As you might already know, AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It is one of the broadest cloud platforms worldwide, as it offers more than 200 services from global data centers. One of the certifications they offer is the AWS Solutions Architect Certification, which validates your ability to implement and design systems through AWS. However, have you ever wondered whether the AWS Solutions Architect Exam is Hard or not?
Well, if you’re one of the people wondering how difficult the examination is, this article discusses everything you need to know. However, as a general idea, this examination is not simple. Most people find it rather tricky as it extensively explores all aspects of AWS services.
What is the AWS Solutions Architect Exam For?
While you do not need an AWS certification to be a successful IT person, earning a certificate allows people to recognize you amongst everyone in your field. The Solutions Architect credential enables other organizations to identify and develop talent, which is why we generally recommend this certification if you want to scale up in your field.
This credential gives you some power. We mean that it validates your skillset and allows other people to recognize your abilities to evaluate, design, and deploy different AWS applications. Moreover, this is one of the most demanded certifications in the IT world.
However, these certification targets professionals who aim to excel in this field. Here is a general list of recommendations, which explain whether the AWS Solutions Architect Certification is for you:
- Having a minimum of one year of hands-on experience with general AWS services and technologies – this includes the ability to network, store, compute, and use database
- Experienced in deploying and managing various workloads using AWS
- Basic understanding of the fundamentals of AWS Well-Architected Framework and how it works
- Ability to implement services, designs, security controls, and bare requirements
- Familiar with both the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and the AWS Management Console
However, even if you’re not entirely familiar with AWS, don’t hesitate to look at how AWS works and its fundamentals. While you might not be an expert yet, you might be able to grasp the concepts if you already have some hands-on experience with a similar cloud platform.
What to Expect in the AWS Solutions Architect Exam?
We read through several questions about AWS, and a few of them include:
- Is AWS solution architect associate worth it? – Yes, it is.
- How difficult would it be? – It is not an easy pass without the proper amount of studying.
- What will the examination include? – That, we will discuss below.
The examination will lead you to receive your certification, a fundamental step in your career. However, it is not easy. The test aims to address every tiny aspect of AWS solutions architecture, and they are divided as follows in the exam:
- Security – 19%
- High Availability & Business Continuity – 15%
- Data Storage – 15%
- Scalability and Elasticity – 15%
- Deployment Management – 10%
- Network Design – 10%
- Cloud Migration & Hybrid Architecture – 10%
- Costing – 8%
As you can see, the syllabus is extensive and covers every aspect of the platform. Not one topic is easy, as they all can be obscure and difficult to comprehend. Hence, you must immerse yourself fully into the experience and learn all the various aspects to it to successfully pass the exam.
As the exam will address both the practical and theoretical sides of AWS Solutions Architecture, you must know from your experience to answer all the practical ones. Moreover, the theoretical part will require your own time and effort to go through study materials and some sample questions.
What Percentage Do You Need to Pass the AWS Exam?
First of all, to fully understand what the minimum passing grade stands for, you must distinguish between raw and scaled scores. A raw score reflects precisely how many questions the candidate answered.
However, if whatever examination you are sitting for is a scaled examination, then the percentage of marks is scattered. For instance, if your exam is out of 100 and you scored 70 on a scaled exam, it does not mean that you got 70% of the answers right.
Hence, your AWS Solutions Architecture Exam results are provided according to the scale of the examination. The scores are divided according to the difficulty level of different questions since the exam consists of questions of varying difficulty.
When you look at the passing grade for the AWS Solutions Architect exam, which is 720/1000, you might assume that it is difficult. That means that despite the mark being relatively low, this score in scaled exams often means that the actual examination is quite tricky. So is, is the AWS Solutions Architect exam hard?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the grading on the AWS exam and the overall view:
- Several questions will be unscored in each examination – these will not count towards your raw score. These questions are newly proposed ideas that are still in the process of evaluation
- Generally speaking, you would need a passing score of 72%
- The examination takes 140 minutes
- There is a total of 65 questions in each exam
- All the questions are multiple-choice questions
- Most questions require one answer, but some will require more – the question will be clear about how many they want you to select
- The price for the examination is $150
How Hard is the AWS Solutions Architect Exam?
