AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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How many people pass the exam 1st attempt

Does anybody have any information on how many people pass the exam in 1st attempt? Any guess/anecdotal, I am assuming there is no published information on this

Was just curious

Graham Coppard

I tried the Professional with Firebrand in the UK a few weeks ago. 8 on the course, 5 took the exam – we all failed. I got 55%.

Sam T

Sorry to hear that, well next time. AWS would give a 50% off coupon after taking any exam (pass or fail) – remember to use it.

Vũ Luân

I don’t know why, but I don’t receive any coupon after all exams I taken

3 Answers

Hi Sam,

It’s very tough to say and there aren’t any success rate stats that AWS publishes.  The CSAP is one of the most challenging exams I’ve taken and I’ve passed some big ones like CISSP and PMP.  Few people have the courage to talk about failing the exam publicly.

I think many people underestimate the difficulty level and all the other factors that you need to master to be effective at the exam.  If you go in thinking it’s going to be like the Associate exams, you will tank.  Some people adopt a strategy of just using the first go at the exam as a diagnostic and getting familiar with the test setting and format.

On my first attempt way back in 2015, I knew the content well but I didn’t manage my time properly and left many questions unanswered resulting in failing.  I re-registered as soon as a could and adopted a strict time-boxing strategy (which I still use to this day) and passed with time to spare.


I endore what Scott said.

You can pass this 1st time (I did) but it takespreparation and a solidexam strategy.  I know left marks on the table because I refused to be drawn into questions that I could not complete in the allocate 1.9 minutes per question.  Some I could have solved, but I was not willing to do so for pride at thecost of other questions and marks.

This is not an exam for someone with no real experience and only one or two certs that were minimum passes.  I drew on my past experience in IT to understand the subtleties of the questions.  My preparation started by reading wide and deep from when I started my 1st associate.  As a result I had 9 months of deep immersion in AWS before I sat the exam. 

We do have a course that will help you both with preparation of the required knowledge and to avoid the traps the exam sets to weed out the ill prepared.


Best of skill


Moderator & Coach

Yes CSAP exam is a tough exam, and overall AWS exams are much tougher than most similar certification exams. I have taken many over my (very long) career – I would say AWS are much tougher.

I have passed all AWS exams, overall I would opine CSAP is the toughest- breadth it covers is so very wide. However, based on background one could find one or other tougher. Networking was toughest for me- it was the only exam I did not pass in 1st attempt, even though I had missed narrowly.

The issue of time management is often raised- I think the questions are very verbose and tricky – so it all adds up. One must have a time management strategy for multi-choice exams – that should do the trick. I never felt short of time in any exam – always had more than plenty to spare. Maybe I am fast, or better prepared or have a better plan- probably you need all of the above.

But passing overall depends on background and prep- these exams test you, so you need good preparation- whatever is your learning style. With just cramming etc you would easily get exposed.

Sometimes I have noticed right here in this forum people asking very dumb questions. I want to tell them, you are not ready of this yet- you need to take a step back (wonder how they may have passed the prereq Associate exam).

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