This past Monday I passed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. I found the exam to be very difficult, especially coming from a developer background where I am not engaged in Solutions Architecture directly on a daily basis.
My goal is to share an outline of exactly what I did to prepare for the exam, in hopes of helping anyone who is on their own cloud journey. Please let me know any questions you may have in the comments!
I have to preface that I have worked with AWS before for a couple of projects so I was familiar with many of the concepts and technologies.
- 9/18/2020 - 10/9/2020:
- Stephan Marek's course on Udemy
- I tried to write as many notes as possible, and rewatched videos several times.
- After each section of the course I completed I would go back and complete the quizzes from all the previous sections to ensure I was retaining the previous lectures.
- 10/9/2020 - 10/25/2020:
- One to three practice tests a day.
- When I started taking the practice exams I was getting scores ranging from 67% to 73%, the scores gradually went up as I started understanding the concepts better until I was scoring around 87% to 92% consistently.
- I found Jon Bonso & Neal Davis practice exams to be the most difficult and have the best explanations.
- After each exam I would read through every question, and read the explanation's. For questions I did not understand I would read through the AWS documentation until I had a better understanding.
- I wanted to make sure I was not just memorizing answers to questions, to combat this I had a rotation of 12 practice tests, once I completed a practice test I would not see those questions again until I had completed the rest of the tests.
- 10/26/2020 (Exam Day):
- I went through three practice exams reading explanations and reading through AWS documentation.
At the end of the exam I saw the PASS notification on the screen and was ecstatic, but I didn't really believe it until I saw the actual certificate signed by AWS. Overall I would say it took somewhere around 100 to 120 hours of studying.