AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Passed the Certified Solutions Architect Pro exam 29/10/2019

I passed the Certified Solutions Architect Pro this week. The exam was very tough, and it covered a wide range of AWS services. The topics appeared in my exam:
  • Lambda, API Gateway, and DynamoDB and DynamoDB streams. 

  • AWS Organization, IAM vs SCP, Consolidate Billing, RI sharing across accounts

  • S3, Cross Region Replication, Bucket Policy, S3 vs Glacier, Life Cycle Policy, Versioning, S3 vs EFS, requestor pay, Encryption. 

  • SQS appeared in quite a few complex questions

  • SAM

  • CloudFormation, StackSet. 

  • DX, public VIF vs private VIF, how to make DX HA, DX vs VPN

  • AWS managed VPN

  • VPC peering – make sure you know how to handle VPCs with duplicated CIDR. 

  • VPC end point 

  • Amazon MQ

  • AWS Rekog

  • RedShift 

  • 6Rs

  • ELB with ASG

  • Kinesis Data Stream, Firehose, and Analytics

  • ES with Kibana

  • Application Discovery

  • Storage Gateway, Storage Gateway vs Snowball vs use Internet for migration

  • DR strategies, and RPO/RTO 

  • CloudWatch, CloudWatch Events, and CloudWatch Logs (Metric Filters). 

  • System Manager, patch manager, 

  • KMS vs CloudHSM 

  • EBS – General Purpose vs Provisioned IOPs (e.g IOPs)

  • EC2 – RI vs Spot vs On-demond

  • CI/CD – CodePipeline, CodeBuild, and CodeDeploy

  • CloudFront with Lambda@Edge

  • OpsWork

  • R53 routing policies, Record Set health check, and Private Hosted Zones

  • IAM – roles, polices, Identify Federation with SAML



  • AWS Shield

  • X-Ray

  • AWS Batch

  • MTurk 

  • Athena

  • AWS Config 

  • How to enforcing tagging of your AWS resouces

  • Service Catalog 

  • DMS and SMS

  • Redis vs Memcached

It took me 2 month to prepare the exam (2 -3 hours each day after work). The material I used including ACG course – I read through AWS documentation on any of services that were mentioned in the course and I don’t have in-depth knowledge of; I watched YouTube videos on how to set up/configure XX services if there is no labs. I only read through the Storage Option and Performance at Scale with Elastic Cache white papers, and skipped the rest of white papers, re-Invent videos, and labs in the course. The knowledge I gained from the Developer, SysOps, Security, and Network helped me tremendously on passing this exam. Not all questions are very long in the exam, there were some short questions with only 3 – 4 sentences long that I can finish quickly so that I can spend more time on the complex questions. I think the keys to pass this exam is really have a deep understanding of various AWS services (knowing why preferring one service than the other in the context of question) and time management. The techniques I used during exam: I quickly read through the questions and looking for keywords such as cost-effective, highly available… I only read questions carefully if questions involving troubleshooting, and skip the questions that I don’t know. I want to thank Scott for the amazing course and fellow gurus who gave great tips for the exam. I’m going to take DevOps and Machine Learning exams next.


Congrats!! thanks for the write-up

1 Answers

Congrats Vault!  (Love the Fallout avatar too…hehe) . Honored to be part of your learning journey.

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