AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Passed CSA Pro (Beta) Using this class!

Hey everybody — I recently passed the CSA Pro Beta Exam using this course and related materials as my primary preparation tool, so I thought I’d share some observations below. Even though I indirectly reference other training providers below, in this case I didn’t use those courses (read: linux academy, etc).

[feedback in no particular order]

Summary: this is a great class, and I hope it gets updated over time to reflect, what I think will be a more difficult and comprehensive test over time.

a) None of the training provides really cover enough related to server migration and vmware related topics. There’s another course on ACG about migration, but I haven’t taken it so I can’t say if it fills in this gap or what it covers.

b) Please take a moment to read through other posts from other test takers. this goes for all other tests also, but test takers tend to post some great stuff about topics covered on the exam which can help you by recognizing where you might want to watch a reinvent video or read a white paper. For example, using other’s postings, I decided to watch a reinvent on rekognition (sp?) which was helpful, and when I took the test IOPS math made an appearance.

c) at the pro level it’s probably not reasonable for the prep classes to cover everything — for example a friend of mine had (4+ ?) questions about EMR related topics, and I had what seemed like alot on CodePipeline/CodeDeploy. With that being said, i wonder what the ACG instructors advice would be about supplemental training — mostly specialty topic adjacent – would be. For example, by the time I have to renew in 2 years, there will probably be some Alexa content, so I wonder how training providers will work that mention into a class like this.

d) on at least one occasion taking the test, seemed like the question asked something directly from Scott’s ‘exam tips’ recaps, but I still managed to get it wrong i think — summary: pay close attention to the training material.

e) There wasn’t much networking math or BGP related questions on my exam, i wonder what other [new] test takers experience is. My hypothesis is that this is being de-emphasized with the new exam, but I have NO evidence to back that up. The networking sections for this class are/were pretty useful for what was covered.

post from exam day below

Took the Beta exam yesterday, 2 screen/computer freezes/network hiccups I think got me a few minutes back since the exam clock maybe resets to the last interaction time.

While I’ll need to type up some additional comments, basically no BGP related questions made me happy. And having taken the Big Data/DevOps exams helped, and having studied some for the Security exam also helped.

What they don’t tell you is that the ‘waiting on your score’ part is not fun, since I’ll think i’ll be +/- 10 points of the passing score.

(more to follow)


Congrats!! Great feedback!

4 Answers

Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations!! Very helpful feedback.

Congratulations Richard! I can’t find the beta exam any more in the aws website: so it seems that you are the last batch of exam takers for the beta. I am planning to write my AWS CSA Pro exam end of next month and your post might help me.

Based on this thread, he said that there is a BGP question, and he also took the same beta exam that you just passed:

I just took the official practice exam today for AWS CSA Pro and I can confirm that there is one question on BGP session. Something like minimizing the BGP sessions from your VPCs back to your on-premises network scenario. Seems to me that there might be a variety of scenarios/ questions given by each individual takers and not the same where some services may not show to some but will be shown to others. I failed the official practice exam today and got surprised with brand new services like QuickSight, SMS, BIND servers etc. 

I am still hesitant to what review plan should I do so I guess, I’ll just review what Scott has shared and might possibly take the ACG for now. Please give some advise for me on how to pass exam. thanks

Scott Pletcher

Hi Mukul, Lots of people do poorly on the official practice exam and do fine on the real exam. You are correct that everyone’s test contains a different mix of content as, I explain in the course, the exam is made of up a question bank. You might also want to give the CSAP exam simulator a go as that’s very much like the real exam in question difficulty.

Mukul Gopal

thank you Scott! you’re very helpful!

Congrats Richard!   Good information and feedback indeed.   The question about course coverage comes up comes up every so often.  As I tell students in person and in the course, it really takes a holistic approach which includes other materials and just using the services to feel like one has mastery. 

I also advise students to not obsess over trying to learn EVERYTHING.  If your objective is to pass the exam, you want to focus on getting a passing score.  Focusing on getting a perfect score has a pretty steep diminishing returns curve.  Of course, as we all know, exam-smart is not the same as real-world smart…and you will likely have or will develop deep knowledge in those areas you use regularly.  If you can get to a point where you feel like you are 85% – 90% confident, then you’re in good shape.

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