AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate | Exam Tips

3 min readNov 18, 2020


I just passed my AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam and I want to share my experience and exam preparation tips with you. Currently, the platform has over 175 fully-featured services different services and new services are launching a day.

Solutions Architect Associate Exam Topics

  1. EC2 (AZ, auto-scaling, load balancer, security group)
  2. VPC (subnet, NAT gateway, Bastion Host, Network ACL)
  3. S3 (different S3 classes, encryption, versioning, cross-region replication, lifecycle)
  4. RDS (multi-AZ, cross-region replication)
  5. Storage: Glacier, DynamoDB, Storage gateway, Aurora, ElastiCache, Redshift, EFS.
  6. Compute: Lambda, ECS, Elastic Beanstalk
  7. Networking: Route53, API Gateway, CloudFront
  8. Management & Monitoring: IAM, CloudWatch, CloudFormation, KMS.
  9. Analytics: Kinesis, Athena
  10. Applications: SQS, SNS.

Tips for the exam:

  1. Understand the fundamentals/functionalities of all the services listed above.
  2. All Storage services have a huge portion in the exam and have to get deep knowledge in following services (EBS (all types), EFS, DynamoDB, RDS, S3, S3 bucket policy definition.
  3. Migration services (FSx for windows file transfer, Linux file transfer, and how to send data from local to AWS cloud with large data like 60 TB to 90TB or more)
  4. VPC’s make up a huge portion of the exam, so it’s extremely important that you understand how it works. You should have a working knowledge of ENI, EIP, Security Groups, Network ACL, Routers, Gateways, and NAT Instances. You need to understand why a service should be in a public subnet versus a private subnet, and what the limitations are. The question can be asked on a private subnet, Peering, how to create the private tunnel, how to make two accounts communicate with each other.
  5. Focus more on RDS concepts than a specific database, implementation details. This includes understanding the snapshots, parameter groups & impact of the maintenance window.
  6. Practice creating on policy with appropriate permission.
  7. Understand the scenarios for choosing the right AWS services. This includes Auto Scale vs Beanstalk, EBS vs Ephemeral Storage, Security Groups vs NACLs, Cloud Formation, RDS vs DynamoDB, and so on.
  8. Integration between Amazon S3 and Glacier, Lifecycle of objects, and Bucket Policy vs ACLs.
  9. Understand the shared responsibility model of AWS. Clearly differentiate between your responsibilities vs. AWS responsibilities
  10. Know the performance optimization techniques in terms of choosing the right EC2 instance, PIOPS of EBS, and EBS Optimized Instances.
  11. Read the question carefully because most of the correct answers can be derived from the problem statement.
  12. Finally, applying some commonsense will help you eliminate wrong choices.

Topic to read FAQs and these are important for the exam point of view:

  1. RDS (Important)
  2. VPC (Important)
  3. DynamoDB (Important)
  4. EBS (Important)
  5. S3 (Important)
  6. EC2
  7. IAM

Courses to take for the exam:


Free online tutorials and exam dumps :

  1. when you don’t understand the topics then select that topic from the tutorial dojo and read it I think it will clear your understanding.
  2. This is an exam dumps just read all these questions before going to the exam.
  3. This is the course when I started to learn AWS.

What should I bring to an AWS Certification exam?

Candidates must show two forms of personal identification (ID). The primary form must be a valid, government-issued ID containing both a photo and signature. The secondary form of ID needs to be valid and contain a signature.
personal identification (ID) should be in Hard copy.

  • Government-issued Driver’s license
  • Government-issued Identification Card (like Aadhar card)
  • Passport




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