Are you an aspiring tech solution provider wondering whether the AWS Solutions Architect Exam is worth its hype? Here’s an article reviewing everything you want to know about the exam. Over time, we’ve learned that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is easily one of the most persuasive technologies in the world. That’s why we can hardly imagine an industry that doesn’t need the solutions that AWS provides. The field is growing in popularity, and as expected, more people are enrolling to get the AWS certification. But is it truly worth the hype? We’ll find out in this article, but first, let’s explain what the AWS Solutions Architect Exam is about.
What is on the AWS Solutions Architect Exam?
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is a technical certification offered by the Amazon Web Service (AWS) for beginners and professionals who run enterprise architecture programs. The certification shows that an individual has detailed knowledge of AWS systems deployment, AWS best practices, and several other topics.
The AWS Solutions Architect exam is the test holders have to pass to qualify for this certification. Since the exam includes all the topics and skills covered by the certification, you can expect to see questions on the following areas:
- Identity access management (IAM)
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
- Autoscaling and load balancing of serverless websites
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
The exams usually contain 55 questions spread across these areas we’ve listed above. Candidates are allowed 80 minutes to complete the exams. The passing score is 65%, although students typically target to score more.
Can Anyone Take the AWS Certification?
Yes, anyone in the world can take the AWS Certification exams, as long as you have a passion for learning new things. The exam is a great entry point into the world of Amazon AWS, so if you’re interested in this field, you’ll need to take the exam to get an entry-level certification. It demonstrates that you have basic knowledge and skills in the Amazon AWS cloud. The exam is suitable for people in managerial, technical, and sales roles.
Students between the age of 13-17 can also take the AWS Certification exams, although they’ll need to show a letter of consent from their parents or legal guardian. However, candidates below 13 would not be allowed to register or sit for the exam. The following are the processes for registering for the exam for a 13-17-year-old candidate:
- The parent or legal guardian of the candidate must create an AWS Certification Account in the candidate’s name.
- The parent or legal guardian must also open a customer support case with AWS Training and Certification
- Both the parents/guardian and the teenage candidate must complete a consent form from the body’s website.
- After the approval of the consent forms, the parent/guardian must assist in choosing the most convenient schedule for the exam.
- Follow proper identification steps on the exam day.
What are the Benefits of Getting the AWS Solution Architect Certification?
Now that we have a detailed understanding of what AWS is and who can use it, it’s only natural for you to wonder what benefits are attached to this certification. Let’s start by stating that AWS’s formidable security measures to safeguard, monitor, and maintain its data center put it at the top of the list of cloud service providers. So, perhaps the first and most crucial reason to earn the AWS certification is the status of the AWS. However, beyond that, there are several other benefits that we’ll discuss below:
Prepares you for the future
We can’t deny the fact that almost every industry is incorporating cloud services into its business processes. With AWS as the top cloud service provider, it’s a matter of when before most companies begin to require certification in AWS as part of their hiring criteria. So, having an AWS Solution Architect Certification will not only be beneficial now, but it’ll also open doors for employment in the future.
Helps you develop professional expertise
You probably already know that getting the AWS certification is not a piece of cake. It takes hard work, commitment, and practice to learn the required skills. Working on these skills helps to enhance your professional expertise. So, if you ever need to work in an establishment that requires any of the skills, you’ll be well poised to handle work-related pressure. Moreover, the whole recertification process also keeps you in touch with the trends in cloud technology.
Helps you display your dedication levels
An excellent way to show your dedication level to any establishment or school is by presenting your AWS certificate to them. Every tech establishment knows the insane level of commitment people will usually put into gaining the knowledge and skills needed to earn the certificate. It shows that you’ve invested so much time and effort into learning things in a relatively difficult field. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that you’ll translate this level of dedication to a workspace.
A Better Paycheck
One of the most significant benefits of doing an AWS Solution Architect Associate Course is its ability to set you up for a very profitable course. A recent survey conducted by the Global Knowledge Survey Team showed that the AWS certification enhances a professional’s salary by 25.9%. The salary estimate for a certified AWS professional is approximately $113,932, while a non-certified professional in the tech space would take home an average salary of $90,512. So, earning this certificate will set you up for a hefty paycheck every month.
