Are you looking for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Training and struggling to find the best courses?
As a Solutions Architect working with cloud computing, and an instructor of over 30,000 students, I often get asked for recommendations on the best instructor-led online training and practice exams. This article provides some recommendations for how to get started. Read on for tips on making sure you select the best courses to ensure exam success.
My standard approach to training on a technology that is new to me is to start by getting some hands-on practice. With cloud computing, this is generally very easy as you can simply sign up for an account and start playing with the services available.
Most public cloud providers offer some kind of program where you can get some bonus credits or free-tier services too, so you don’t even need to pay. You can sign up for AWS free tier here.
As an example the resources available in free tier the following images show what is provided just in the compute category:
When training for certifications, you also need to ensure that you follow the exam blueprint and learn exactly what you need to pass the exam. With AWS there are so many services available you can’t study them all and need to know which ones will be covered on the exam.
You must also ensure you focus on the right concepts. You may be interested in learning concepts relevant to operations or development, but if you’re taking the Solutions Architect exam you need to know how to choose the best solutions for a particular scenario.
I have often found that after getting some hands-on experience, the best methods of ensuring you study the right concepts for your exam blueprint are to use online instructor-led training videos and high-quality practice questions.
The key, then, is to ensure you select the right courses that cover the syllabus fully and adequately prepare you for the exam experience. If you don’t get this right you could end up wasting a lot of study time, or even worse, end up unprepared for the questions in the exam
In this article, I’d like to offer some recommendations for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Training and AWS Solutions Architect Associate Practice Questions that will hopefully ensure that you don’t end up in this position, and instead turn up to your exam with the knowledge and confidence to ace your certification first time.
Before we get into the course recommendations I just want to provide an overview of the exam. The following explanation comes from the exam blueprint page on the AWS website:
“The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role. This exam validates an examinee’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies.”
“It validates an examinee’s ability to:
- Define a solution using architectural design principles based on customer requirements.
- Provide implementation guidance based on best practices to the organization throughout the life cycle of the project.”
AWS recommend at least one year of hands-on experience and foundational knowledge of many aspects of the AWS cloud architecture.
The exam is 65 questions in length and you get 130 minutes. The questions are formatted into one of 2 response types:
- Multiple-choice: Has one correct response and three incorrect responses (distractors)
- Multiple-response: Has two or more correct responses out of five or more options
The scope of the exam encompasses the 5 domains listed in the table below:
You need to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of AWS services in relation to each of these domains. What this means is many questions will have multiple correct answers and you must select the best option when taking into account, resilience, performance, security, cost and operations.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Training Course Recommendations
The following course summaries are from the 3 courses that I took in 2018 when re-certifying for my AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification.
- Length: 20 hours
- Platform: A Cloud Guru / Udemy
- Instructor: Ryan Kroonenburg, Faye Ellis
- Pros: Good quality videos, clear instruction, knowledgeable instructor, great lab exercises
- Cons: Very light in content and not nearly enough to prepare for the exam, very slide oriented
Summary: This is a long-time bestseller and A Cloud Guru have become very well known in the AWS education industry. The quality is high and there are plenty of good lab exercises to walk you through using AWS services. That being said this course only scratches the surface and should not be used in isolation to prepare for the exam.
- Length: 69 hours
- Platform: Udemy
- Instructor: Eissa A Sherif
- Pros: Good quality videos, clear in-depth instruction, highly experienced instructor, extremely in-depth content
- Cons: Labs could be better as this course is much heavier in theory
Summary: A relative newcomer to the scene, Eissa provides the most in-depth training available for this exam. This course will fully prepare you for the exam. Just be ready for many hours of intense theory as this one dives deep!
- Length: 8hrs 21 mins
- Platform: Pluralsight
- Instructor: Elias Khnaser
- Pros: Good mixture of theory and practice labs, well presented
- Cons: Had some content that wasn’t in the A Cloud Guru course but still not to the depth required to prepare for the exam
Summary: This was a good course with a good mixture of theory and practical labs. It’s well presented and there was quite a bit I learned on this course that wasn’t covered by A Cloud Guru. That being said A Cloud Guru had more guided labs and neither are in-depth enough to prepare you to pass the exam.
- Length: 21hrs
- Platform: Digital Cloud Training
- Instructor: Neal Davis
- Pros: The only course out there that’s almost entirely practical. This is THE best way to get hands-on experience and actually learn how to design and build on AWS
- Cons: If you’re just looking to cram facts in a short period of time you may opt for a shorter, theory-heavy course.
Summary: OK, so I have a massive bias here being the instructor ;-). But seriously, there really aren’t any other courses we know about that give you this level of hands-on practice.
Practice questions are an extremely important tool for preparing for the exam experience. Even if you’ve trained and practised extensively with AWS technology, if you’re not ready for the style and format of the questions in the exam, you may well find yourself struggling.
So where can you find the best practice questions? Well, you’re in the right place! Digital Cloud Training offers the best quality practice questions for AWS Certifications available that represent the challenges and difficulty of the real AWS exam.
WANT SOME FREE PRACTICE QUESTIONS?: Check out our free practice questions and purchase the full set on our website here.
Our Practice Questions are written and updated by AWS certified professionals and we use extensive student feedback from the exam to ensure we align our training resources with students’ exam experiences.
The result is that we have some of the toughest questions available that mirror the difficulty of the new exam pattern. We also provide comprehensive explanations with each question and these are a great way to learn as we describe in detail why each answer is correct or incorrect.
In addition to all this, we provide extensive exam-specific training notes with all of our practice tests and responsive instructor support. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level and become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, head over to Digital Cloud Training and check out the resources we have available.
Looking for more articles like this?
If you’re looking for more tips on studying for AWS certifications, you may want to check out the article “How to Pass AWS Certification Exams First Time in 5 steps“