If you work daily with AWS – building, deploying, running, debugging, etc… on AWS, then you probably already have all the skills needed to pass any one of the Associate style exams (Solution Architect, Developer, Sys Ops).

Having recently taken the Solutions Architect, SysOps and Developer Associate exams I wanted to share some insights and my top tips for the exam:

  1. Do some online training course (details below)
  2. Do some practice exams
  3. Relax, you got this!

The exam blue prints provide useful details about how the exam is structured.

1. Do a online training course

I can personally recommend the aCloud.guru backed AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2019, this is the one I used and was quite happy with it. A few tips:

  • Each section has a summary/recap that covers the most important exam related points, worth watching a few times.
  • The exam is cheaper on Udemy, but you can then migrate them to https://acloud.guru/ The version on https://acloud.guru/ is updated more frequently and the quiz’s have more questions.

Another great resource (and regular source of questions) is the AWS service FAQ pages (e.g. S3 faq, Lambda faq, etc…).

2. Do some practice exams

It is very useful to get a feeling for how the exam is run. The real exam consists on 65 questions, you have 130 minutes to complete it. I purchased some practice exams, specifically: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Practice Tests. These questions were useful, but perhaps a little easier than what the real questions were. However, still very useful to take them, to identify areas that you might need some further research. It is well worth taking the practice exams multiple times, until you get +95% in them all.

3. Relax, you got this!

If you have done all of the above, then you are well prepared to take the exam! Schedule one via: https://www.certmetrics.com/amazon/candidate/exam_scheduling.aspx

Most exams are Remotely Proctored, which is to say, it is just a computer in a room with a webcam. You will need to identify yourself (bring your passport and drivers license) via a chat agent on the computer and then you will start your exam.

At the end of the exam, it will tell you that you successfully passed, however the official certification won’t be available for for “up to 5 days” after the exam (although usually it takes ~24 hours).

Bonus tip!

If you are not a native English speaker, you can request a 30-minute extension for your exam. To do so, please log into your AWS Certification Account (not the PSI account) and take the following steps:

  1. From the top navigation, click Upcoming Exams
  2. On the right, click the Request Exam Accommodations button
  3. Click the Request Accommodation button
  4. Select ESL +30 Minutes from the accommodation dropdown
  5. Click Create

Now when you go to schedule your exam the time will be 30 minutes longer than normal. Note that you MUST request the accommodation BEFORE you schedule the exam.

Best of Luck!

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