AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Some feedback from the beta exam today

I’ve not received any results yet, I see a few people have passed it so I am curious how long I will have to wait to learn the results… 

Anyhow just some feedback about the type of questions I had:

  • Opswork seemed to come up a lot, particular Opswork vs CloudFormation

  • Combining multiple accounts into one and providing IAM access across all and some accounts for various parties (usually a Security team that needs access to all) came up at least 5 times with various permutations of allowing auditing and billing monitoring

  • I had several questions on Rekognition, one scanning an on premise repository of video software, good idea to learn a bit about it

  • Many questions on serverless architecture, perhaps as much as a third of the questions are on Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB etc. usually replacing an EC2 based architecture.  I regret not having gone through the Serverless course yet as it would be very useful, I had started the Security Specialty course instead but my time would have been better spent on the Serverless!

  • AWS ES kept showing up and it took me a while to realise they meant ElasticSearch as they were usually around storage and I immediately thought ElasticStore?!

  • Data Migration Service – a few here where I was able to strike out some answers by knowing what is valid as a source so useful to know these.

  • One I was confused a bit over, DMS of on premise MySQL database to make highly available and better performance now and in the future with two likely choices, use either AWS MySQL or AWS Aurora, I went with Aurora but I couldn’t really decide why it would be better except AWS like to think their database is better than anyone else’s 😀

  • Several questions where you have to decide between using SQS and AWS Step Functions, again it would be a good idea to know a little about these.

It was a bit of a stressful exam as I broke down on the way to the exam but a kindly stranger helped me push the car off the road then gave me a lift to the exam centre just in time.  I was expecting 110 questions and allowed 2 minutes a question but it turned out there were only 85 questions and I finished with 20 minutes to spare, I would have spent the remaining time checking answers but needed to get out and sort out my car trouble…  What people have said before over time management is worth taking seriously, this is a long exam and it takes time to read through the questions, particularly because often the answers are almost identical…  half way through your brain starts to shut down and it wasn’t helped by the hot and stuffy cubicle at the test centre 😀

Sean McLaren

You picked right on Aurora I’m almost sure. I don’t know how accurate it is, but in their re:invent presentations they hammer on Aurora’s performance vs regular MySQL. They swear the structure makes it 5-10x faster. Thanks for the information. I’ll be taking it Friday, and I’ll add whatever I see that may not have been mentioned elsewhere.

David Hampson

I think so but like I said I couldn’t really say why except for their marketing of it 😀 . Good luck with the exam Sean!

1 Answers

Thanks David for the feedback.  I too was tripped up by AWS ES….I flagged the first question that it came up for later and in the meantime, realized they were talking about ElastiSearch.   That is a gap in the 2019 course so I’m going to create a small module for it so people will know what its about, recommended use cases and that its abbreviated as ‘ES’..haha.


David Hampson

Thanks Scott, its nice to know the guru got tripped up too 😀 . I enjoyed your course too, I’m hoping they let you do some more 😉

Scott Pletcher

Thanks David! Have more courses in the pipeline. Brock and I are just starting a course for the new Certified Machine Learning Specialty.

David Hampson

And thank you very much Scott, I passed the beta exam 😀

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