Top Tips for the AWS Professional Certification

The AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam is considered one of — if not the hardest AWS certification — for good reason. Being 3 hours long, and consisting of 75 lengthy and difficult questions you have to be extremely well versed in how AWS works in order to pass this exam. Here are our top 9 Tips on how to best prepare for this challenging SAP-C01 exam.

1. Do the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam first

It goes without saying that you should already have also passed AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner before attempting the Solutions Architect Professional exam, but some people find it tempting to skip the AWS Architect Associate too, as they think it may be unnecessary if they plan to do the AWS professional certification. However, I do think it has its place when it comes to up-skilling yourself further, and continuing on your AWS journey.

It is also another certificate to add to your collection, and if you are planning to get as many as possible, why not start with two easy wins?!

2. Choose an appropriate course to study from

It is vitally important that you are using an appropriate course that can give you everything you will need to pass the exam in one package. Here at Digital Cloud Training we have a range of instructor-led training courses, exam questions and lab environments to choose from. Check out our popular AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional training courses which are designed to give you all of the knowledge you need to pass the SA Pro exam. With over 19 hours of Instructor led videos, guided hands-on exercises and 150 practice exam questions, you will be in a great position to pass the exam with confidence — while building the knowledge to become a Solutions Architect Professional.

3. Come up with an appropriate ramping up strategy

You will need a plan of some kind to tackle the difficult part of learning all of the material required to pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Exam. This will be very individual plan obviously, but a good plan may look like this:

  • Book the exam for a date about 6–8 weeks away from the current date. Having a deadline to work towards will help you get your motivation going.
  • For the first 4–6 weeks, focus on learning as much as you can, and aim to complete all of the learning materials for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional hands-on training.
  • The final 2–4 weeks, make time to do lots of practice tests. This consolidates what you’ve been learning from the previous weeks and allows you to assess your exam readiness.

Check out our free study plan for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional.

4. Incorporate hands-on labs experience

By doing as many hands-on practical exercises as possible — you are putting your learning into practice and getting a more holistic view of how services work and how to build applications and solutions in the AWS Cloud. Whilst there is currently no hands-on portion in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Exam, as a Solutions Architect / Cloud Engineer in real life you have to know how to build highly reliable solutions in the AWS cloud.

The best resource by far is using Challenge Labs. These scenario-based hands-on exercises run in a secure sandbox environment which will prevent you from running up undesirable bills, all whilst allowing you to build in the real AWS Console and gain real life cloud skills.

5. Read plenty of AWS Whitepapers

Whilst you cannot exclusively rely on whitepapers to help you pass the Solutions Architect Professional exam, they offer a great insight into how to build solutions on AWS, and they are goldmines of learning material and architectural best practices.

Reading over an AWS whitepaper

can offer you a different learning experience. It offers you the opportunity to fit in some extra learning and incorporate your learning when you are unwinding with your Kindle in the evening.

6. Use the process of elimination

The multiple choice aspect of the exam gives you the ability to use the ‘process of elimination’ — even if you have to choose multiple answers.

Normally there are one or two very wrong answers, and a few potential contenders. You want to you remove the obviously wrong answers immediately, before you jump into trying to identify the correct answer.

It’s preferable to use this method to increase your chances of answering the question correctly.

7. Know your IT fundamentals

IT fundamentals are important to having an understanding of the greater context of how AWS works. Especially at the SA Pro level, you are required to understand how networking works and how solutions fit together in the cloud. It’s therefore crucial to be fully clued up on the fundamentals.

8. Manage your time effectively in the exam

When you are preparing for the exam and you hear that the exam time is 3 hours, you may think that it’s a lot of time — but trust us, it is not too much time. If you are not watching the clock you may find yourself running out of time. Make sure to flag any questions you may want to review at the end (if time permits). With 75 questions, and 3 hours you have around 2 and a half minutes per question and considering how big the questions are that is not that much time. Plan your time wisely and make sure you do not get stuck on any one question for more than a few minutes.

9. Don’t panic!

Lastly but most importantly, don’t panic! If you do the preparation work by completing our training courses and engaging in the hands- on challenge labs you will have more than enough knowledge to successfully pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional exam with confidence.

Here’s how to get started with your AWS Professional Certification

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professionals have very strong earning potential and lots of job opportunities. Get started now and earn your AWS Professional Certification with our popular AWS training resources:

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Founder of Digital Cloud Training, IT instructor and Cloud Solutions Architect with 20+ year of IT industry experience. Passionate about empowering his students

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Neal Davis

Neal Davis

Founder of Digital Cloud Training, IT instructor and Cloud Solutions Architect with 20+ year of IT industry experience. Passionate about empowering his students

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