AWS Solutions Architect Associate: My exam experience.

Happy Easter !

I passed the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam earlier this month and decided I’d share some thoughts on the exam experience.


I began planning for this certification at the start of this year, based on the fact I had used various AWS services in various jobs for a few years and set myself a goal to get “accredited”.

There are many resources available online, including the very helpful A Cloud Guru courses. I like to use these as supplements to working my way through the official blueprints. They are well put together and easy to take in.

A plethora of official information, tools and downloads can be obtained from the main Amazon Certification home at

The exam guide/blueprint can be downloaded here.

The best way to learn AWS is to dive right in. You can explore and play around with most of the services for next to nothing by way of the Free Tier program.

You can create EC2 instances, RDS instance, play around in S3 and get a great basic experience.

Even creating an Elastic Load Balancer  and hosting a domain in Route 53 is inexpensive.  Be careful though, if you create a single Traffic Flow Policy in Route 53, you’ll burn through $50 USD a month, or part thereof !

The Exam

Most of the exam questions were scenario based or service choice based.  I found there was sufficient time to process each question meticulously, with no need to rush. I completed the exam with 25 odd minutes to spare.

There was very few questions regarding service limits, so don’t expect any easy gets by parroting details !

What would I focus on ?

  • VPC – Peering, how to create, Security Groups, Availability Zones and Regions
  • EC2 – Instance states, IP Addresses
  • EBS Volumes – Encryption options, Snapshot methods and details.
  • IAM – Role and Users, Linking to External directories.
  • S3- Policy based access control, encryption

Spend the time to be comfortable with all the concepts and have a good understanding of all the services.

I’m now into my preparation for Sysops Associate Exam and will then take aim at the Solutions Architect Professional.

Go at it, study hard and have fun.



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