lambda triggers
Serverless will almost certainly appear on more AWS tests in the future, so you’ll want to be prepared.
4. Review the whitepaper AWS Storage Services Overview.
You will receive several scenario-based questions on the type of storage to utilize. You’ll want to understand their distinctions and when to employ each (e.g., EFS vs. EBS, S3, DynamoDB vs. RDS)
5. Become acquainted with the test-taking strategies applicable to this exam.
When confronted with a scenario-based inquiry, begin by reading the kicker. Scenario-based questions always begin with a lengthy paragraph, followed by a “kicker” question. Read the kicker first, followed by the scenario. Example:
“You are developing a transcription service for a business in which a fleet of EC2 worker instances processes an audio file and outputs a text file. Both of these frequently visited files must be kept in the same durable storage location until the uploader retrieves the text file. Due to the anticipated increase in demand, you must guarantee that your storage is scalable and retrievable within minutes.
“In this case, which AWS storage solution is both cost-effective and scalable?”
The final line is the killer here. Pay close attention to the specifics of their request. Often, they will provide many viable options, but you must choose the ones that match the precise criteria (in this case, cost efficiency and scalability).
Eliminate each question through the process of elimination. Almost invariably, questions will include one or two alternatives that are categorically not the correct answer. If you can eliminate them immediately, your chances of picking the correct one increase. While this may seem self-evident, it is critical to utilize on the AWS SA test since they will frequently attempt to deceive you. Look for apparent tricks and mentally eliminate them.
Questions should be read twice. The majority of the questions are intentionally difficult. Do not give a cursory scan and then respond instantly. A little modification in the phrasing can easily alter the correct answer, and if you proceed too quickly, you may choose the incorrect decision.
Utilize the “Reserve for Review” function. On the real test, you will be able to mark answers for review and then return at the conclusion to double-check them. When a question is difficult, choose the best answer and then mark it for review at the end based on the remaining time. Utilize this function.
Utilize questions to assist you in responding to other questions on the actual test. This is one of the primary reasons to employ the “Mark for Review” feature. Often, one inquiry might provide the solution to another. This occurred several times during my exam, and as a result, I was able to go back and modify a prior response. This is why you should “mark for review” anything about which you are unsure.
6. Take Practice Exams on IT Life Club
Purchase and work through this bundle of IT Life Club practice tests. Take note that these practice tests are extremely demanding and reflect the most difficult problems you will encounter on the exam. The actual examination is simpler than these.
As a general rule, if you pass these practice examinations (even by a hair’s breadth), you should be able to pass the real thing with ease.
Exam Preparation for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Exam: Practice Makes Perfect
As with any exam, preparation is critical, and the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam is no exception. While it may consume some of your spare time, the advantages outweigh the inconvenience. Apart from verifying your technical abilities, this certification will help you develop your expertise, making you more desirable to prospective employers.