New SAA-C03 Exam Version for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

To keep up with the pace of development of new features and services, AWS update their certification exams periodically. In a recent post AWS have announced that they will be updating the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam from the SAA-C02 to SAA-C03.

Typically, new versions of an exam are quite minor with a few new services and topic areas being introduced. Having reviewed the new exam guide there’s definitely lots of coverage of new services that were not previously in scope.

In fact, there are over 30 additional services on the exam guide for the SAA-C03, a much bigger change compared to the previous update back in 2020!

Key Facts about the New SAA-C03 Exam

The release is almost 6 months away at the time of writing, so you have plenty of time to get certified using the current exam. As we get closer to the release date of the new exam we’ll be releasing new videos and practice questions to cover the new topic areas, so you’ll have plenty of resources to adequately prepare.

In this article we answer the following questions:

  • When is this update taking place?
  • When does the current exam SAA-C02 expire?
  • I recently passed the SAA-C02 exam, what does this mean for me?
  • Will the new SAA-C03 exam be harder?
  • If I’m already studying for SAA-C02 what should I do?
  • Will there be exam labs / hands-on labs in the new SAA-C03 exam?
  • Is there a beta exam for the SAA-C03?
  • How can I get hands-on experience with AWS?
  • Have the Exam Domains Changed in the SAA-C03?
  • Which new AWS services will be covered in the SAA-C03?

Keep on reading to get answers to all the above and more!

Click the image above to watch Neal’s video on the new SAA-C03 exam

When is this update taking place?

The new exam is available for registration from 26th July 2022. You can take the new exam from August 30th 2022.

When does the current exam expire?

The SAA-C02 will expire on August 29th 2022 so if you’re studying for the current version of the exam make sure you’re ready to pass the exam well ahead of this date. Check out our 50 day study plan to ensure you’re on track for completing ahead of the exam expiry.

I recently passed the SAA-C02 exam, what does this mean for me?

Congratulations on passing this challenging exam, it’s an important achievement that sets you up for success in your career. There’s no need to be concerned about the exam update as all AWS certifications are valid for three years and do not designate the specific version of the exam you took. Therefore, your SAA-C02 certification is valid for a three year period and there’s no reason to recertify before the expiration date.

Will the new exam be harder?

The difficulty level should be very similar to the current exam but many new services will be included. Well over 30 new services and many feature updates will be in scope for the new exam so you’ll have to put some extra study time in to make sure you’re well prepared. Overall we don’t expect the exam to be harder, but the content coverage is definitely broader.

If I’m already studying for SAA-C02 what should I do?

Carry on with your studies and make sure you’re ready to sit the exam well ahead of the August 29 exam expiry. We strongly recommend that you plan to sit the exam more than two weeks ahead of this date, so you have plenty of time to try again if you don’t pass first time.

Will there be exam labs / hands-on labs in the exam?

In the most recent update to the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification AWS introduduced hands on questions where you must use the AWS Management Console to complete a series of tasks. Some expected the new versions of other certifications to also include exam labs. They have not included exam labs in the new exam guide for the SAA-C03 so it looks like it will be multiple choice and multiple response questions only.

Is there a beta exam?

Unusually there is no beta for the new exam, and they are going straight from the SAA-C02 to the SAA-C03 with no overlap. Therefore, you must ensure you either pass your SAA-C02 on or before August 29th 2022, or you must study for the SAA-C03 and book your exam from August 30th 2022.

Will the courses on digitalcloud.training be updated?

Yes, but not until closer to the release of the new exam. There are many topics that are not in scope for the current SAA-C02 exam so it would be confusing for students studying for the current exam. We will release a new version of the course that includes the SAA-C03 topics around August 2022. If you have an active enrollment in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate training courses on our platform the updates for the video course, practice test course, and cheat sheets will all be offered to you for free.

How can I get hands-on experience with AWS?

Our courses include guided hands-on exercises that you can follow along in your AWS Free Tier account. By the end of the course you’ll have gained solid hands-on experience with AWS that will help with both passing the exam and getting employed in the AWS Cloud industry. We also offer Challenge Labs which are hands-on challenges that you must completed in a sandbox account. That means you don’t have to worry about bills and can both learn and test your skill with various levels of challenge from beginner to expert.

Have the Exam Domains Changed?

The exam domains have been adjusted in both order and weighting, but the actual categories of knowledge areas covered are unchanged at the exam domain level. Within each exam domain there are task statements and knowledge areas and these are new to the SAA-C03 exam. You can find the detailed list of exam domains, task statements, and knowledge areas within the exam guide but I’ll share the exam domains and tasks statements here.

Domain 1: Design Secure Architectures

This exam domain is focused on securing your architectures on AWS and comprises 30% of the exam. Task statements include:

  • Task Statement 1: Design secure access to AWS resources.
  • Task Statement 2: Design secure workloads and applications.
  • Task Statement 3: Determine appropriate data security controls.

Domain 2: Design Resilient Architectures

  • This exam domain is focused on designing resilient architectures on AWS and comprises 26% of the exam. Task statements include:
  • Task Statement 1: Design scalable and loosely coupled architectures.
  • Task Statement 2: Design highly available and/or fault-tolerant architectures.

Domain 3: Design High-Performing Architectures

This exam domain is focused on designing high-performing architectures on AWS and comprises 24% of the exam. Task statements include:

  • Task Statement 1: Determine high-performing and/or scalable storage solutions.
  • Task Statement 2: Design high-performing and elastic compute solutions.
  • Task Statement 3: Determine high-performing database solutions.
  • Task Statement 4: Determine high-performing and/or scalable network architectures.
  • Task Statement 5: Determine high-performing data ingestion and transformation solutions.

Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures

This exam domain is focused optimizing solutions for cost-effectiveness on AWS and comprises 20% of the exam. Task statements include:

  • Task Statement 1: Design cost-optimized storage solutions.
  • Task Statement 2: Design cost-optimized compute solutions.
  • Task Statement 3: Design cost-optimized database solutions.
  • Task Statement 4: Design cost-optimized network architectures.

Which new AWS services will be covered in the SAA-C03?

There are lots of new services and feature updates in scope for the new AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification! Here’s a list of some of the new services that will be in scope for the new version of the exam:

  • AWS Data Exchange
  • AWS Data Pipeline
  • AWS Lake Formation
  • Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka
  • Amazon AppFlow
  • AWS Outposts
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • AWS Wavelength
  • Amazon Neptune
  • Amazon Quantum Ledger Database
  • Amazon Timestream
  • AWS Amplify
  • Amazon Comprehend
  • Amazon Forecast
  • Amazon Fraud Detector
  • Amazon Kendra
  • AWS License Manager
  • Amazon Managed Grafana
  • Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus
  • AWS Proton
  • Amazon Elastic Transcoder
  • Amazon Kinesis Video Streams
  • AWS Application Discovery Service
  • AWS WAF Serverless
  • AWS AppSync

More Information on the SAA-C03 Exam Release

Check out the Coming Soon to AWS Certification page on the AWS website for the latest information on the release of the SAA-C03 exam. You can also find more information in the exam guide for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C03.

How Can I best Prepare?

Enroll now in our comprehensive training courses for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification. We are the only certification training provider to offer excellent video courses, practice test courses, and certification cheat sheets. Our courses are kept up-to-date and we’ll make sure you pass your exam the first time. Watch out for more announcements closer to the release date for the new SAA-C03 exam so we can notify you about any course updates.

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