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Preparing for Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect Certification (AWS Architect Certification)

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This blog has been updated on 20th June 2018.

AWS has launched a comprehensive certification program and AWS has been quite dynamic to add new certifications and update the existing ones. Clearing AWS certification has become one of the necessities for young aspirants and experienced professionals in the industry.

Types of AWS Certification

Under the AWS certification program AWS provides the below certifications:


AWS broadly has three verticals for different roles one could be performing with AWS viz. Architect, Developer and SysOps. They have two levels viz. Associate & Professional. Recently AWS also has added three professional level certifications for Big Data, Security and Networking Specialty. Clearing any one of the Associate is mandatory to take up the specialty certifications.


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What does AWS Solutions Architect Certification consists of?

According to AWS: “Earning an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level demonstrates you have the ability to identify and define requirements for an AWS-based application, as well as follow best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.”

The certification covers almost all the services like EC2, VPC, EBS, S3, Route 53, IAM, RDS, SQS, DynamoDB, etc. Although a lot of the questions are based on popular services like VPC, EC2 and S3, you can expect questions from all the services. And although the questions about these services are more high-level having hands-on knowledge is definitely a must.

The exam is designed to test ones’ knowledge on 5 Domains.

1. Design Resilient Architectures (34%)
This domain assess the test takers ability to design highly available and scalable architectures on AWS. Designing fault tolerant, highly available, decoupled and complex multi tier architectures would be the core focus area of the questions in this domain.

2. Define Performant Architectures (24%)
This domain deals with various performance management scenarios. This includes auto scaling, choosing storage based on performance requirement, caching services, database tuning, etc. would be the focus area here.

3. Specify Secure Applications and Architectures (26%) 
This domain has questions about various data encryption techniques in S3, various data protection mechanism in EC2 like security groups, use of IAM roles and users, network security using VPC, etc. This also has use case kind of questions about what would be best method to protect data given a particular use case / scenario.

4. Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (10%)
This domain would test the knowledge of pricing of various services and validates the test takers ability to use cost optimized storage and compute and build cost effective solutions on AWS.

5. Define Operationally Excellent Architectures (6%)
This domain deals with operations issues and troubleshooting the same on AWS. Building self healing applications would be the core focus in this domain.


How to take the AWS Solutions Architect Certification test

One can register for the certification through AWS Training and Certification dashboard here.

If you clear the exam, you get a badge like this:     download


How to prepare for AWS Solutions Architect Certification test

The best way to prepare for the test is to have hands-on experience in working with AWS services. AWS also has various whitepapers that you can refer here. We also regularly conduct AWS Certification BootCamps and if you are interested to join, please click here and fill out the form.

I also added sample questions for AWS Solutions Architect Certification. Try it out here.

Please share your views in the comments section below if you also took the certification exam, or if you have specific questions.

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WRITTEN BY Bhavesh Goswami

Bhavesh Goswami is the Founder & CEO of CloudThat Technologies. He is a leading expert in the Cloud Computing space with over a decade of experience. He was in the initial development team of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Seattle. and has been working in the Cloud Computing and Big Data fields for over 12 years now. He is a public speaker and has been the Keynote Speaker at the ‘International Conference on Computer Communication and Informatics’. He also has authored numerous research papers and patents in various fields.



  1. aws certification course in pune

    Mar 3, 2021


    Great Information…Thank You for sharing this blog.

  2. laya

    Feb 16, 2021


    Thank you for sharing useful information

  3. Priya

    Jul 19, 2018


    I have given the solution architect associate exam but couldn’t pass in first attempt. So should I go for second attempt prior to 12th august(as SAA exam is valid till 12th august) or go for SAA new release February 2018 exam?

  4. Mahender Singh

    Dec 11, 2017


    Hi Sir,
    i am working with Rackspace in service desk domain. i want to go for AWS Certified Solutions Architect
    i have 4 years of experience in service desk domain. kindly suggest if i can go for it and what are the job possibilities after completing associate level certification

  5. Roushan

    Nov 12, 2017


    Hi I’m a BCA graduate can I do AWS certificate

  6. Vaqar Hasan

    Oct 17, 2017


    I am new to the cloud but what I have read and understood so far is Kryterion does not do AWS exams anymore. PSI does AWS exams now.

    Can anyone pls confirm

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Oct 18, 2017


      This is correct. PSI exams does AWS exams now.

  7. srinivasak

    Sep 1, 2017


    Hi Everyone,
    My self is Srinivasa K. currently working as Technical Associate Analyst. now am planning to move to AWS technology can anyone help me. I don’t have any idea about this technology.

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Oct 18, 2017


      Please email sales @ cloudthat . in

  8. Gowrisankar

    Jul 11, 2016


    I am belongs to Unix domain . I am willing to start AWS cloud . I have confusion whether I have to do Sysops or solution architect since when I approach some one , all are confusing with different different answer . I am not able to find correct answer in google as well 🙂 . Please help me to find / choose my carrier correctly .

