A 14-Week Guide to Mastering AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification


Quick summary

Welcome to your definitive journey toward mastering the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification. I’m Jignesh Wadia, the CTO of August Infotech, and I bring over 20 years of technology experience.


Welcome to your definitive journey toward mastering the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification. I’m Jignesh Wadia, the CTO of August Infotech, and I bring over 20 years of technology experience. My skill set includes deep technical knowledge, strategic planning, and the ability to translate complex concepts into actionable plans. I’m here to share my structured 14-week strategy and personal insights, guiding you through cracking the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam. This isn’t just my journey; it’s an integrated and detailed blueprint for all aspiring cloud professionals seeking to validate and elevate their AWS expertise.

Blog structure overview:

Before I delve into the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification preparation details, let me outline how this blog is structured. My journey is meticulously segmented into three main phases:

1. Creation phase: Establishing a foundational understanding of the AWS landscape and the exam’s structure. Five weeks at two hours daily during weekdays. (50 hours)

2. Learning phase: Engaging in an intensive study regimen with various resources and hands-on practice. Seven weeks at two hours during working days and four hours on weekends. (126 hours)

3. Completion phase: Addressing my challenges, reinforcing knowledge, and undertaking extensive practice tests. Two weeks at two hours during working days and four hours on weekends. (36 hours)

Each phase builds upon the last, ensuring a comprehensive approach to mastering the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification.

1. Creation phase:

i. Understanding the AWS landscape (Week 1):

I started by delving into the extensive range of AWS services. With hundreds available, I aimed to understand those services most pertinent to the Solution Architect Associate certification. I spent the first week exploring the course syllabus to identify which AWS services are covered, dedicating around two hours daily to familiarize myself with the AWS landscape.

ii. Structured preparation (Weeks 2-3):

I allocated the next two weeks to thoroughly reviewing the AWS official Exam Guides.

I also learned about the weightage given to various domains:

– Design Secure Architectures (30% of scored content)

– Design Resilient Architectures (26% of scored content)

– Design High-Performing Architectures (24% of scored content)

– Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (20% of scored content)

I Allocated two hours daily to understand the domain breakdown and start aligning your AWS Solution Architect study plan accordingly.

iii. Resource compilation (Weeks 4-5):

During these weeks, I meticulously reviewed the 10 official sample questions, which made me realize the seriousness of the preparation needed. I decided to commit 2 hours Monday to Friday and 4 to 6 hours Saturday and Sunday for the next 8-10 weeks to prepare for the exam.

I delved into the resources provided by AWS under AWS Certification exam preparation, including the exam preparation course, official practice questions sets, and the AWS Learning library. I also started the AWS Cloud Quest to understand AWS services better.

I compiled a list of essential exam topics: EC2, EBS, S3, CloudFront, IAM, RDS, ELB, AutoScaling, Route53, DynamoDB, SNS, SQS, SWF, CloudFormation, ElasticBeanstalk, VPC, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, Kinesis, Redshift, and had a quick overview of what each service entails. This initial look provided me with an understanding of the vastness and depth of AWS services.

2. Learning phase:

i. Deep dive into learning (Weeks 6-12):

Over the next seven weeks, I dedicated myself to an in-depth study of each domain. I watched and practiced with video courses on YouTube, which included:

AWS Video Course 1

AWS Video Course 2

AWS Video Course 3

While these video courses were insightful, I knew they needed to be more so as to clear the exam and to understand the intricacies of AWS services. So, I read the FAQs of critical AWS services like EC2, S3, SQS, EBS, etc. This helped clarify many doubts and strengthened my fundamental knowledge.

I also signed up for the AWS Skill Builder, an online learning center that provides access to over 600 free, on-demand courses, offering role- and domain-specific learning. Here, I engaged in two essential courses: the AWS Cloud Quest course for a more interactive AWS learning experience and the Exam Preparation Course designed specifically for the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam. These resources were invaluable in deepening my understanding and preparing me thoroughly for the exam.

During this phase, I invested around two hours on weekdays. I extended my study time to four hours on weekends, immersing myself in the extensive world of AWS, from theoretical knowledge to practical application. By the end of this phase, I felt confident in my ability to tackle the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam and felt well-versed in a wide range of AWS services and best practices.

3. Completion phase:

i. Challenges and practice (Weeks 13-14):

In the final two weeks, I addressed my challenges, like understanding VPCs, with resources such as the “AWS VPC Core Concepts Analogy Guide“. I tested my knowledge with practice exams from the AWS Official Practice Exam platform, allocating 4-5 hours daily to this intensive review and practice phase.

ii. The final leap: After 14 weeks of dedicated preparation and rigorous study, I scheduled my exam at AWS Training and Certification. This structured approach and committed study schedule were my keys to success, amounting to approximately 212 hours over 14 weeks, at the end of which I cleared the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification exam.

Your path to certification:

Aspiring AWS Solution Architects, your path may be challenging, but with a dedicated 14-week plan, success is within your grasp. You might need more or less time depending on your expertise and availability. Use this integrated and detailed guide as your foundation, supplementing it with your unique learning style and experiences.

Why choose August Infotech?

At August Infotech, we’re not just passive observers but active participants and leaders in the AWS solutions realm. Our team, including myself, is committed to the practical implementation of AWS solutions that drive innovation and operational efficiency.

Engage with us:

I’m eager to hear about your journey or answer any questions you might have. Leave a comment, share your story, or reach out for personalized guidance. Embark on this journey with us toward mastering AWS and shaping the future of cloud solutions. Remember, each step forward is a move toward mastering AWS solutions. With August Infotech, you’re always walking this path with others. Together, we’ll unlock the full potential of the cloud.

Author : Jignesh Wadia Date: January 10, 2024

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