AWS Associate Certification Exams – Preparation – Sample Questions

AWS Solution Architect & SysOps Associate Certification Exams Preparation & Sample Questions

I recently passed AWS Solution Architect – Associate (90%) & SysOps – Associate (81%) certification exams.

I would like to share my preparation leading to and experience for the exams

  • AWS Certification exams are pretty tough to crack as they cover a lot of topics from a wide range of services offered by them.
  • I cleared both the Solution Architect and SysOps Associate certifications in a time frame of 2 months.
  • I had 6 months of prior hands-on experience with AWS primarily on IAM, VPC, EC2, S3 & RDS which helped a lot
  • There are lot of resources online which can be helpful but are overwhelming as well as misguide you (I found lot of dumps which have sample exam questions but the answers are marked wrong)
  • AWS Associate certifications although can be cleared with complete theoretical knowledge, a bit of hands on really helps a lot.
  • Also, AWS services are update literally everyday with new features being added, issues resolved and so on, which the exam questions surely don’t keep a track off. Not sure how often the exam questions are updated.
  • So my suggestion is if you see a question which focuses on a scenario which added latest by AWS within a month, still don’t go with that answer and stick to the answer which was relevant before the update for e.g. encryption of Root volume usually made in the certification exam with options to use external tools and was enabled by AWS recently.

AWS Certification Exam Preparation

As I mentioned there are lot of resources and courses online for the Certification exam which can be overwhelming, this is what I did for my preparation to clear the exams

    • Went through AWS Certification Preparation guide
    • Went through the AWS Solution Architect & SysOps blue print thoroughly as it mentions the topics and the weightage in the exam
    • Purchased the acloud guru course from udemy (got it for $10 on discount) for both the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2017 and AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate 2017 course, which greatly helped to have a clear picture of the the format, topics and relevant sections
    • Signed up with AWS for the Free Tier account which provides a lot of the Services to be tried for free with certain limits which are more then enough to get things going. Be sure to decommission anything, if you using any thing beyond the free limits, preventing any surprises 🙂
    • Also, used the QwikLabs for all the introductory courses which are free and allow you to try out the services multiple times (I think its max 5, as I got the warnings couple of times)
    • Update: Qwiklabs seems to have reduced the free courses quite a lot and now provide targeted labs for AWS Certification exams which are charged
    • Went through the few Whitepapers especially the
    • Read the FAQs atleast for the important topics, as they cover important points and are good for quick review
    • Went through multiple sites to consolidate the Sample exam questions and worked on them to get the correct answers. I have tried to consolidate them further in this blog topic wise.
    • Went through multiple discussion topics on the acloud guru course which are pretty interesting and provides further insights and some of them are actually certification exam questions
    • I did not purchase the AWS Practice exams, as the questions are available all around. But if you want to check the format, it might be useful.
    • Opinion : acloud guru course are good by itself but is not sufficient to pass the exam but might help to counter about 50-60% of exam questions
    • Also, if you are well prepared the time for the certification exam is more then enough and I could answer all the questions within an hour and was able to run a review on all them once.
    • Important Exam Time Tip: Only mark the questions which you doubt as Mark for Review and then go through them only. I did the mistake marking quite a few as Mark for Review, even though I was confident on the answers, and wasting time on them again.
    • You can also check on Whizlabs AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam and AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Exam exams which seem to be similar to the actual AWS exam (Based on the feedback from others, haven’t tried it myself)

Udemy AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate Practice Tests

AWS Associate Certification Exam Important Topics


76 thoughts on “AWS Associate Certification Exams – Preparation – Sample Questions

  1. Man i need to ask you some important question, i i did go once to the exam and i failed , and as you said the internet is full of misleading dumps and question/answers.

    i have been answering all your questions and answers lately, all the blog question seriously ! do you think this covers all ? or not ? also it will be great help if i can have your contact email.

