On 15th July 2023, I passed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate (SAA-C03) exam. I would like to thank Jen Looper and AWS Student Advocacy team for the exam voucher and support. I would like to express my gratitude to my esteemed faculties, seniors, and batchmates at MIT ADT University and leaders of AWS User Group Pune, for continuous guidance and support. I wanted to share my experience with you all.
I am Sankalp Sandeep Paranjpe, an AWS Cloud Captain, and a final year student with, a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science at MIT ADT University, Pune, India. I am a passionate cloud and cybersecurity enthusiast with an interest in AWS and Application Security. Now, I am 2X AWS Certified, including AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate(SAA-C03), AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner(CLF-C01), and EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker- Practical(CEH-Practical).
The AWS-SAA exam is challenging. I have been learning and exploring AWS for around 11 months now, and I had a good understanding and hands-on of the concepts before I took the exam. I studied for around 2.5 months, covering all the domains mentioned in the exam guide. The exam guide focuses on 4 domains - Designing secure architectures, designing resilient architectures, designing high-performing architectures, and designing cost-optimized architectures.
I had scheduled my exam on 15th July 2023, in person at Pearson Vue’s Test Center. The exam appointment was of total 140 minutes. I reached 45 minutes early to the test center. My experience with the test center was very good, the environment was well organized and comfortable and I would recommend taking the exam in the test center.
I had to answer 65 questions in 130 minutes, which included 15 unscored questions, which do not affect the total score. The questions were based on a real-world scenarios that required me to analyze different situations and choose the most appropriate solutions based on AWS services and best practices. The timer is running on your screen. Time management is the key.
The exam is very comprehensive, and it covers a wide range of AWS services, as per the exam guide. The exam is not just about knowing the AWS services and their usage, but also you have to understand how to use services to design and deploy solutions on AWS. You have to read the questions carefully, understand the scenarios and answer carefully. I found the AWS documentation and udemy courses to be a valuable resource. The Official Exam Guide is a more concise and easier-to-follow resource.
Some questions were quite tricky, requiring a deep understanding of specific AWS services, their features, and how to integrate them to create solutions. It is very important to read the questions carefully and consider all the available options before marking an answer. I encountered scenarios where multiple answers seemed plausible, but the key was to choose the one that best aligned with AWS's best practices and the specific requirements mentioned in the questions.
Here are some tips for passing the SAA exam:
- Do not procrastinate, start studying early.
- Make your own notes.
- Hands-on experience is very important.
- Practice, practice, practice, and practice.
- Do not hurry while marking the answers.
- Do not panic.
- Have a group of friends who are preparing for the same and discuss the topics with them.
- Read exam experiences on Medium, Dev.to, Hashnode.
It was undoubtedly a challenging test of my AWS knowledge, but I was confident in my preparation. I received the results after 2 hours after finishing the exam, and I was happy to see that I had passed the exam. After two days, I received an official email. The feeling of accomplishment was immense, knowing that I had earned the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification.
I am glad that I passed the SAA exam. It is a valuable credential, and it has opened up new opportunities for me in my career. I would say, if you are interested in learning and exploring AWS, you should prepare and attempt this certification exam.
Here is my Credly badge:
Sankalp Sandeep Paranjpe,
AWS Cloud Captain, MIT ADT University, Pune, India