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Monday, December 4, 2023

How to Crack AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam SAA-C03 in 2024

There is no doubt that AWS certification is precious and opens the door for a lot of opportunities, not just for system admins but also for developers and DevOps. Even though there is no substitute for knowledge and experience there are a lot of tangible and intangible benefits of AWS certifications, mainly AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate. Your certification is useless if you don't know how to work in AWS console, but if know that and still struggling to find a job then AWS certification can help you. First thing, it gives you recognition. It allows you to put AWS in your resume and LinkedIn and also get you a lot of chances as recruiters and companies prefer certified professionals over a non-certified if skill set matches.

But, the most crucial benefit of an AWS certification or any other certification is the knowledge it gives you. I have personally learned a lot while preparing for certification, and that's also my preferred way to discover new technology in depth.

Once you start preparing for AWS certification, you obviously begin reading more about it, watching more online courses, doing more hands-on labs and start solving more practice questions, all these activities provide a lot of knowledge and experience.

I have been focusing a lot on Cloud Computing, DevOps, Machine Learning, and Big Data since last year and reading a lot about associate levels AWS certifications like solution architect, cloud developer, and sysops administrator. I was also helping a couple of my readers with their AWS certification journey, and now that they have successfully passed, I have a blueprint to share with you.

This is a tried and tested blueprint by myself and many of my friends and readers. I have followed this blueprint to pass several certifications like Oracle, Java, Spring, SQL Server, Data Science, and AWS certifications. 

It's pretty much a three-point formula where you need to choose an excellent course, do a lot of hands-on labs and then solve as many practice questions as possible. If you follow these three steps honestly, you are bound to score 800+ on your AWS solution architect exam.

How to Crack the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam SAA-C03 in 2024

This blueprint will help you to get success in not just AWS certification but also in any IT certification, all you need to do is pick the right resources for each section. I mean, choose the best online course for the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam and choose the best book and Mock tests, and that's where this article will help you.

In this article, I'll share your resources, which will help you to pass the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam with flying colors.

1. Join an Online course

The best way to kick start your AWS certification preparation is to join a quality course. Thankfully, there are a lot of useful resources available, particularly on Udemy and from Cloud Guru. Here are some of my recommended courses for anyone preparing AWS solution architect associate certification in 2024:

#1: Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 2024

This is the best course I recommend to anyone preparing for the AWS Solution architect associate level exam on Udemy. It's created by Stephane Maarek, one of my favorite instructors and another AWS Certified Solutions Architect & Developer. 

He passed with a score of 984/1000, which tells a lot. I am also a big fan of his Apache Kafka courses, which is a very in-depth and hands-on resource to learn Kafka. Talking about this course, it's also the most up-to-date and comprehensive, and over 884,380 students students already benefited from it.

For more thorough preparation, you can also combine this course with his Practice Test, where he has shared more than 390 high quality questions with in-depth explanation for exam. 

#2: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Training SAA-C03 By Neal Davis

This course is like One-Stop Shop for AWS certifications. It covers everything you need to pass the exam and that too in-depth. It also includes labs and over 24 hours of on-demand lectures. I highly recommend this course to anyone preparing for AWS Solution architect certification or who wants to learn AWS services and concepts in depth.

More than 90,000 students have already joined this awesome course to prepare for SAA-C03 exam and many of them have passed with flying color as well. 

#3: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate - SAA C03 by In28Minutes

I am a massive fan of A In28Minuts and Ranga Karnam, and as the name suggests, they are really the gurus when it comes to cloud, server-less, and AWS certifications. All the people I spoke to suggested this certification course, which speaks volumes about its usefulness. Even in Udemy, the course is trusted by almost 50,000 students, which is fantastic.

How to Crack AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam (SAA-C01) in 2022 - Best Cloud Certification

2. Read a Book

I really like books to prepare for any certification, but with the AWS, the problem is that Amazon has been kept changing AWS certification as well as AWS itself with high speed. That means any book will quickly become outdated with respect to console, functions, and services. This was my biggest issue for using any book for AWS certification.

Though, if you are looking for a book that still provides some value, then I suggest you go through the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide by Joe Baron, Hisham Baz, Tim Bixler, Biff Gaut, Kevin E. Kelly, Sean Senior, and John Stamper.

This book was written for older AWS solution architect certification, but it also covers some of the fundamentals of AWS, which many online courses don't cover. You can use this book in conjunction with A Cloud guru's AWS course and still learn a lot of stuff.

Btw, if you are looking for a more up-to-date book to prepare for AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate, then you can also check AWS Certified Solutions Architect Study Guide: Associate SAA-C03 Exam 2nd Edition by Ben Piper and David Clinton. The book also includes 2 Practice exams nd 100 electronic flashcards for easy revision.

Best book for AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam (SAA-C01)

3. Solve Practice Tests

Also known as practice tests or exam simulators, this is the single biggest thing that can be the difference in just passing the exam or scoring well. Mock tests have several benefits like:

1. They train you to solve problems in a limited amount of time, which is really important. I know many people who have just got 5 to 10 questions wrong because of time pressure.

2. Practice tests also help you to consolidate and solidify your learning because when you answer the question, your mind works. It recalls and analyzes concepts to answer the question, which helps you to remember the idea longer and also understand it better.

3. Mock tests also help you to find out your preparation level. If you went for the Whizlabs test and found that you can only score 50%, then you are not ready for the exam, and you need more study and practice. Similarly, they also help you to pinpoint your weak areas, I mean, where you need more focus.

