A couple of months ago, I passed the exam to get the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification.
But when I was preparing for it, I really wished someone had shared their experience of taking the exam with me. So, I decided to be that person, and share my experience with those of you who are wondering how to get the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification. Hope you'll find it useful!
Fair question. I know that the opportunity of getting this kind of certificate doesn't usually attract you until you need one to prove your competence, but I decided to get it. Although having the certificate might not be that big of a deal for your current or potential employers, it's still good to have. And here is my opinion why:
To learn something cool
Since you have to prepare for the test even if you think you're already good enough, there's a good chance you'll learn something new in the process. It may be a different answer to a trivial question or a bunch of fun facts. The cool stuff I learned was about Snowball and Snowmobile that AWS offers to transport large amounts of data. I mean, isn't it cool that you can purchase a whole truck for data transportation? I doubt that I would learn this otherwise.
To challenge yourself
The certificate isn't easy to get, and you have to put some effort into it. But it's such a great feeling of accomplishment you get when you pass the exam after pushing yourself out of the comfort zone!
To test your knowledge
While I learned a lot, I got more confident in what I had already known as well. The exam helped me identify my knowledge gaps, and it turned out I didn't have that many (sorry, not sorry).
As I've already mentioned, the preparation will take some time. I couldn't find a single resource that would cover everything I needed to prepare for the exam, so here's what I did:
- Completed the course on the certification on Udemy. I found it very useful and practical: the course covers the main topics that come up during the exam and guides you through different practical lessons.
- Went through some practice exams. They helped me learn how the exam questions are formatted (which are mainly scenario-based) and gave me a good idea of how to interpret scenarios properly.
- Read the AWS FAQs. This is where I found those little details that helped me pick the correct answers among several similar ones at the exam. I also used it to write down key points for each section, like S3 storage class differences, DynamoDB limitations, etc.
It seems to be a lot, but I actually enjoyed studying. Especially since mixing different formats of information made it less of a challenge for me.
So, how did it go?
Easier than I anticipated. The actual exam questions turned out to be simpler than the ones from the practice tests. But I have to admit I was short on time: I only had three minutes left to review some of the answers I wasn't sure about. That's because it took me more time to read and understand longer scenarios and answer options without missing important details.
For native speakers, it shouldn't be a problem, though. And if English is your second language, here's some good news: you can contact AWS support to request 30 minutes extra to complete the exam.
All in all, it was an engaging experience for me. I gained some new knowledge, and, well, became AWS Solutions Architect Associate certified.
Good luck with your exam!