    1. Hi Melik, I just subscribed to the acloud guru course which i think was enough to get started but not to clear the exams for sure.
      I did go through a lot of dumps which are shared for free partially and then ask to to buy full ones, the answers were actually wrong.
      Am not sure for the full dumps sold as I never felt the need to buy those.
      I have tried to consolidate all the questions I could get hold of around the internet and answered them to best of my knowledge with relevant documentation.
      From my experience, you might need go through the acloud guru course (or any other equivalent ones), my blog, a bit of hands on and faqs and couple of whitepaper, which should be good enough.

  2. So a few months ago I also passed AWS-SA-A (87%). I would highly suggest exactly what Mr. Patil has suggested i.e. 1) A Cloud Guru 2) Jayendra Patil Blog 3) AWS FAQ’s and Whitepapers 4) A lil bit of hands on, especially VPC. That’s it and you are gold. I would suggest reading his blog based on topics. It helped me a lot to answer questions that I had not encountered before (approximately 15-18 questions). What helps is the explanation given in red by Mr. Patil after some of the questions. Understanding those concepts will help you to reason the right answer for those unknown questions. I say this because in my exam I was also keeping score between questions I was sure that I had the right answers and questions which I had to reason before answering. I was surprised to see I got 87% as I was expecting around 70%.

    Jayendra Sir, how can I upload a few questions for SA Pro? I have just started studying for SA-Pro and have a few questions that I would like to review/answer.

    As usual, thanks for maintaining this site. It has truly helped many of us understand these concepts as well as clear the certs.

  3. hello MrPatil,

    I am preparing for AWS associate exam, i want to know that after getting certified how much it help in getting the job in India.

    Harpal singh

    1. Surely it has a weightage in India, as we too are working heavily on AWS and see openings in other companies as well.
      But Only certification adds value, but hand ons experience is a must.

  4. Great article! This is a great way to get an idea of the type of questions that you may face during the examinations. Students should go through theses questions and answers to make sure that they are fully prepared for the AWS Certification Examination.

  5. Very good blog. i have tried different website links. but not satisfied. finally followed this block which helped me to clear the associate level exam with out any tension.

    Thanks Jayendra.

  6. Mr.Jayendra – this is very useful. Have a question! I am scheduled to write ins Dec 30. But i need little bit more prep. If i postpone to Jan 1st week, will the format change because it is new clandar year is my worry? Do you have any thoughts??

    Also where have you given the sample questions? Can u give me the link? My id is

    1. I doubt it would change with the year change. Amazon updates questions on frequent basis, but some of the questions are still old and does not keep up the pace with the changes happening in AWS services everyday. So i still think you should be good to go. Sample questions are linked to each of the topics at the end.

  7. Hi Jayendra,

    Thank you very much! No Doubt its really a very good blog.Its helps a lot! But i wanted to know if you have this kind of blog for AWS-Certified-Solutions-Architect-Professional exam.If so can you please provide me the details.Thanks in advacne!

    1. The topics and some of questions are pretty much from the Professional course as well. I don’t have a brief overview for Professional certification as I am also preparing on it.

  8. Jayendra Sir! Is it possible for me to send you some AWS-SA Professional questions and concepts? I am having a tough time identifying the correct methodology and responses. If so please contact me and let me know how I can send these to you. Thanks.

        1. Congrats Abhi, Sys Ops – Associate is pretty much covered in the blog.
          Am working on the SA-P and will let you know soon.

  9. Hi Everyone!
    Guyz who have taken the exam can answer this question.
    Can we keep track of our score while the exam is still going on and what is the passing percentage for associate architect.


    1. Nope, the score is disclosed at the very end only after you submit the exam. Also the passing % is variable and not known.

  10. Dear Jayendra,
    Variable means it can increase will I am giving the test, any idea if you can give about the minimum % what should I aim for .So that I can have some goal in front of me.

    1. Read on forums thats its a variable percentile calculations, so on one day a person scoring 65% might pass will on an other day person scoring 70% might fail. I would recommend scoring above 70-75% for making it through.

