AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate – PASS!

After approximately 6 weeks of study I sat the AWS CSA Associate exam today(14/07/17), the usual exam conditions apply with the exception of a mug shot before the exam which is standard practice for VMware exams, anyway I was feeling quite well prepared as I’d been putting in 2-3 hours of study per day for the past 2 weeks.  As mentioned in my previous post I used the acloud guru training course as a base for my study, I also consulted the very wordy AWS FAQs as well as reading  countless blogs.

Whilst the acloud guru course provides a good grounding for your study and helps you get to grips with the base services offered by AWS, it’s essential to also read the AWS FAQs as well as reading other people’s blogs on exam experiences/study advice, they contain lots of good pointers that will help when it comes to sitting the exam.  I’m not going to provide links to individual blogs as I honestly can’t remember which ones I used, a quick google will return plenty of hits.

The exam was way trickier than I expected and I really had to grind the gears on a lot of the questions, there were quite a few scenario based questions that made me think hard before making a selection.  I completed all the questions in just over an hour so had plenty of time to go through the review, I really wasn’t sure if I had done enough to pass but thankfully I got through with 69%……. not a great pass but a pass all the same. I think I underestimated this exam and maybe took it a bit too lightly, I won’t be making the same mistake on subsequent AWS exams!  Up next is the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate, so back to the books/webtraining/faqs/blogs for me! Good luck if you plan on sitting this exam, below is a summary of items you should include in your study, I would advise to learn them all in some depth!


  • Lambda
  • EC2 Container Services
  • IAM
  • VPC/Networking/VPC Peering
  • EC2 Instance types
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • API Gateway
  • The various AWS database and use cases and if they are multi AZ or region
  • S3 Storage bucket policies/permissions
  • S3 Storage types and use cases.
  • Autoscaling
  • SQS – How it works and it’s moving parts
  • NAT Gateway
  • EBS and encryption
  • Cloudwatch
  • HSM
  • Route53
  • Kinesis
  • EMR
  • Elasticache
  • Cloudfront

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