Now that you know Mock tests are essential, here are some of my recommended practice tests for AWS Solution Architect Associate exams

3.1 Udemy AWS Practice Tests for SAA-C03 Exam

Along with online courses, Udemy also has some practice tests sold as online courses that you can use for preparing the AWS solution architect exam. Out of many AWS SAA-C03 Practice tests on Udemy, I recommend these two, both are the most up-to-date tests:

3.1.1 Stephane Maarek's SAA-C03 Practice Test

THis is the best and most in-depth practice you can join to prepare for AWS solution architect SAA-C03 exam. While it only contains 390 questions which is not a lot but they are super high quality and explanation is also very in-depth. I highly recommend this AWS Practice Test to anyone preparing for SAA-C03 exam in 2024.

best AWS solution architect practice test

3.1.1 Jon Bonson's AWS Solution Architect Practice tests (390 questions)

This course contains 6 practice tests of 65 questions each, good for your final preparation. You should use it as your final preparation test to find out your speed before the real exam. 

3.1.2 Neal Davis' AWS architect Mock tests (385 questions)

This is another excellent mock test on Udemy for the AWS solution architect associate exam. It's from Neal Davis, another awesome AWS instructor on Udemy, and contains 6 practice tests, each with 65 questions. It's slightly tricky than previous ones but worth doing.

3.2 David Mayer's AWS Dumps (987 questions)

This is another big list of AWS practice questions if you like to really go for those 900+ scores. This mock test has got 987 questions and 20 exam tests, which makes it the mother of all AWS practice papers. You don't need anything else after doing it.

3.3 WhizLabs (620 questions) (Most Comprehensive)

Includes 6 full-length mock exams and 620 unique questions for AWS Solution architect associate exam practice. It has both full tests as well as topic-wise tests to improve your weak areas. On top of that explanation for every question is provided, which further helps in your learning.

best exam simulator for AWS solution architect exam

4. Work on Hands-on AWS Labs

Practice inside AWS consoles is very important if you aspire to work as a Solution Architect for AWS Cloud. In general, I advise students to join a course that also has practice labs and also opens an AWS free tier account.

Since you only remember if you do the stuff, these AWS practical sessions will help you to understand and memorize the services which you are reading like EC2, S3, DynamoDB, IAM, and others. You can sign up for a free AWS account here.

5. Read AWS White Papers

If you are someone who is not happy with 800+ core and want to go for a 900+ score, then I also suggest you read White Papers and Case studies provided by AWS. These are some of the most in-depth and practical content you will get anywhere on the internet.

If you want to go one step more, you can also read AWS documentation as it provides the most up-to-date information, which is undoubtedly an essential factor given AWS is still evolving, and there are hundreds of updates to catch up.

Alternatively, you can also signup for AWS weekly on ACloudGuru, which is a great way to keep up-to-date with new AWS changes.  Here is the link to read AWS whitepapers

5 Tips to Pass AWS Solution Architect Certification in First Attempt

1. Passing marks for the AWS Certified Solution architect exam varies daily. It could be 60% or 72% or even more, but you should always prepare for 75% to pass the exam on the very first attempt.

2. How much time do you need to prepare for the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam? Well, preparation time mostly depends on experience level. If you have some AWS experience under your belt, then 2-3 weeks of preparation is enough, but if you are a complete beginner to AWS, then 4 to 6 weeks is a reasonable time.

3. Hands-on lab exercises are a must if you don't want to become a paper-certified AWS developer or solution architect. All the things you will learn and earn via certification also need a backup of hands-on experience. It's even more critical for people who are not actively working in AWS as part of their day job. In short, get a free AWS account open and try to break things, and learn how to fix them.

4. Join the courses which are most up-to-date and also include lab exercises for the reason I have mentioned above. Since AWS is still evolving and there is a new feature coming up daily, it's essential to choose the course which is not most up-to-date, not just in terms of the certification syllabus and curriculum but also with AWS feature and how to do things in the best and latest way in AWS.

5. Solve as many practice questions as possible. This is, by far, the most important tip for me. Since you are going to appear for an exam, where you need to solve questions in a limited time, you got to do practice to be able to read, understand, and solve those problems quickly.

I know many people how have got 1o to 15 questions wrong just because of time pressure. Mock tests and practice questions also help to solidify your knowledge and highlight gaps in your learning. For example, you can use them to find your strong and weak areas and then cover them better before the real exam.

That's all about how to pass the AWS solution architect associate level exam. AWS Certifications, particularly the solution architect, are significant. This not only gives you approval from the AWS but also prepares you for your interviews and further work. AWS Solution architect is also the most high-paying professionals with annual salaries ranging from $120,000 to $130,000, and as more and more companies are moving towards the cloud, there is a lot of opportunity for cloud developers and architects.

Other Certification Resources for IT Professionals and Java Programmers

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like the certification roadmap and guide, then please share it with your friends and colleagues.

P. S. - If you are new to the world of Cloud and AWS and looking for some free courses to learn Amazon Web Service, then you can also check this list of Free AWS Courses for Beginners on HackerNoon.


Day said...

You estimated 4-6 weeks of study before taking certification. Does it apply for working professionals with a day job? How many hours of effort would you estimate for a working professional?

javin paul said...

Hello Day, if you are working on AWS console everyday then you can even pass this exam with 2 weeks of study, but if you are not working on AWS console you need 6 weeks with 2 to 3 hours daily study. Last 2 week I suggest only focus on Practice test and understanding problems and their solution.

Nitesh said...

thanks man

javin paul said...

Thx Nitesh, glad you find this AWS preparation guide useful.

Jeet patel said...

Any one have difficulty regarding AWS certification exam then contact Patel).

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful article?

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