  11. Hi Jayendra,

    Thank you for writing very crisp blog. This blog clearly guides us on what steps we need to follow for excelling on AWS solution architecture — associate certification exam.

    Can you please share your list of AWS-SA Professional questions and concepts. It would be of great help. My email id is


    1. Hi Sanjeev, i do any have any specific developer associate exam set, but the blog should cover most of the questions and almost all the topics.

    1. I have tried to put questions as per the topics on the blog itself. So you should find most of them for associate exam on the site.

    1. Thanks Jim, they are all included with individual topics …. SysOps mainly concentrate on Monitoring, Troubleshooting, CloudWatch, CloudFormation etc.

  12. Hi Jayendra,

    Your blog rocks!
    Today I’ve passed AWS SA-Assocaite exam, your blogs acted as a study guide for me, the questions at the end of each topic is very helpful for exam point of view, much appreciated.Thank you very much.


  13. Jayendra thanks so much for this blog and your excellent summaries of the white paper as well as the sample questions. I was feeling a bit lost with the sheer scale of the AWS services and your posts helped me focus. With your help I’ve just passed SysOps with 90%!

    For other readers who are preparing, I also did the cloudguru course, and searched through their forums for questions discussed on there as well as from people who passed and their hints. I read a lot of AWS documentation on specifics I saw in the forums/course/this blog if I didn’t fully understand. I’ve also spent the last 6 months very hands-on with AWS, repeatedly building VPCs, EC2, ELB, ASGs etc which is invaluable. Good luck!

  14. Hi Jayendra,

    After reading your blog I gain some confidence to take exam.

    Could you please share me some sample questions for CSA – associate.

    1. Hi Samy, its covered in the blog. Check for the shorter ones, they are more relevant for the associate exam.

  15. Hi Jayendra,
    Questions presented listed in blog are awesome, from where you collected these questions and how much this help for exam?

    1. Hi Saurabh, I don’t have a separate set, you can check the blog questions based on the topics targeted for Associate exams. The questions with less prose are the associate ones.

  16. Jayendra sir,

    Thank you so-much!. I really grateful to you. I followed your guidance by completing 1) few times 2)Your blogs and sample questions 3)FAQs as you advised. I cleared the AWS-SA exam last week.

    I am starting for AWS sysops administrator associate exam. I bought videos only. Do you any recommendations for complete conceptual understanding and sample questions.
    Again, thank you very much for your contributions to AWS learners community!!

    1. Congrats Raman, thats great ….
      acloud guru, blog and FAQs would be good enough to clear SysOps Associate.

  17. Hi Jayendra
    Thanks for sharing such valuable information .
    I am also preparing for SA exam and came across this blog. After going through few sample Qns , I felt that Acloud guru alone will not be enough to clear the exam . But for preparing for SA exam ( not Sys Ops admin currently ) , is it good to study the topics , Qns and links mentioned from this page or is there anything more precise for SA.
    i saw the SA prep guide , but that was more related individual topics
    and of course a concise cheap sheet also .
    Please clear this doubt also to go ahead with focus.

    1. The SA and SysOps is not much different except for the SysOps concentrates more on troubleshooting, Monitoring, Deployments so topics like CloudWatch, CloudTrail, CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk and Opsworks are more SysOps related. So you can skip these the rest remain the same.
      Also, i have tried to mark some topics as Professional specific, but if not marked concentrate on questions that do not have long prose. Longer prose with multiple services are surely professional.

  18. Hi Jay,

    Your blog is very good. I passed the CSA exam last week and your blog helped me a lot. I heard Developer Associate exam is almost similar to CSA and only a few topics we need to have in-depth knowledge like DynamoDB. Could you please tell me which topics should i focus more to pass the Developer Associate exam?

    And one more suggestion is, please try adding tags to specify which topics are for which exams. Because some topics have in-depth details which may not require for Associate exams.

