Passing AWS Solutions Architect Associate 2020 Exam

Last week I finally took a plunge and decided to take the AWS Solutions Architect 2020 - Associate exam. I passed the exam with a score of 926 / 1000.

I have been working in the cloud space for more than 5 years, but never got the interest in taking the exam. While having a chat with a friend, he told me that he cleared 4 to 5 AWS certifications including AWS Solutions Architect - Professional. That piqued my interest and decided to start with AWS Solutions Architect - Associate.

I prepared for this exam for about 45 days. I have used following resources and study guides while preparing for the exam.

AWS Account with Free Tier

To get started I signed up for the AWS account with free tier. Amazon provides certain AWS resources under free tier for the beginners who wants to try and use different services.

A Cloud Guru’s Course

Initially started with course from A Cloud Guru. I subscribed to AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate - 2020. This course provides basic fundamentals about cloud services and offerings and also has decent lab demos to practice different services and get familiar with them. After completion of course, I took the practice exam and felt that this course alone is not sufficient to pass the exam. Some of the concepts need more in-depth details.

I was looking to subscribe one more course and practice test. For that, I logged onto the r/AWSCertifications Reddit. Most of the users who successfully completed the certifications have recommended Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 2020 by Stephane Maarek and AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Practice Exams by Jon Bonso from Udemy.

Stephane Maarek’s Course

Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 2020 is very highly recommended course on Udemy for the AWS Certification. I was really impressed with the quality of course content. All the concepts are explained in very simple terms. Even a beginner can pickup topics with ease. His course content is more tailored towards passing the exam and covers the precise details from exam guide lines. Some of the harder topics like VPN are explained in detail. He shows the demo by creating the VPC from scratch and integrating lot of moving parts like Internet Gateway, NAT Gatewat, Security Group, Subnet, Route Table, Bastion Host, VPC Gateways in the VPC. I also followed the PDF cheatsheet provided by Stephane Maarek which I reviewed before going to the exam.

Jon Bonso’s Practice Exam

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Practice Exams 2020 simulates the questions that are asked in the real exam. I believe Jon Bonso has done a great job in compiling these questions. When you review the questions after exam, each of them has detailed explanation. Jon Bonso also provides Cheat Sheet for each topic which are quite helpful. I consistently scored 75% to 85% in each of the 6 exams. This gave me the confidence to go in the exam. In the end, I felt that practice exam is difficult than the real AWS exam.

Official AWS Resources

AWS Well-Architected Framework is highly recommended for reading which covers concepts and design principles for architecting in the cloud. This framework is based on five pillars — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization. FAQ’s from AWS are also very important resource before going into the exam. I concentrated FAQ’s for the core services like S3, EC2, VPC, RDS, IAM, SQS. Most of the questions do come from Well-Architected Framework document and FAQs.

List of resources.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope this resource helped in getting started on your AWS cloud journey. Good luck on your exam :-)

TLDR: Passed the AWS Solution Architect -Associate exam with 926 score. Here is the link for certification.