AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional Exam Learning Path

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AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional Exam Learning Path

I recently cleared the AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional Exam with 93% after almost 2 months of preparation

Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 High Availability and Business Continuity: 100%
2.0 Costing: 75%
3.0 Deployment Management: 100%
4.0 Network Design: 85%
5.0 Data Storage: 90%
6.0 Security: 92%
7.0 Scalability & Elasticity: 100%
8.0 Cloud Migration & Hybrid Architecture: 85%

AWS Solution Architect – Professional exam is quite an exhaustive exam with 77 questions in 180 minutes and covers a lot of AWS services and the combinations how they work and integrate together. However, the questions are bit old and has not kept pace with the fast changing AWS enhancements

If looking for Associate Preparation Guide, please refer

Refer to the AWS Solution Architect – Professional Exam Blue Print

AWS Solution Architect – Professional exam basically validates the following

  • Identify and gather requirements in order to define a solution to be built on AWS
  • Evolve systems by introducing new services and features
  • Assess the tradeoffs and implications of architectural decisions and choices for applications deployed in AWS
  • Design an optimal system by meeting project requirements while maximizing characteristics such as scalability, security, reliability, durability, and cost effectiveness
  • Evaluate project requirements and make recommendations for implementation, deployment, and provisioning applications on AWS
  • Provide best practice and architectural guidance over the lifecycle of a project
AWS Solutions Architect - Professional Exam Break Up

AWS Cloud Computing Whitepapers

AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional Exam Contents

Domain 1.0: High Availability and Business Continuity

  • 1.1 Demonstrate ability to architect the appropriate level of availability based on stakeholder requirements
  • 1.2 Demonstrate ability to implement DR for systems based on RPO and RTO
  • 1.3 Determine appropriate use of multi-Availability Zones vs. multi-Region architectures
  • 1.4 Demonstrate ability to implement self-healing capabilities
  • 1.5 High Availability vs. Fault Tolerance

Domain 2.0: Costing

  • 2.1 Demonstrate ability to make architectural decisions that minimize and optimize infrastructure cost
  • 2.2 Apply the appropriate AWS account and billing set-up options based on scenario
  • 2.3 Ability to compare and contrast the cost implications of different architectures

Domain 3.0: Deployment Management

  • 3.1 Ability to manage the lifecycle of an application on AWS
  • 3.2 Demonstrate ability to implement the right architecture for development, testing, and staging environments
  • 3.3 Position and select most appropriate AWS deployment mechanism based on scenario

Domain 4.0: Network Design for a complex large scale deployment

  • 4.1 Demonstrate ability to design and implement networking features of AWS
  • 4.2 Demonstrate ability to design and implement connectivity features of AWS

Domain 5.0: Data Storage for a complex large scale deployment

  • 5.1 Demonstrate ability to make architectural trade off decisions involving storage options
    • includes Storage Options patterns and anti patterns for S3, EBS,  Instance Store
  • 5.2 Demonstrate ability to make architectural trade off decisions involving database options
    • includes Storage Options patterns and anti patterns RDS, DynamoDB, Database on EC2
  • 5.3 Demonstrate ability to implement the most appropriate data storage architecture
  • 5.4 Determine use of synchronous versus asynchronous replication

Domain 6.0: Security

Domain 7.0: Scalability and Elasticity

  • 7.1 Demonstrate the ability to design a loosely coupled system
  • 7.2 Demonstrate ability to implement the most appropriate front-end scaling architecture
  • 7.3 Demonstrate ability to implement the most appropriate middle-tier scaling architecture
  • 7.4 Demonstrate ability to implement the most appropriate data storage scaling architecture
  • 7.5 Determine trade-offs between vertical and horizontal scaling
    • includes basic understanding of horizontal scaling is scale in/out and vertical scaling is scale up/down

Domain 8.0: Cloud Migration and Hybrid Architecture

Other services like SWF manual task and ability to retry, SNS Mobile Push, SES for durable email, Elastic TranscoderCloudSearch for search, Data Pipeline for disaster recovery, CloudWatch provides durable storage for logs, EMR how to improve performance

AWS Solution Architect – Professional Exam Resources

127 thoughts on “AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional Exam Learning Path

  1. Congrats Jayendra. After clearing AWS architect, do you think the topics that you have covered by way of Q/A, are they asked in exam.
    I am sure not all but some. Can you put a red * in front of your questions in the blog if they are?

  2. Congrats Jayendra. Thank you for this amazing blog, AWS exam prep not complete without this blog. Hope you continue updating this blog.

    What are your next move ? AWS – devops or Azure ?

  3. Nicely done and Congratulations!!!! You crushed it by being well prepared and focused. Thank you for sharing your study notes as they have been very helpful on my own AWS journey. Again, nicely done!

