Passed AWS Solutions Architect Associate (barely...some caution)

I got a 66%.  When I hit the submit button I thought...there is no way I passed this.  Then I saw "you passed".  Relieved yes, but wish I knew specifically what I got wrong (a 65% is minimum for passing).  

I believe the the LA course only covers about 50-60% of what you need to know.  Even the whitepapers and FAQ's which I read both of didnt seem to help.  I took the LA final test about 5 times, the last 3 got mid to upper 90's.  I took the quizzes as I went and always got 100% or one off of 100% on the first go.  I did the official flash cards more than once.  I took extensive notes in One Note (which will always be valuable beyond the cert) for each and every service.

I've been in IT (web, mobile, full stack dev, linux system admin for 20 years).  I think that helped me out for only about 10-20%.  The questions I did not know the answer to I just flat out couldnt even do process of elimination.  I started the LA course about 2-3 weeks ago and sat the formal 3 day AWS SA training course at Amazon her in Seattle.  I've only had about 1 month of AWS experience at work, mostly with Cognito and Federated Identities/SAML (none of which was on the test).

If I were to do it again, I would get that official AWS book on Amazon that came out this year on Solution Architecture, the training course instructor from Amazon recommended it.  Also, I think I would of played around more with AWS itself....but I like doing that in the developer context so I'm looking forward to that next with LA.  I would also re-take all the quizzes here on LA and re-do all the labs probably multiple times in the days leading up to the test vs. wasting my time with the whitepapers.

I'm still happy with the results, the goal was to help out my team at work as we transition to AWS and I thought there was no way better than to dive head first and require myself to get certified SA to get the  breadth required to make good decisions at work.

Some Tips....

  • Know the difference between Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers
  • Know S3 security/permissions very well
  • Know STS very well
  • Know ACL/Security Groups of course, but more so when they are combined and in the context inbound vs. outbound troubleshooting
  • Know how/when/restrictions for EBS encryption and what happens when you do so.
  • Know all the auto scaling stuff....that goes without saying, that part I did well on.
  • Know Route 53 better than you think you should and what restrictions exist there.
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    tcox
    07-15-2017

    Fantastic! Being able to pass it on your first try with only a couple months experience and training is a great achievement!


    Thanks for sharing your experiences and recommendations and congratulations!

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    Marcellus M
    07-15-2017

    Thanks Terrence  :)

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    Doug V
    07-15-2017

    Nicely done, Marcellus, and thanks for your feedback.

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    Rachel C
    07-16-2017

    Congrats!

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    Shahan K
    07-16-2017

    Way to go  @nogbit !  

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    Jon M
    07-17-2017

    Awesome Job and Thanks for the feedback!

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    Elle K
    07-17-2017

    Congratulations, Marcellus!

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    Thomas H
    07-17-2017

    Woohoo!  Congrats, Marcellus.

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    Brandon M
    07-17-2017

    Great job, Marcellus! 

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    Treva W
    07-17-2017

    Way to go, Marcellus! Thanks for leaving feedback!

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    Chaz W
    07-17-2017

    Keep it up, Marcellus! 

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    Sean G
    07-17-2017

    Congrats on the pass! 2-3 weeks of study is very aggressive for this course and certification.

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    Peter T
    07-17-2017

    That is so cool!

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    Amy M
    07-17-2017

    Congrats!

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    Kevin J
    07-17-2017

    Well done.

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    Colette W
    07-17-2017

    Congrats!! Thanks for the feedback. 

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    Travis T
    07-17-2017

    Well done Marcellus!

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    Taha K
    07-17-2017

    Congrats! Thanks for your caution. May take test next week very helpful info.

  • post-author-pic
    Shirley M
    07-21-2017

    Congrats to you!

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    Matthew F
    07-22-2017

    I hope that this feedback is incorporated into the course, great information to have regardless.

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    Johnny L
    07-23-2017

    This is really good information that can further prepare others for the exam. I really appreciate your feeback. Thank you. 

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    Arshad G
    07-24-2017

    your feedbackup, much appreciated. Thanks

  • post-author-pic
    Enrique P
    07-25-2017

    I just took the exam yesterday and failed, I got a 55%! ugh, I also had only 55 questions, not sure if you had 60  on yours. 


    I also took this course from head to toe, passed final exam each time doing better than the last with my final score being 92%. 

    Thanks for saying Whitepapers was a waste of time, I didnt even go through them and was going to start reading them for my next attempt but now forget it! 

    What would you recommend for sutdying further besides this course? Although this course taught me all the fundamentals like you said, it is prob worth 60% of the test content. 

    Also guys I had very hard questions that could not answer at all so just took wild guesses on relating to CORS and API Gateways, and kinesis firehose vs stream, and CIDR blocks. 

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