Ultimate tips to pass your AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification (SAA-CO2)

Update: I cleared AWS Software Architect Professional Certification recently and most of the preparation tips remains the same.

I was like one of those individuals who have been working on the AWS platform for a long time but never thought of taking the certification. If you are like me or want to take up this certification, here is my story for preparation and taking the exam. The AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification is relatively easy as compare to AWS Solution Architect Professional and I think you can easily crack it with a few weeks of study and hands-on experience.

What is AWS SAA-CO2?

Why should you take it?

How to start preparing for the certification?

A monthly subscription to acloudguru course

I started with A Cloud Guru Course AWS Solution Architect associate(my company sponsored it) and I think you can complete it in a few weeks depending on the knowledge in AWS technologies. I would recommend completing the hands-on labs and you would be able to use the technology while learning about it. If you are short of time then you may skip the hands-on lab, I have seen a few members of my team who skipped hands-on lab for this course (they have several years of experience in the AWS services). I read while papers and prepare my detailed notes related to the technologies(It shall be handy before exam day).

Practice Exams

The quizzes and practice exam in Acloudguru was relatively simpler and easier and gives you enough confidence to clear the exam. But if you want to be sure that you are ready then I would recommend taking the following practice exams for AWS Solution Architect Associate certification. Though the questions in these practice exams are relatively tougher than the actual exam, these practice exams shall ensure that you know the AWS technologies in detail. Don’t be disheartened if you fail these exams for the first time as it’s helping you to know AWS technologies in detail. These are really good value for money, and I bought them at a sale price of ~ USD 7 each.

Preparation Tips

  • There are pools of AWS questions and AWS picks random questions from them so it may be possible that you may have different topics in the exam than someone else. In my exam, there were no questions from redshift, ECS, EKS, EMR, etc. so prepare for all the topics covered by the cloudguru course + practice exams.
  • Take the practice exams from Udemy at least twice and make sure you scope 75% constantly. Once you have that consistent score then you are ready to book the exam.
  • Read exam or pro summary from acloudguru course and keep improving your notes for your exam.
  • I used 2x speed in the video lectures to save my time. You can adjust speed according to your comfort.
  • You can search for a specific topic on acloudguru and you can find it in a different course. For example, I read about EMR in a different course AWS Certified Big Data — Specialty course.
  • Take an official sample exam to check your preparedness.

Exam Tips

  • Try to use Wifi connection as mobile tethering(Mobile Data) is not allowed.
  • Don’t drink lots of fluid 2 hours before your exam as you won’t be allowed to use the washroom during the exam.
  • Divide the exam into 2–4 sections and keep track of the time. I focused on completing the first 35 questions in 60 minutes and the next 35 questions in another 60 minutes. The rest of the 10 minutes can be used for reviewing the questions. I was able to complete all the questions in 90 minutes so I have sufficient time for reviewing my questions.
  • Read the questions carefully and find out what exactly the examiner wants from you. Some questions can be very tricky and you may pick the wrong answer. For example, Sometimes a question is asking for the most cost-effective solution rather than convenience e.g. ECS (ec2 vs fargate).
  • Don’t get stuck in a question for more than 2 minutes, if you have doubt then take your best guess and move to the next question. You can mark it for review but you may not get the time for it.
  • Remember that there could be options that may be feasible but not the best solution. I use the elimination method technique for some questions as two or sometimes three options are invalid.
  • If you are not aware of the topic of the question then don’t waste your time and make your best guess and move to the next question.
  • You may see a few questions similar to the questions mentioned in the above practice exams.

Here are my certificates :)

All the best for your exam and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help!

Working Remotely, Chief Software Architect