  4. Congratulations! Did you see any of the same SAA questions on the SA Pro exam? Where there any easy questions like on the SAA exam?

  5. Kinesis for real time streaming and analytics, parallel outputs, and stores data up to 12 hours by default
    I think it’s 24 hours.

    Thank you very much for your blog. I’m gonna sit the PRO exam soon and your blog would be the best source for me.

    1. Associate exam are relatively simpler if you are well prepared. Just make sure you go through the preparation blog post to cover the right topics, whitepapers and you should sail through.

    2. Hi Sanjay,
      I took the CSA exam in Jan and scored 90%. From a difficulty position, this is what is see:

      Developers Associate > Architect Associate > Sysops Assocciate

      I used Ryan Kroonenberg CSA course and also prepared via Cloudacademy android app for exam simulation. You need to cover only important topics as Jayendra says and prep with sample exams questions to ace the exam.

  6. Congratulations Jayendra for passing the Professional exam. Many thanks for sharing your posts to help us prepare and succeed in this pursuit.

  7. Hi, Could anyone please let me know how will I implement the below real-time scenario:

    “OIM will integrate a Web Service hosted on AWS”

  8. Hello Jayendra,

    Amazing stuff, congrads!

    Any thoughts / blogs on Associate Solution Architect exam ?


  9. Very well done. You deserve it. You have helped me with my previous 3 AWS associate certs.
    Thank you again!

  10. Congratulations …..
    I used your site as one of my reliable source of learning.
    Please keep the good work!

  11. Congrats!!!Awsome!!!Jayendra!!! What you have achieved is amazing. You also helped the community to pass the exams through this blog. That shows you are wonderful human being. Thanks a lot!!.

  12. Thanks Jayendra. This is really big achievement.
    You are doing really good job in helping others to get in-depth knowledge on this. Person like me who is a bit lazy need such help πŸ™‚ :).

  13. Hi Jayendra

    Thanks for your blog which helped me to clear my professional exam!!


  14. Whizlab is not good , take free partice exam n see what explaination they give in answers . I took one for pro exam n found it unworthy to pay for others.

        1. The practice tests cover a wide range of topics and have a very good response from the feedback that I have received from other users

  15. Hi Jayendra,

    Appreciate your effort to keep updating this blog which is helping many achieve their AWS Certifications.

    I have completed my AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification and this blog has played a major role in achieving this certificate.

    Thanks & Regards,

  16. Hi Jayendra,
    Definitely,you are the godfather for csa-pro certtificat path.
    I followed your steps and cleared the exam today.
    The best recommend was linuxacademy course.(Anthony)
    My dear,I shoul have you on linkedin list to make it worthy.
    Thanks and appreciate your support for community.

  17. Hi, i havd cleared my sysops exam yesterday. I followed your notes.It helped me a lot in clearing the Exam.Can u please suggest me how to proceed further? What certification can i opt next?? Thanks

    1. Congrats Abhinaya, its depends what you want to target as your Role .. If SysOps then can you check for DevOps, else check for Solution Architect.

  18. Hey Jayendra,

    Thanks for your help. I have a question. I am a software Testing professional. Do you think AWS Certification is useful for me? I have already started preparing for AWS Solution Architect Professional. Is this the right choice ?

    Thanks for all your help and guidance !!


    1. It can be surely useful upon what you want to target next. If you are moving up the Role as an Architect or even exploring Options to use Testing tools on AWS or AWS provided Testing Platforms, it would help give you an edge.

  19. Hi Jayendra

    I cleared my Associate level certification yesterday. Thank you for posting the learning path series for Associate level and then I come to see if you have one Professional level too. Thank you so much for your help!

  20. Hello Jayendra , I recently cleared my Associate SA exam with 85%. No doubt your blog helped me a lot. Can you advise me should I go for Pro SA exam or clear associate level exams first(developer & sysops). I observe normally people do all associate level exams before going for pro, What is benefit in doing that. Each exam have cost involved. Any advise would be really appreciated. Thank you .

  21. Hello man, I just passed the professional exam with 86% overall score, thanks to your learning path.

    Keep up the great work on this! Next is DevOps

  22. Hi Jayendra, i just cleared my SA professional exam today with 90%. I have mainly used your blog as my guideline. Thank you so much and I am sure my journey will not be that smooth without it.


  23. Jayendra
    I cleared SA Pro exam yesterday with 90%. Thanks for your blogs. That is really helpful and knowledgeable.
    Appreciated !!!

  24. Hi Jayendra,

    If I just study braincert for SA Pro exam & understand concepts behind those questions, would it be good enough to pass exam?

