Tips to Pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam

In this article, I will be giving you some tips on how you can successfully pass your - Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam.

What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Amazon Web Services or AWS as it’s commonly known in the tech industry is the world’s most reliable cloud computing platform. It provides hundreds of unique services which are all cloud-based, ranging from databases to virtual servers.

What is the Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam?

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam is for those that have at least a year of experience working with AWS in terms of compute, networking, database and storage services.

1. Learn to understand and not to memorize

Although this is a general study approach and not a more technical tip to the benefit of passing your exam, it is essential that you start off with the correct mindset when studying for your exam.

The problem with memorizing is that your focus is only to remember certain pieces of information, hence you will not be able to apply it to a given scenario or to rationalize it efficiently since you don’t understand it. Instead aim to understand concepts and key terms/definitions.

Yes, sometimes you need to remember facts, such as the steps and order of events, but for the most part, you need to focus on understanding key concepts instead of memorizing them.

2. Download the official exam guide + Sample questions

Whenever you take an exam, it is important to know what is expected of you. So, be sure to download the exam guide for the Certified Solutions Architect - Associate on the AWS website. It will outline the sections that you need to know, as well as the percentage of questions per section. Be sure to also download the sample questions file - this is helpful in giving you a preview of what to expect in the real exam.

Please see attached the links below:

Exam guide:

Sample questions:

3. Be positive and confident

Another non-technical tip, but one that I feel is important nevertheless. When studying for the exam, don’t feel intimidated if there are certain topics that you struggle to understand. Take your time and tackle all the topics until you understand them and remember that it is not a race, whether you take 2 weeks or 2 months, the end result is what counts not the time that it takes. If you are honest with yourself and take the time that you need and not what you want, then you will have the confidence to ace the exam when the time comes.

4. Udemy course

I strongly recommend taking Stephane Mareek’s course (Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 2022). Everything that you need to know is outlined in his course. His structure and teaching style of the cloud is exceptional. Included in his course is a free practice paper that will give you a taste of what to expect in your final exam.

Although you will have to pay for this course, I promise that you won’t regret it. I can say from personal experience as a Certified Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect and Developer that Stephane's course is the way to go.

Please see the link below to Stephane’s course:

(UPDATED* for 2022) -->

5. Do more research

During your exam preparation be sure to surf the web and be on the lookout for other articles which highlight other people's experiences and perspectives. It is important to read about other people’s thoughts so that you are as prepared as you can be and have more insight when studying for your exam.

Extra information for the exam

Before you take the Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam exam, it is important to know some exam-specific information:

  • You will have 130 minutes to complete the exam.

  • There are 65 questions.

  • You will need 72 - 75% to pass the exam.

  • The exam costs $150.

  • The format of the exam is multiple-choice and multiple answers.

  • You can take the exam from the comfort of your home, online via PearsonVue or PSI.

  • You will usually know immediately after the exam, whether you passed or failed

Final thoughts

The important thing when taking the Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam or any exam for that matter is to take your time and work hard throughout your study preparations. Don’t ever get despondent or lose hope if you feel that you are struggling. Just believe in yourself and know that you do in fact have the ability.

For better peace of mind, just remember that you only between 72 - 75% to pass your exam, this doesn’t mean that you should aim for 72 - 75%, but it’s best to aim high and miss than to aim low and miss. I always find it helpful to think about this when things get tough.

I hope that this article was of some value to you and that you pass your certification exam the first time.

Good luck with your studies and all the best!