AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Passed CSA Professional

Hey all,

Passed the AWS CSA Professional exam today and figured I’d share my experience since I found the posts here helpful in getting prepared.

Materials I used:

  • CloudGuru course and practice exam

  • O’Reilly Media SAP-C01 bootcamp (a four-hour live event that was conveniently scheduled smack in the middle of my preps)

  • AWS whitepapers, FAQs and other documentation

  • AWS sample questions

  • AWS practice exam

  • These forums to identify focus areas

It took me about 3 weeks to prepare in all. I know it sounds like a short time, but I work as a senior network engineer for a service provider and already have professional level certs related to networking, DCs and Linux, plus the AWS Network Specialty and Architect Associate, so I wasn’t exactly starting from scratch.

I had really sketchy results with the various quizzes and tests I tried, going from ~50 to ~90 percent. Got a score of 55% at the AWS practice exam, which was the last one I did before taking the real exam.

Needless to say, I didn’t really expect to pass, but I still put in a serious cram session on the day before the exam, where I focused heavily on the topics others mentioned as most frequent on the exam and it paid off.

I still haven’t received the email confirmation with the breakdown of my score so not sure how I did in each section.

Comparing the real exam to the practice ones, I’d say the real thing felt easier, mainly because it was worded more clearly and there seemed to be less text (AWS practice exam excluded as that’s very similar to the actual experience). I struggled with the CloudGuru practice exam, for example, and wasn’t able to answer all the questions in the allotted time, but I didn’t have that problem at the real exam and actually took my time near the end. I’m not a native English speaker, but am proficient with the language and I didn’t request the additional 30 minutes (unintentional mistake really).

As for the topics at the exam, similar posts here from the past few months cover that well. The only things I’d add are some new services (at least in my experience), like the Gateway Load Balancer and Redshift Concurrency Scaling. Other than that, I’d say the most frequent topics were cross-account and multi-account authentication and authorisation, as well as regional and to-the-cloud migrations.

Cheers 🙂

Eric Humphries

Thanks for this. I’ve had similar experiences with the practice tests. Score very poorly, but the quality of some of the practice exams vary a great deal. I look forward to sitting for this exam hopefully in 2022

1 Answers

@Momcilo Drakulic, Congratulations on passing the certification. In your comments above you mentioned that in AWS Practice tests you got a score of 55 which you were not happy with. What would then be a good score in AWS Practice tests?

Momcilo Drakulic

Probably around 75-80% minimum as that’s around the percentage needed to pass in the real exam as I recall.

Thank you. I read elsewhere that the practice exams are not close to the real exam. Also that people who didn’t do well on the AWS practice test did end up passing the exam after all. So how close of a match is the practice exam score to the real exam score?

Momcilo Drakulic

Sorry, must have missed a notification about this thread. Anyway, my score at the exam was 800 vs those 55% at the practice test.

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