    1. Would suggest to go through the blog topics for Prof, Whitepapers, Braincert to understand each concept for both right and wrong answers. It is usually a good coverage for the AWS Professional exam.

  25. Jayant,
    I am planning to take csa pro next month.i already completed Linux academy,acloud guru courses ,your blog and gone thru the white papers suggested by Linux academy. Completed whiz labs practice exams too. Do I need to study any other materials apart from these?. Is brain cert practice exams are good when compared to whiz labs one?

    1. Preparation seems good. Be sure to cover the FAQs. Braincert exams are surely better then the whizlabs, from the multiple feedback i have received from other users.

  26. Hi Jayendra,

    I cleared the CSA Pro exam today with a preparation time of 10 days.
    Thanks to you blogs!

    I have been working with AWS for last 6 months, which also helped.


    1. Thats great with the preparation time ….. Congrats ….
      Any feedback about the exams to help others would be appreciated …

  27. Hi Jeyendra

    I have completed SA PRO with 84%
    As usual your blog is really helpful to clear this exam.

    Do you have any plan for Developer PRO ? or any other exam ?


    1. Thats Great Senthil … Congrats ….
      I have some plans for the new year .. but still in plans πŸ™‚

      Any feedback about the exams to help others would be appreciated …

  28. Is it necessary to complete both professional exams (solutions architect professional and devops professional) to validate my skills in AWS or will completing either one of exams be sufficient.

    I am planning to align my learning path based on this feedback.

  29. Thanks Jayendra. In the couple of Playlists you have put in they refer to only two videos. Can you please check the Playlist ?

  30. Hi Sir,
    Your blog is really awesome today i clear AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional. Exam i didn’t purchase any videos from acloud or linux academy etc.Till now i clear 3 aws exam for three exam your blog was really helpful.Thank you sooooo much for awesome blog.

  31. Hello All
    I have completed my AWS SA Pro exam today. I passed with 87% (First attempt).
    I am a software professional for 20 years. All my experience is on windows and .Net stack. Never laid my hands on AWS except some trails in console. I am exploring the onon microsoft eco system to expand my comprehension into computing world. Not for any immediate gains or job. I am just trying to be more relevant.

    I want to all let you know that this guy jayendra is a rockstar of aws certifications. just do what he says and you will pass any AWS cerification. Its a great service he is doing for all of us to understand AWS and pass exams as needed. Don’t consider all the hype about professional level certifications on the internet. Just read everything on here and do what this guy says.

    I say it again .. This guy is the ROCK STAR , HIP HOP STAR and any other star you can imagine for any aws certification. All hail the emperor JAYENDRA !!

  32. Hi Jayendra,

    I have passed my AWS solution architect associate exam. Do I need to take 2 other associate carts before taking the professionals?

    1. You can do the AWS SA – Professional directly. But for AWS DevOps – Professional you need to take either of the 2 associate exams. Would suggest to go for SysOps.

  33. Thanks Jayendra!.I have cleared the Exam by only referring to your website and AWS docs and AWS deep dive videos in youtube. Indeed, this is the correct free tutorial for clearing the Exam.Also I referred the practice exam in Linux academy one or two times in the free trial.

    Once again Thanks man!!!!.Keep blogging…………….

  34. Jayendra .. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful path in your blog. Your advises are so so helpful.
    I passed AWS Professional Architect today with 79% .

    My feedback and formula for success :

    All info in this blog + Linux academy Videos + Whizlabs all 5 exams full length Practice ( analyse all answers , know why an answer is correct and why an answer is wrong..v important)

    = 100% Success in the exam.

    Only one item I beg to differ than what is written in the blog is that Whizlabs exams is more than enough. It was close to the main exam.( I did not try Braincert though.)

    I prepared for 3 months on and off. First covered all items in the blog mentioned in the exam Prep path. Then ,did Linux academy videos twice. I chose Linux per advice in this blog . Was very helpful to solidify my concepts.

    Thanks again Jayendra !!

  35. Hi Jayendra,

    Thanks for your blogs and the way you explained the AWS topics in simple English .

    I cleared the AWS Professional certification with 87% (Jun 8th 2018)

    The learning path which i followed

    Linux Academy training videos – AWS architect professional
    Linux Academy practice exam
    Few Reinvent videos
    AWS FAQ’s
    your blogs (especially Cheat sheet)
    Braincert practice exam

    I prepared for 2 months .First covered all the Linux Academy videos and Few Reinvent Videos,Jayendra Patil blogs,AWS FAQ’s ,Written the Practice Exams,Cheat sheet(Before 2 days of exam)

    Thanks again Jayendra!

