AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Passed the SAP-C01 on June 11th 2020

Thanks ACG! I passed the SAP-C01 on June 11th with a score of 867. My first attempt was in January and was not successful. I’ve been hyper focused since then on preparing for the exam and passing it. The first exam wasn’t as tough as this one—although it was still quite difficult. The exam I just passed was insane in-terms of the level of difficulty and the length of the questions and answers. I had approximately 20 question that literally filled the screen and I had to scroll to see the answers. This was the most difficult exam I’ve ever taken—bar none! The most intimidating aspect was that the long questions were in blocks of 3 to 5 questions back-to-back and I had very little mental relief during the exam. I answered the last question with 12 minutes to spare and had enough time to review the questions I had flagged.

My advice to everyone is to pay attention to the details others have posted on ACG and build your mental endurance to help you complete the exam with time to spare, so that you can review questions you we’re not sure about. Scott’s practice exam is long and very realistic in-terms of content and difficulty level, so it was great to have his course to prepare me for this exam.

In addition, I use Jon Bonso’s practice tests and they are also top notch and quite realistic in-terms of content, so definitely use those to your advantage. I want to give a shout-out to Ryan Kroonenburg as well, because taking his SAA course helped fill in some gaps that I really needed to get me to the next level.

As far as the types of questions I had see below:

Mechanical Turk – Know which services it supports SQS,SNS,SWF

Transit Gateways – multiple questions

Direct Connect – lots of these on cost efficiency, performance and HA with VPN

AWS Organizations – SCPs, member accounts, root account not affected by SCPs, invite member accounts

IAM – understand when and how roles are used

Snowball,Snowball Edge, Snowmobile – 50-80 TB vs 100 TB and usable space

DynamoDB – Global Tables, Lambda,DAX

API Gateway – Lambda, timeouts

Autoscaling Groups – EC2 vs. ELB

Cloudfront – [email protected], OAI

Route53 – AAAA records vs. CNAME vs. Alias records

RDS – Aurora and Aurora Serverless, MySQL and PostGreSQL


ElastiCache – know the differences in memcached and Redis

MultiAZ deployments

Tons of HA,fault tolerant, cost effective and easiest solution to implement

Systems Manager – Patch Manager, Run Command, Maintenance Windows

S3 – ACLs, bucket policies, signed urls, durable storage

ElasticBeanstalk – All at Once, Rolling with batch, immutable etc.

OpsWorks – stacks

EFS vs. GP2 and cost effectiveness

FsX and FsX for Lustre – enterprise workloads vs. high performance workloads

Migration from Oracle to RDS

DirectConnect Gateway

Transit Gateways

Server Migration Service

VPC Peering(verbatim) –

For anyone preparing for this exam, again, pay attention to the posts here as they are quite realistic and this exam is no joke. Put in your time and learn the material; however, you have to practice taking the tests to make sure you build up your endurance for the barrage of difficult questions you will have to answer. Good luck and thanks again ACG!

Deepak Adlakha

Many Many Congratulations and Thank you for sharing your experience. Quick question, Did you go to the exam centre or give exam from the home ? If From Home, then how was your experience ?

Jad Talbert

Hi @Deepak! I took the exam at a local testing facility. However, have taken other exams from home using OnVue and while the registration and set up were straight forward, I found that the experience for me was not ideal. Specifically the OnVue software records the entire session, which is understandable, and there is a small video screen at the top-center that for me, was quite distracting. In addition, if you move your lips, mumble or look away from the screen the proctor will call you and speak to you during the exam—which is quite frustrating. I was interrupted three times during one exam and basically had to tell the proctor to stop interrupting me so that I could focus. With that said, the convenience was nice and would probably work quite well for others—it just wasn’t for me.

Deepak Adlakha

Thank you for sharing your feedback.

Kent Ou

I chose to take my exam at a local testing center yesterday. My internet connection seconds my idea by stopping working since the night prior to the exam day without any signs.

2 Answers

Congratulations! Thanks for the detailed feedback.

Congrats Jad and thanks for the tips and write-up.  Definitely will help future students!

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