A Guide to Prepare for AWS Solutions Architect Certification

In 2006, Amazon started offering IT services to the public through web services. This allowed companies to replace significant upfront infrastructure expenses with an on-demand pay-as-you-go model. Today, under the umbrella of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon provides its clients with an extremely reliable, easily scalable, and low-cost IT infrastructure platform that is fully hosted in the cloud. Due to these advantages, currently, AWS is the most popular cloud platform serving hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world. Unsurprisingly, knowing how to work in AWS is an extremely important skill for future data professionals, given the rise in big data and the increasing reliance of large corporations on cloud computing to develop machine learning solutions. 

In this post, I share some of the study tips that helped me pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam (SAA-C03 ) after two months of preparation with no prior experience in the world of cloud computing.

  1. Read the “Appendix” of the official AWS Exam Guide

The Appendix of the official exam guide lists all the relevant topics as well as the specific AWS services that will be asked during the exam. Knowing all the topics beforehand will make your studies more focused and efficient.

  1. Utilize online learning platforms

Learning through online courses is an effective way to gain knowledge about any technical subject. AWS is no different in this matter. Having said that, picking the right course can be quite tricky since there are many different offerings on the market.

Based on personal experience, I recommend “Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C03” by Stephane Maarek to familiarize yourself with all the topics covered in the exam. I also suggest taking practice quizzes by Jon Bonso one week before the exam date. It will help you understand what type of questions to expect during the real exam and how to answer them under the strict time constraints. 

  1. Build simple projects using AWS

Ultimately, the best way to learn about various AWS tools and understand their place in the cloud ecosystem is to get your hands dirty and use them for building simple projects. Designing an ETL pipeline or hosting a personal webpage in the S3 bucket are two examples of what can be done on the AWS platform with relatively low effort. However, working on such projects will significantly improve your understanding of AWS, which goes beyond getting certified. 

Good luck!

Columnist Sandro Alalvidze