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How to Prepare for the AWS-Certified Solutions Associate Certification

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By: Vikrant Saran

July 19, 2018

Amazon Web Services dominates the cloud computing world today. Being a subsidiary of, it delivers cloud computing platforms for individuals, government, and companies on-demand for a paid subscription.

Today, AWS technology is implemented at server farms across the globe. In order to master AWS technology, it's necessary to get trained and obtain an AWS certification.

Among the various AWS certifications, AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate Certification validates your ability to architect and deploy secure and robust applications using AWS technologies.

It enables you to
  • Use the architectural design principles as per the requirements of your customer[s].

  • Implement best practices throughout the project lifecycle in your organization.

Reasons to Obtain the AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate Certification

This certification enables you to make the organization’s infrastructure more scalable, resilient, high-performing, and cost-effective. This has forced most organizations today to prefer hiring AWS-certified professionals.

Thus, this certification boosts the marketability of your repertoire and helps you to

  • Expand your knowledge of the AWS platform

  • Get recognized as a Certified Solutions Architect

  • Gain global recognition for your skills

  • Earn elevated status among peer groups

  • Get promoted from the existing position with a hike in salary

  • Gain access to better opportunities and challenges.

How to Prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Associate Certification

If you have decided to take this exam, ensure that you get registered for the new exam [Release February 2018] that covers the new services and best practices for architecture. [The current version remains valid until August 2018 only].The updated version is especially meant for Solution Architects and Solution Design Engineers.The AWS Certified Solutions Associate certification exam concepts include the following:
  • Ingress and egress of data to and from AWS

  • Design and deploy highly available, scalable, and fault-tolerant systems on AWS

  • Identify appropriate use of AWS architectural best practices

  • Select the appropriate AWS service[Based on data, database, compute, or security requirements]

  • Estimate AWS costs and identifying cost control mechanisms

The main content and weight of the domain are represented below:
  • Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures 34%

  • Domain 2: Define Performance Architectures 24%

  • Domain 3: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures 26%

  • Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures 10%

  • Domain 5: Define Operationally Excellent Architectures 6%

Eligibility Requirements for ExamThe participating professional must have hands-on experience in the following:
  • AWS-distributed systems

  • Use of computing, networking, storage, and database AWS services

  • AWS deployment and management services

  • AWS-based application requirements [technical]

Professionals must also have a basic understanding of

  • Building secure and reliable applications

  • AWS infrastructure [global]

  • AWS Network technologies

  • Security features

  • AWS tools

  • AWS on cloud architecture

Key Preparation Resources

Exam Guide: This exam guide is available on the AWS official website. It gives you the blueprint of the exam and other related details.The AWS Certified Solutions Associate exam structure will be as follows:

Exam Questions:  Multiple Choice Questions

  • Multiple choice with one correct response [¼]
  • Multiple choice with two correct responses [⅖]

No. of Questions:

  • 55


  • 80 minutes

Available Languages:  English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean

Practice Exam Fee:

  • USD 20

Exam Fee:

  • USD 150

Exam Results:

  • To pass the exam, you must earn a minimum passing score of 720. The results are reported using a scale of 100-1000.

AWS Training: Mercury Solutions Limited offers 3 days of extensive training on this course by experts. The training course enables you to design and deploy applications using AWS technologies.

AWS Practice Test: It is recommended to take practice questions directly from the AWS site. A few helpful links have been presented below for your reference.

  • Architecting on AWS
  • Exam Readiness Workshop
  • Official Study Guide
  • Sample Questions
  • Practice Exam

AWS White Papers: Moreover, you may download the white papers for specific topics that will help you to prepare. A few of them are

Overview of Amazon Web Services

AWS Overview of Security Processes

AWS Risk and Compliance

AWS Storage Services Overview

Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices

With these tools, you will be able to architect and deploy secure and robust applications using AWS technologies.

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