AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C01) overview

Recently I started preparing to AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C01 – February 2018 version) exam.As a result of my learning path, I will post some useful stuff about this exam. Let’s start with AWS Certification tacks.

Certification Roadmap

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role. This exam validates an examinee’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. It validates an examinee’s ability to:

  • Define a solution using architectural design principles based on customer requirements.
  • Provide implementation guidance based on best practices to the organization throughout the life cycle of the project.

Prerequisites before starting learning path

  • Some basic AWS knowledge
  • Understanding of Cloud Computing and virtualization (experience in VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V will be a plus)
  • Basic operating systems administration knowledge (Windows and Linux).
  • Basic network and storage knowledge

Recommended AWS Knowledge before exam

One year of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS

  • Hands-on experience using compute, networking, storage, and database AWS services
  • An understanding of the basic architectural principles of building on the AWS cloud
  • Hands-on experience with AWS deployment and management services
  • An understanding of the AWS global infrastructure
  • Ability to identify and define technical requirements for an AWS-based application
  • An understanding of network technologies as they relate to AWS
  • Ability to identify which AWS services meet a given technical requirement
  • Knowledge of recommended best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
  • An understanding of security features and tools that AWS provides and how they relate to traditional services

Exam overview

  • Multiple-choice questions – Has one correct response and three incorrect responses.
  • Multiple-answer questions – Has two correct responses out of five options.
  • Unscored questions – Your exam may include unscored items that are placed on the test to gather statistical information.
  • You have 130 minutes to complete exam.
  • Exam available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese
  • Exam registration fee is 150 USD
  • Your score can be between 100 to 1000 points. Minimum passing score is 720 points. So passing score is 72%.
  • Total Questions in Exam are 65.

Your score report contains a table of classifications of your performance at each section level:

Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures

                1.1 Choose reliable/resilient storage.

                1.2 Determine how to design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services.

                1.3 Determine how to design a multi-tier architecture solution.

                1.4 Determine how to design high availability and/or fault tolerant architectures.

Domain 2: Define Performant Architectures

                2.1 Choose performant storage and databases.

                2.2 Apply caching to improve performance.

                2.3 Design solutions for elasticity and scalability.

Domain 3: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures

                3.1 Determine how to secure application tiers.

                3.2 Determine how to secure data.

                3.3 Define the networking infrastructure for a single VPC application.

Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures

                4.1 Determine how to design cost-optimized storage.

                4.2 Determine how to design cost-optimized compute.

Domain 5: Define Operationally-Excellent Architectures

                5.1 Choose design features in solutions that enable operational excellence.

Useful links

Exam overview:

Exam guide:

Sample questions:

AWS certification:

Certification paths for Architects:

AWS Whitepapers:

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