AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Exam Feedback on the New AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional 2019 exam

Last Saturday, I passed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional (the new February 2019 version). I would like to thank A Cloud Guru for the awesome course and the people here in the forum. I won’t be able to pass my exam without the people who took the time to share their tips and additional review materials that they used.

I have over 20 years of experience in the IT Industry with almost a decade of experience in AWS. The new exam is really challenging because of its extensive coverage of topics ranging from migration, disaster recovery, data optimization and troubleshooting. I want to give back to the ACG community by sharing the key pointers that can definitely help you in your exam.

1. The official AWS practice exam is difficult but most of its questions do not show up in the actual exam.

2. Focus on AWS Organizations, SCP, AWS Config, AWS Shield, WAF, SAM, Hybrid Architecture and the suite of services under Systems Manager (Patch/Session/State Manager etc). I noticed that there is very few scenarios about EC2, EBS and ELB unlike the old exam version.

3. The ACG course and the Exam Simulator are must-haves for your review but to be honest, you will need an additional review materials from and other practice tests to ensure that you will pass the exam. There are so many difficult questions in the actual exam which requires you to know a specific AWS concept/service in-depth.

For example, we all know how VPC Peering works, but have you tried peering your VPC with 2 other VPCs with matching CIDR block? Do you know the default behavior of your route table such as the use of longest prefix match? Or for example, you know that Redis is much powerful than Memcached, but which engine will you use for your ElastiCache if you have require a multithreaded cache? These are the things I meant when I say we have to know the AWS service in-depth and not just its basic use case.


The most helpful post that I saw here was this one. Definitely a must-read if you want to pass your exam:


Here’s one thread which contains a question that is similar to what I experienced in the actual exam:


Arm yourself with additional AWS training at no cost. AWS provides free video courses here:


Aside from the ACG exam simulator, I also used the Tutorials Dojo / Jon Bonso practice tests plus their AWS cheatsheets for my last minute review. My tip is wait for the Udemy sale (happens every other week) or to look for coupon codes scattered over the Internet to help you save some dough. Here are some helpful links:


I read the exam feedback of the people who recently passed the exam and they don’t recommend buying WhizLabs practice tests. I am a hard-headed fellow and I still bought it and I can definitely say it is not helpful at all in the exam. They updated their practice tests but it is still lacking. For a price of $19.95, definitely not worth it. Just buy the one from Tutorials Dojo instead as their reviewer contains far more relevant questions about the new exam:


Final thoughts

The links I shared above should suffice but here are the additional things that can further help you pass the exam:

1. Redis is not multithreaded by default, unlike Memcached

2. Know the difference between a Public or Private Hosted Zone, including the specific steps on how to implement them.

3. EFS and S3 are both highly durable and highly available data store. The main difference is EFS supports POSIX file system unlike S3. EFS is also a preferred storage service if you have thousands of EC2 instances that requires low-latency data access:


Thank you again folks! Wish you luck on your exam!

Radu Lupan

Congrats James!

Rahul Dattaria

Cleared this exam with below dumps

5 Answers


James Reed

thank you


James Reed

Thank you Ahmad!

Congrats James and great feedback.

James Reed

Thanks a lot Scott! You’re the best!

Hey James, what AWS cheatsheets are you referring to? I’m net on on ACG

Mee Noi Sunya

The AWS Cheatsheets he mentioned can be found on the Tutorials Dojo site

James Reed

Hey Vsem, the link shared by Mee Noi Sunya is correct.

This is excellent advice! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

I’m surprised that the Tutorials Dojo practice test is better that Whizlabs – the Udemy reviews for both suggest the opposite.

Mukul Gopal

Udemy Ratings are not totally accurate in my opinion. Did you bought WhizLabs as well? I used both Tutorials Dojo and WhizLabs, with the same reason as you ( I saw WhizLabs 4.5 rating). I passed my exam and I can tell you that even though WhizLabs has a better rating, it doesn’t have enough relevant content for the new version of the exam. Just look at their Udemy SA Professional practice tests landing page. You will see "AWS SAP-P00" exam code, instead of "AWS SAP-C01". How can you trust this kind of provider that miss a simple information like that? You should also see the number of students who gave the ratings. It is only 73 ratings our of 951 students enrolled in WhizLabs while for Tutorials Dojo, it has 325 ratings out of 2,940 students enrolled.

John O’Brien

Although WhizLab has updated its practice tests for Pro, it is still missing a lot relevant topics for the exam:

Mo H

Totally agreed with John.

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