I wanted to share that I recently passed SAA-C02 exam. I took at on-site testing center and was very satisfied with the experience. I would highly recommend it in favor of the remote option as you have more freedom, such as:
You are allowed to use a restroom (but the time is ticking)
They give you a piece of paper for notes (helped me with 1-2 questions)
Zero chance of having tech issues on your side due to the connectivity/camera
You can read out loud, which helped me as a non-native English speaker
Taking exams outside of the comfort of your own home helps you to stay more organized and focused.
Please note, this is my personal experience. I understand, that it might not be possible for everyone due to COVID restrictions or/and your location. The main point is to share my experience so you can weigh the pros/cons if you have an option.
Now, about the exam questions:
Everything is true that Roy Middleton mentioned in his post
0 questions about evaluating JSON policy
S3 storage tiers
SQS/SNS questions. Know what is fanout pattern is.
Know what are "newer exam" services are for (you would be given a scenario question to choose a service that fits best for the given scenario):
GuardDuty vs Inspector vs Trusted advisor vs Macie
Config, Athena, Glue, DataSync, PrivateLink, etc…
A couple of questions about Storage GW and File Systems
Take a look at Aurora Serverless
Some detailed questions about AWS Lambda
Overall, try to remember bottom/upper limits, default configs, what can be changed and what can’t after creation when it comes to "core" services, such as S3, Lambda, EC2, SQS, VPC, ELB, IAM, etc.
Know the difference between AWS Autoscaling vs EC2 Autoscaling
The pricing model for data in and out (scenario questions to choose the least expensive option)
At least a couple of questions that mentioned EventBridge
Know Security (different AWS services, Cognito, IAM and security inside VPC, think private/public subnets, how to secure your AWS account, etc.)
Here is my impression and thoughts, tips:
It’s possible to formulate an answer right away, just by reading a question and without reading the options, e.g. "…file System for Windows…" -> you probably would think Windows FSx. However, for the majority of the questions, I felt like I need to make sure that I read all the options. Almost all the time, it was easy to eliminate 2 options right away, leaving you to choose between the 2 others.
Even though I’m not a native English speaker, I didn’t take accommodation for extra time. In my opinion, the standard 130 is more than enough (I finished 30 min earlier and then was reviewing my answers). If you don’t know what’s that service does, you can’t "logically" come up with a good solution. It’s just a guess game.
It’s quite stressful at the beginning of the exam, knowing that time is ticking and you have a lot to go through. I chose a strategy to skip all the questions that are more than 2-3 sentences long and only answer "shorter ones". You get more confidence that way and can spend more time on the longer ones later.
For longer questions:
I looked for the keywords and try to understand which of them are relevant and which of them are "distractors".
After understanding the question, most of the time I read all answers "in parallel", to discard the wrong ones. A good amount of answers have the same wording only differing in services or the order they are listed.
Preparation and resources:
I think ASG is a number 1 resource when it comes to video content. There are so many lectures and if you want to dive deeper intointo a specific topic, you can always find a more thorough video in a specialty/professional/supportive/other courses. However, I felt that the difficulty of their mock exams is falling behind the actual exam. Particularly, there are not enough questions when 2-3 services are combined or some very low-level/niche specifics of a particular service.
This is where "Jon Bonso" questions on "Udemy" come in. Unfortunately, I only discovered them 2 days before the exam, but even going through one of the 6 mock exams helped a lot. I believe these questions overall are much tougher than the exam ones, so I would recommend them. Some of the techniques/details that I found in "Jon Bonso" answers helped a lot on the real exam.
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@kat-ehooperThe AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C02) examination is intended for individuals who perform in a Solutions Architect role. The exam validates an examinee’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies.
Thanks for sharing.
The Jon Bonso exam bundle is definitly a must before going to the exam.
It made me reconsider my readiness to take the exam.
I went forward only when i secured at least 72 (minimum passing mark) in all 6 of the exam in the bundle.