  36. Can anyone provide a quick review of BrainCerts please?
    How do they look, what exactly do they offer etc?

    1. Sure will add them. But in a nutshell, they have around 250-300 questions, scenario based, multi-choice, multi-select which are close to the real exam questions. They are marked with the objectives, so you know what are you need to focus on. You can take them multi-times.

  37. Are brain certs 5 exams of 50 different questions you can take multiple times?
    And how close are the question to real exam?

    1. you can take them multiple times. As per many users feedback I have received, they are good to be your prepared with scenarios and multi-select questions.

  38. Hi Jay, can you please help me to find the answer for the below questions,

    1) Which of the following is not one of the ways to minimize the attack surface area as a DDOS minimization strategy in AWS. Choose the correct answer

    A. Configure services such as ELB and auto scaling to automatically scale
    B. Reduce the number of necessart iinternet entry points
    C. Separate end user traffic from management traffic
    D. Eliminate non-critical internet entry points

    2) Which is the following are techinques to stop DDoS attacks on your AWS architecture? Choose 3 answers.

    A. Add Multiple ENIs to each EC2 instance to increase the network bandwidth
    B. Use dedicated instanced to ensure that each instance has the maximum performance possible
    C. Use an AWS CloudFront distribution for both static and dynamic content
    D. Use an ELB with auto scaling groups at the web, App, RDS tiers
    E. Add alert Amazon cloudwatch to look for high network in and CPU utilization
    F. Create processes and capabilities to quickly add and remove rules to the intance OS firewall

    As per Braincert, first question answer is A. Second question answers are C, D,E

    Why ELB is appearing in both places? 1A and 2D. How come ELB is not the way to minimize in one question and best technique in another question ?

      1. Sorry for not putting my questions correctly. #1 is not a way – i.e Configure services such as ELB and auto scaling to automatically scale #2 – is a way – Use an ELB with auto scaling groups at the web, App, RDS tiers. How come ELB/ASG can come in both places ?

  39. Hi Jay, can you please help me to find the answer for the below questions,

    Your company is storing millions of sensitive transactions across thousands of 100-GB files that must be encrypted in transit and rest. Analysis concurrently depend on subsets of files, which can consume up to 5TB of space, to generate simulations that can be used to steer business decisions. You are required to disgn an AWS solution that can cost effectively accomadate the long-term storage and in-flight subsets of data.

    A. Use amazon S3 with SSE, and run simulations on subsets in ephemeral drives on amazon EC2
    B. Use Amazon S3 with SSE, and run simulations on subsets in-memory on amazon EC2
    C. Use HDFS on amazon EMR, and run simulations on subsets in ephemeral drives on Amazon EC2
    E. Use HDFS on Amazon EMR, and run simulations on subsets in-memory on Amazon EC2
    F. Store the full data set in encrypted EBS volumes, and regularly capture snapshots that can be clones to EC2 workstations.

    Braincert Answer is A, Whizlab answer is D. As per my understanding, answer A is correct – cost effective and long-term storage. Not sure about encryption in ephemeral drives Please help.

  40. HI Jayendra, Need your advice on buying course for AWS CSA Professional. Which one you suggest from below 2?

    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional 2018 – By Zeel Vora
    Linux Acadamy

    1. Hi Jana,

      Could you share details on your preparation for the CSA Pro exam. Your answers on

      Training hours – daily / weekly
      Preparation of notes
      Resources – acloudguru, Linux academy etc.,
      Practice tests will help me to prepare and schedule in the next 3-4 months. .

      1. Training hours – 2/3 hours per day (more hours during weekends)
        Linux academy + Jay’s blog + few white papers

        It took one month to complete my professional after my associate certification. Please note, I took more than 6 months for associate level exam where I’ve made in-depth study in each topic which helped to prepare professional exam within short time.

  41. Thank you Jay,
    Whit in 143 minutes of exam, including an internet connection failed around the question number 68, I “just” passed SA PRO.
    Overall Score:β€ˆ84%

    Your blog was really important to me; it’s a treasure!

  42. Thanks. Your blog really helped me in my final review. I will recommend it to my friends. Just passed with 87% with a 20 minutes disconnection in the middle. Fortunately, the test was easier than practice exam. I still had 30 minutes to spare.

  43. Thanks very much for your blog. Question – for the SA Professional exam, should I exclusively pay attention to your exam practice questions that have [PROFESSIONAL] marked at the end of the question? Or should I know all of the questions even if they don’t have Professional mentioned? Thanks, J

    1. I have tried to marked the professional questions with the tag, but it does not cover all. You can concentrate on the questions will longer prose.

  44. AWS has announced new Beta Exams for Professional Architect Certification and DevOps Professional Certification on 22-OCT-2018. It would be great if you can guide for these.

    1. EC2, ELB and RDS should be read. RDS general and not each database. Elastic beanstalk comes in detail for DevOps

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