    Note : I have 10 years of experience in uninx domain .

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Oct 18, 2017


      Please email sales @ cloudthat . in

  9. SHYAM

    Mar 14, 2016


    HI Bhavesh – I’m a Junior Project Manager working in a Cloud Infrastructure and Storage Company, My role is not purely technical , However i need to have some high level overview and technical understanding to consult customers about Cloud Services , Will AWS certification help me in that regards ?

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Oct 18, 2017


      Yes, it will.

  10. Deepak

    Feb 19, 2016


    Hai Bhavesh,
    present am working as linux system administrator,i want to move AWS platform.I want to move in AWS administrator this required any programming languages like java,python,etc…
    could you tell me what is differnece b/w architect and dev-ops engineer in this platform,

    Deepak I

  11. AMITHA

    Oct 15, 2015


    Do we have AWS EXAM center in INDIA ?

  12. Niyati

    Sep 15, 2015


    Hi Bhavesh,
    I have been in IT Industry for 2 years, and have been working as an Automation Tester and want to build a career in cloud computing. So for a profile like mine, what would you recommend? AWS Developer Certification or AWS SysOps Administrator Certification?

  13. Kapil Kumar

    Mar 27, 2015


    Hi Bhavesh,

    Is there any simulator available on internet on which we can practice all these services just like we have gns3 for CCNA certification training. Kindly let me know if there is something like that available on internet.

    Kapil Kumar
    New Delhi

  14. CHetan

    Mar 18, 2015


    Hi Bhavesh,To get certified in DEVOPS engineer-Professional do I need to clear Sysops Associate certification,
    Can you provide your email id to contact you ?

  15. Mahinder

    Jan 19, 2015


    Hi Bhavesh, i am Linux professional and RHCE certified and i am reallly interested in Cloud. And I don’t have any relevant experience in Cloud or AWS. So can i start my career with AWS ? And I also want to know that for AWS certification is it must to have any programming language?. Please resole my queries.

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Feb 3, 2015


      Mahender, you dont need any programming language experience for Solutions Architect certification. You need hands on experience on AWS, which you can get on your own, or by taking one of our trainings:

  16. pranesh

    Jan 13, 2015


    hi, how are the job opportunities for aws.and what kind of training do you provide.while training do you provide all the course materials and dumps for clearing aws?.do you provide placement also?

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Feb 3, 2015


      Pranesh, we do provide training for aws: has all the info. We now also provide placement assistance.

  17. Manak

    Nov 4, 2014


    I just completed the certification. Its not that difficult. But you should have hands on experience on aws.

  18. Vijay

    Aug 28, 2014


    Hi Bhavesh,

    I wanted to know about opertunities you get by clearing this examination. I am getting trained in big data and I have a little knowledge about AWS. However, I am not an engineer you see and I am just learning these things with an interest to learn. So, if I have to make carrier out of it, what are the possibilities?

  19. Yashwant

    Aug 28, 2014


    Hi Bhavesh,
    I appreciate your efforts in maintaining this forum. Its a great help resource. Please let me know if I can contribute in any way . I have sent a linkedin request, please accept. I am infosec professional and recently got a good handson exposure of setting up a VPC setup for a UK company where I was responsible for architecting security for that. ie. Implementing FW, IDS/IPS, AV, OTP and VA PT. I want to understand the effort or time required for clearing AWS asso and profession exam. And any suggestion on study material.

  20. Nitin

    Aug 9, 2014


    Hi Bhavesh, Curious to know that if there are any console/interface available over public internet where i can realize hands on experience of AWS env, and thenafter can enroll into your training Program?
    Please let me know.

    • Bhavesh Goswami

      Aug 27, 2014


      There are none.. but AWS has a free tier, so you can try a lot of these things for free on AWS itself.

      • amit

        Dec 30, 2014


        Hello Bhavesh,

        can you please send me the verious aws scenarios for preactise with the details solution..i want to preactise in aws.using all its services..

  21. vadalaa

    Jun 13, 2014


    hi, Dear goswami,
    i would like to ask some questions regarding for the, aws certification, what are the job offers in the market, for this?
    which is the best place to learn in hyderabad, could you please suggests me,
    thank you

    yours sincerely,

  22. Bhavesh Goswami

    Mar 28, 2014


    Swapna, you require hands-on knowledge for this certifications, but can always start gaining hands-on experience. With proper training and hands-on labs, we have seen people clearing the certification. If you are interested in the training, check out our training portal:

  23. Swapna H

    Mar 27, 2014


    Hi Bhavesh,

    I don’t have any hands-on experience on AWS. Is there any hope for me to clear this exam?

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


  24. sangram anand

    Jun 13, 2013


    Thanks for the info Bhavesh.

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