So I passed the Certified Solutions Architect Pro exam a couple of days ago (with a score of 76%) and i thought i’d leave some feedback regarding the exam.
-The exam was very very high level. I was quite surprised how high level it was.
-Many of the questions referenced a serverless architecture, i.e….’you have an application with API gateway, Lamdba, and DynamoDb…..’, so make sure you know how these things fit together.
-There were quite a few questions that referenced deployments/CI/CD (i.e. cloudformation, ops works, pipeline, code deploy, code build, code commit) at a high level. Make sure you know what each of them is and how/if they fit together.
-I didn’t get any questions on the Cloud Adoption Framework or the various pillars. I guessed this would be the case, I’ve passed 6 exams now (the associate ones, security specialist, advanced networking specialist) and none of the exams have come up with theory based questions. I think the theory is good to know for a practical situation, but in my experience knowing this stuff doesn’t help pass these exams.
-Make sure you know the AWS components when setting up a Direct Connect (i.e Public/private vifs DGW, VGW).
-Make sure you know the AWS components when setting up a Software VPN as well as a hardware VPN.
-Make sure you know all about AWS Organisations, Federated logins, multi account strategy.
-As prep for this exam, I passed the 3 associate courses, the security specialist, and the advanced networking. I strongly advise doing these as prerequisites. I went through the cloud guru videos for the certified solutions architect pro exam and found that I wasn’t actually learning that much at all. That’s not because the videos were bad, but because I’d learnt so much doing the other exams.
-By far the hardest exam is the advanced networking exam, if you can pass that (it took me 3 attempts to pass that exam) you can feel very confident of passing this. I passed this pro exam on my first attempt.
-Before the exam i had already decided if any of the questions looked very long, i would automatically flag and do them at the end. I did this for 4 questions. You have just under 2.30 minutes per question. Those 4 questions would have each taken me 5 minutes just to read the question. I ended up pretty much guessing these at the end as i had 2 minutes left. Be very disciplined and keep to your time planning.
-During the exam i barely had time to breath, i don’t remember any of the questions being short. In fact, it did feel like the exam was testing how well you can cope with reading under pressure. I remember going through many many questions skim reading the question, taking out the main points, then quickly reading the answers and just discounting the ones that sounded wrong then just choosing the option i had left. For many of the questions i went with my gut instinct as you just don’t have time do really analyse it.
-On my very last question just as i was about to click ‘end test’, the computer crashed. I walked through to reception, the lady rebooted the pc, put in my login credentials and it came up with ‘resume test’, it took me to the ‘end test’ page. That was very scary/lucky.
-High level cloudfront came up.
-High level R53 came up, i.e. latency based routing.
-VPC peering came up.
-VPC endpoints came up.
-Make sure you know what the ‘AWS Single Sign On’ service is and why you would used it. As mentioned above, also have an idea on how Active directory Federation is set up, again, at a high level.
-Cloudformation stacks vs stack sets came up.
-CW logs, events, filter metrics came up.
So that’s what i can remember. Not sure what i want to do next, any advise here would be welcome.
Congrats and thanks for your feedback! Seeing people pass is slowly giving me confidence as I wade through these countless whitepapers and documentation.
I suggest going for Dev Ops Engineer pro next! And after that… maybe a small mental vacation haha
Congrat! Thank you for sharing
Congratulations! Thanks for your sharing.
Thanks so much for sharing. Does anyone know what the pass mark is?
Thanks for sharing. Whats next ?