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)
AWS Associate Certification Exam Important Topics
- Both Solution Architect & Sysops concentrate on a variety of AWS services
- Important topics with 70-80% coverage
- CloudWatch Monitoring & Troubleshooting – Primarily for SysOps
- Other topics with 20-30% coverage
- Can expect questions from SWF, AWS Support, Cloud HSM (supported services), Trusted Advisor, Storage Gateway, Direct Connect, SNS, Consolidated Billing