AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (CSAA) Exam and How I Prepared
The AWS CSAA examination validates the examinee’s ability to demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy architectures according to the five domains which are being tested. This exam is intended for someone who is wanting to work with AWS or someone that does currently and wants to demonstrate their ability.
The AWS CSAA exam covers five domains:
- Design Resilient Architectures
- Define Performant Architectures
- Specify Secure Applications and Architectures
- Design Cost-Optimised Architectures
- Define Operationally Excellent Architectures.
I took and passed the exam on the 3rd of August and scored 855/1000 with 720/1000 as the passing mark. I found the exam to be at a moderate difficulty and contained a good range of questions covering all the domains which were assessed. There were 65 questions to answer in 130 minutes which allowed you two minutes per question. Many of the questions I had were scenarios and you were given customer requirements from which you had to select the correct AWS services and implement the correct architecture.
To study for the exam, I used the Solutions Architect Associate course from ACloudGuru; this was a 20-hour course which included lectures and hands-on labs (which is the best way to learn AWS, in my opinion). I also went through several of the projects that AWS have on their website - https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/projects/. The whitepapers and FAQs are incredibly important to read through before taking the exam as they cover many topics which are examined. I have also spent the past year building different solutions on AWS which allowed me to put my knowledge into practice. I would thoroughly recommend that you get as much hands-on experience with AWS before attempting the exam. AWS also provide a practice exam paper for $20 which was very beneficial as you can see the official layout for the questions and see the types of questions you will be given.
Now that I have completed this certification, I intend to take the AWS security specialty next and I hope to begin preparing and studying for that exam soon. Good luck to anyone who intends to take this certification!