    1. Thanks and Congrats. For Developer, topics mostly remain the same and the focus is more on development. Services like IAM, S3, VPC, DynamoDB, SQS, RDS, Route 53, Beanstalk are covered.
      I am trying to separate the topics and the questions as well based on the Associate and Professional level, but it would take time.

  19. My other question is, Should we know any programming language to learn or pass the Developer Associate exam?

    And in general, what scripting/programming language should I learn to become more knowledgeable in AWS? And are there any sites from which we can learn those scripting languages easily? Thanks in advance.

    1. Focus is not on programming language but on APIs or function provided by AWS. So you don’t ideally need to learn Java/Python for it.

  20. Hi Jay,

    Your blog is very great. I am preparing for the CSA exam and your blog is helping me a lot, please let me know when you will be able to separate the topics and the questions based on the Associate and Professional level? I know it would take time and effort but I am looking for an estimate.

    According to your knowledge, how often Amazon change the questions based on feedback you got from people.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Thanks JoS, working on it post by post …. might be able to close it my this month.
      The exam hasn’t changed for quite some time and no new service appears in the exam as far as the feedback i have seen from the people taking exam recently.

  21. Hi Jay,

    first of all Kudos to you Sir!!! This blog is definitely the best blog i have seen so far around AWS technologies, specially for Certification Preparations.

    I finished CSAA last week with a score of 92% and planning to Take the CDA next week, could you email me the material or sample questions that you may have?

    1. Congrats Aseem and thanks
      I don’t have any separate material for CDA. All the topics and questions are consolidated on the blog.
      Concentrate more on DynamoDB additional in addition to the VPC, S3, EC2, IAM and other topics.

  22. Hi Jayendra,

    Very happy to land in your page ! Thank you so much for such great materials !
    In the begining, you have mentioned that you cleared Solution Architect and SysOps Associate certifications in a time frame of 2 months and you had 6 months prior AWS experience.

    Did you take up SysOps exam right after Solution Architect or there were other certifications before you hit SysOps ?

    I have hands-on experience in AWS as DevOps engineer and have been using the services like EC2,VPC,IAM,S3, Route53, CloudWatch, SNS, SES etc. I hope, a cloudguru training, your blogs, AWS white-papers, sample questions will be suffice to clear Solution Architect first. Final target is SysOps though :-).


    1. Hi Rajib,

      I took SA and SysOps within a span of 2 months. Nothing in between.
      SysOps and SA (same with Developer) share about 70% of the topics required for the exam.
      You can take them in any order.
      However for professional, you surely need preparation time. Atleast dedicated 3 months from my estimates so better clear Associates before you move to Professional.

      For Associate, acloud guru, my blog, whitepapers should suffice.

      All the best 🙂

      1. Hi Jayendra,

        Thank you for your response and suggestions. I will take up Associates first before I take up the final target DevOps – Professional (sorry, there was a typo in my previous post: “Final target is SysOps though” should have been “Final target is DevOps though”).


  23. Hi Jayendra,

    Not sure if you remember me but i have been here in your blog for ages, today i have a question not about AWS!

    First let me tell you that i cleared both Solution Architecture and SysOps only because of your blog.

    Now my question, why do you blog ? seriously ? is it documenting what you study ? is it long term goal to change it to paid service ? maybe add some ads later ? what is the real reason deep inside for blogging 🙂

    I started a blog and then i stopped after 48 hours asking myself that question.


    1. Sure I remember you Sherief 😉 and congrats 🙂
      I actually started documenting my study notes on blogspot initially and then started using it as a reference as well.
      Main reason being there are lot things and I was not able to find anything specific for certification.
      However, slowly I moved to my own domain, learned quite a lot of other stuff as well WordPress, SEO, Ads, Affiliate marketing and AWS itself 🙂
      Just continuing with what I have now, but surely have new topics on my mind to add.

      1. I want to suggest one thing to add to your blog, which will be helpful for me ! 🙂
        to add section for real life scenarios, common daily AWS tasks something that can make people who are getting the certificate to have the feeling of hands one experience.

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