AWS Solutions Architect – Should I take the SAA-C01 or SAA-C02 exam?

SAA-C01 or SAA-C02

Should I take the SAA-C01 or SAA-C02? This is a frequently asked question (FAQ) we have been receiving recently as we get closer to the deadline for the expiration of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate SAA-C01 exam on March 22nd 2020. Many students who are just getting started now will likely end up preparing to sit their exam in middle or late March.

Let’s just lay out a few facts before we continue:

  1. The SAA-C01 is available until March 22nd – if you’re going to be ready well in advance of this date, you should carry on as normal.
  2. If you do take the SAA-C01 exam before March 22nd and pass, your certificate WILL still be valid for 3 years.
  3. At this time the actual release date for the SAA-C02 has not been announced – typically there’d be an overlap of a short period where you can choose which exam you’d prefer to take, so expect it to be released before March 22nd.

So which exam should you study for?

If you’re planning to be ready to sit the exam well in advance of 22nd March and have already been following a course that is designed for the SAA-C01 you should just go ahead and sit the current exam. However, if it looks like you’re going to be cutting it fine, don’t rush to get in before 22nd March and risk failing due to inadequate preparation.

My best advice is that you should make sure you’re ready to sit the exam before you book it in and that you should not rush to get in to do the SAA-C01 before it expires. The new SAA-C02 exam is very similar in scope with just a few more services you need to be aware of before you sit it. If you expect to be ready in late March or later, I suggest you study for the SAA-C02 instead. This will also mean you have fresher knowledge which could be useful in your work.

Another consideration is the training resources you have access to. Though many training providers claim to have updated their courses for the SAA-C02, we haven’t found any (other than ours, see below) that cover all of the new topics such as Amazon FSx, AWS Global Accelerator, Aurora Serverless, and AWS Organizations. If you are going to study for the SAA-C02 you need to make sure you have access to training resources that cover these services.

What’s different in the SAA-C02?

I took the beta exam in November and wrote an article outlining my experience. Please check out the articles below to learn about what to expect in the SAA-C02 and how to best prepare:

Preparation Resources

AWS Certified Solutions Architect AssociateIf you’re looking to pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam, whether you’re taking the SAA-C01 or the SAA-C02, Digital Cloud Training offers training resources that will ensure you comfortably pass your exam first time. Our video courses and practice tests have been entirely updated to ensure we cover everything you need to know for the SAA-C02 exam well before it’s released. Check out the following courses:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Hands-On Course – this course takes you right from creating your first AWS Free Tier account through to building complex architectures on AWS. It’s all hands-on with over 25 hours of guided practical exercises. This is the ultimate video course to not only pass the exam but develop a strong experience-based skillset.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Practice Exams – this course contains over 500 up-to-date practice questions that reflect the style and difficulty of the real AWS exam. Once you consistently score 80% or above in the practice exams, you know that you are ready for the real exam.

Also, check out the FREE high-quality AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Training Notes on our website here. Browsing these free training resources will save you lots of time on the AWS website. This exam-specific set of cheat sheets will help you get straight to the facts you need to know for your AWS exam.

For more information, watch the video below from our youtube channel!



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