We believe that the AWS Solutions Architect exam difficulty is relatively significant, as almost all candidates complain about it. Most people who find it incredibly hard are beginners who are not familiar with basic AWS concepts, as it takes them more time and effort to get through the material.
However, despite the difficulty level, there are a few things we advise you to do to be completely confident of your skills:
One of the most fundamental things you need to do is go through AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam questions. Out of all the different steps we will recommend, this is one of the most critical aspects. Check out the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate practice exams offered by Udemy.
The practice tests, as mentioned above, are offered by Jon Bonso and Tutorials Dojo, which almost every candidate swears by them. Out of numerous different test simulations online, theirs is one of the most comprehensive and covers all topics and subjects in the exam.
Moreover, the explanations there are incredibly detailed, which provide you with enough confidence to distinguish between similar services.
Are you still wondering how hard is the AWS solutions architect associate exam? Well, after all the online resources and online forums you probably have checked, you might already realize that the exam is not a piece of cake. One of the other ways you can prepare is by reading through whitepapers.
If you are not familiar with the concept of whitepapers, these are reports or guides that provide you with more elaborate explanations and descriptions of various topics. These whitepapers are aimed to help you further understand issues, concerns, concepts, and making decisions.
Hence, if you struggle with concepts, we recommend going through some AWS Whitepapers. These allow you to expand your knowledge of AWS services and provide a more technical approach to learning the different methods and terminologies.
Read them on your way to work, when you have some free time, or while sitting in a coffee shop. However, they should not be your primary source of study. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to get through the whole thing in one sitting, so we recommend you find a way to divide them into sections.
We recommend the following whitepapers as starters:
- AWS Security Best Practices
- AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Architecting for the Cloud AWS Best Practices
We have all been scavenging through the FAQ section of different exam websites or certifications to understand some concepts further or understand troubleshooting issues. Hence, one of the best things you can o to address concerns and frequently asked questions is to consult the AWS FAQs section.
Three of the most useful ones, in our opinion, include:
- Amazon Simple Queue Service
- Amazon DynamoDB
- Amazon ElastiCache
Create AWS Account
Creating a free tier account will allow you to have a more hands-on experience with all the services included in the examination. This will help immensely, especially if you do not have previous experience with AWS services.
The free account offers 100 products and allows you to build using AWS. You have three different types of free offers, depending on the kind of products you use. There is a free trial for particular services, 12 months free trial, and an option that is always freely available to all AWS customers.
Again, you can find training in numerous different ways. The paid methods involve Udemy, purchasing books, and going through courses offered by AWS. However, there are free training sessions found on the AWS website. It’s called the Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate.
You can book in a slot, and it provides you with training to validate all your expertise, design, deploying cost-effectiveness, and scalability.
Is AWS Solution Architect Associate Worth It?
We all know that certificates do not always equate to your level of competence. However, in this case, getting the AWS certification is worth it, and that’s for some reason. Some of them include:
- The certification will result in you gaining more knowledge, so you get more opportunities and an even higher salary
- Once you get the certification, you can confidently tell people you’re proficient in AWS, and you start developing and learning on your own
- You will gain recognition no matter where you go
- It enhances all your existing skillset and earns you life-long hacks
- Not only is it known amongst your peers, but it is a globally recognized certificate
- It is one of the most sought-out certificates as it provides the perfect building blocks for your career advancement
So, is AWS solution architect associate worth it? Yes, it is. You probably won’t find a certificate that will provide you with that much knowledge and recognition.
Wrapping Things Up: Is the AWS Solutions Architect Exam Hard?
Summing things up, the AWS Solutions Architect Exam is challenging. However, it is well worth it for people looking for the following best way to advance their careers. Not only will it launch your career path, but it also helps identify your qualification level.
Moreover, if you want to learn AWS, you might get the certification to reap all the benefits of mastering the hacks and tricks. We recommend this certification for anyone interested in cloud architecture and for people who can also work hard and for long hours.