Expands your professional network
Completing the certification makes you eligible to join the AWS Certified Global Community, which offers you the opportunity to discuss the latest trends and developments in the field. In addition to that, you get to attend conferences, meetups, and professional gatherings where you can share knowledge with other professionals. Interacting with other professionals and expanding your network offers you a pathway to learning new things. The certification also offers you access to join AWS Certified LinkedIn Community and network.
How Much is the Cost of the AWS Solution Architect Exam?
If you’re preparing for the AWS Solution Architect Exam, one crucial piece of information you’d want to know is what you’ll need to pay throughout the process. While we can’t exactly quantify the cost of preparing for the exam, we can tell you what registration costs. The exam fee for the AWS Solutions Architect certification exam is $150. While preparing for the exam, you can take a practice exam that costs $20. On the other hand, the professional level examination costs $300. The duration for both exams is 130 minutes.
How Long Does It Take to Prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Exam?
Candidates ask this common question when preparing for the AWS Solution Architect Exam. Passing the exam requires adequate preparation, and how long it’ll take to prepare adequately depends on your level of knowledge and experience. However, most exam experts recommend giving between 35-40 hours to prepare. This average time includes studying different resources, study guides, and past questions. If you have a full-time job, investing 40 hours in preparation can take anywhere between 6-8 weeks. If you do not have any experience on AWS, we recommend investing approximately 50-60 hours in studying. That can take you up to three months, which is enough time to revisit some of the courses and labs more than once.
How to Prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Exam?
One of the factors that will determine your preparation time is how you prepare. The above time will be enough for you if you know the right strategies to follow. Unfortunately, not many people know how to prepare for the AWS Certification exam. To help, here are a few tips and strategies that you can try.
Give Yourself Enough Time
There’s nothing as bad as waiting for a few weeks before the exams before you start preparing. The AWS Solutions Architect Exam is very technical and requires adequate preparation. Doing rush preparation would not help you pass the exams. Instead, we recommend that you start studying several weeks before the exam. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to go over relevant textbooks and study guides before the exam date.
Find a Study Buddy
Yes, we understand your need for solitude during study times, but it doesn’t always work. There’ll be times when you’ll need to engage a partner for better understanding and recollection. Fortunately, the AWS Certification exam is popular, with hundreds of candidates registering for it annually. So it’s relatively easy to find a study partner for added motivation. Beyond the motivation that a study partner brings, there’ll also be jovial competitiveness that will push you to your best.
Learn the Theories and Practicals Together
As expected for any technical course, the AWS is a mixture of theories and practicals, and you must study for both. Too many candidates make the mistake of powering through the theory materials while leaving the practical materials for later. Unfortunately, this is not a good strategy. Instead, it’s more effective to do the practicals immediately after studying the relative theory. While the exams don’t have any practicals, the practicals can help you get firsthand experience applying the theory.
Don’t Expect a Repetition of Practice Questions in the Exam
During your exam preparation, you’ll answer hundreds of sample questions. While the themes and technicalities of these questions would be similar to the actual exam, the questions would usually be different. Therefore, it’ll not be beneficial to continually learn by rote (practicing the same questions over and over again). Instead, focus on understanding the technicalities of the sample questions and how to apply your knowledge across several different questions.
Wrapping Things Up: Is the AWS Solutions Architect Exam Worth It?
When it comes to hiring in the tech field, there’s no end to the debate of whether certifications are worth it and whether they are an accurate representation of technical skills or not. Well, it seems pretty obvious that the AWS exams and their resulting certifications are the real deal, especially if you’re working with a company that uses AWS. However, the extent to which this certification is relevant depends on what you intend to do with it.
For instance, if you have a few years of AWS experience, you can always trust the Solutions Architect certification to help validate the skills you’ll need to move to the next level of your career. We’ve reviewed so many other AWS Solutions Architect certification benefits in this article. So, if you desire any or all of these benefits, you surely should apply for the exams and work hard to pass them.