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AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate SAA-C02
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate SAA-C02

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AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Certification Facts

This associate-level certification verifies the knowledge and skills of the potential candidates in deploying and architecting robust and secure applications on Amazon AWS technologies. It also validates their ability to offer the implementation guidance according to the organization’s best practices through the project lifecycle. The path also demonstrates that you can define solutions with the use of the architectural design principles according to the customers’ prerequisites.

To get this certificate, the individuals must pass the SAA-C02 exam. This test evaluates their knowledge and skills in the fundamental architectural principles of developing on AWS Cloud. It also measures their understanding of Amazon AWS global infrastructure, network technologies concerning AWS, and recommended best practices for creating reliable and secure applications of the Amazon AWS platform.


The target candidates for the Amazon SAA-C02 exam are those professionals who work in the Solutions Architect role. They have at least one year of practical experience in designing cost-effective, scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant distributed systems on AWS. The interested individuals should have the competence in using networking, database AWS services, storage, and compute as well as the skills required for AWS deployment & management services. You should also be able to define and identify the technical prerequisites for the AWS-based applications as well as know about the security tools and features offered by Amazon and how these relate to the conventional service.

Exam Overview

The qualification exam is 130 minutes long and contains 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. The test comes with about 15 unscored items, which do not count towards your overall score. They are used to evaluate the future questions. The registration fee for taking the exam is $150, and there is an optional $20 fee for those candidates who want to have access to the official practice test. There are two delivery methods, so you can sit for this exam at a testing center or as an online proctored option. The learners can nail Amazon SAA-C02 in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, or Japanese. They must achieve the passing score of 720 points to qualify for the certification.

The topics that will be evaluated during the delivery of the Amazon SAA-C02 exam are the following:

Designing Resilient Architectures (30%)

  • Design multi-tier architecture solutions: It includes the individuals’ skills in determining solution designs according to access patterns, determining the scaling strategy for the elements used within design, and choosing the relevant database, storage, and compute services based on the prerequisites;
  • Design fault-tolerant and highly available architectures, which include choosing highly available configurations to mitigate the single point of failure;
  • Use Amazon AWS services to design decoupling mechanisms: This means that you should have the skills in determining AWS services that can be leveraged to attain loose coupling elements;
  • Select the relevant resilient storage, which includes defining the strategy to ensure data durability and choosing data services that will fulfill the access requirements of an application.

Designing High-Performing Architectures (28%)

  • Identity scalable and elastic compute solutions for the workload: It evaluates the skills in selecting the relevant services & architectures that can scale to fulfill the performance prerequisites and choosing the relevant instances based on the networking, storage, and compute prerequisites;
  • Choose scalable and high-performing storage solutions for the workload: Here you are required to have competence in establishing storage services with the capability to scale to make allowance for the future needs;
  • Choose a high-performing networking solution for workloads: It coves the skills in choosing the relevant AWS connectivity options for fulfilling the performance demands, choosing the relevant data transfer for ingestion and/or migration, and establishing edge caching strategies for offering the performance benefits;
  • Select a high-performing database solution for workloads: It includes the skills in selecting the appropriate database services to fulfill the performance needs.

Designing Secure Applications & Architectures (24%)

  • Design specific secure access to Amazon AWS resources: You need to have competence in establishing when to choose among the users, roles, and groups, interpreting the net impact of specific access policies, and establishing secure techniques for applications to access Amazon AWS APIs;
  • Design secure application tiers, which include choosing the relevant routing mechanisms to access AWS service endpoints securely or Internet-based resources from Amazon VPC. It also covers your competence in choosing the relevant AWS services for protecting applications from any external threats;
  • Choose the relevant data security alternatives: It covers one’s competence in choosing the relevant encryption alternatives for data in transit and data at rest for Amazon AWS services.

Designing Cost-Optimized Architectures (18%)

  • Identify a cost-efficient storage solution: It requires the students’ expertise in applying the automated processes for ensuring that data is stored in storage tiers that reduce costs and establishing the most cost-efficient data storage alternatives according to the requirements;
  • Identify cost-efficient database & compute services: It includes the skills in choosing the relevant scaling strategies from cost perspectives as well as choosing and sizing compute resources optimally suitable for workloads;
  • Design cost-effective network architecture: Here you should focus on the skills in establishing strategies to minimize cost of data transfer in AWS and establishing the most cost-efficient connectivity alternative between the on-premises and AWS environments.

Preparation Options

The potential candidates have a wide variety of preparation options to explore for this certification exam. The first place to start your preparation is the official website. Here, the learners will find numerous helpful tools designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills required for success in the test. These materials include the following:

  • Exam Guide: This is the first step in the preparation process. It is recommended that the students download this guide and go through the information it contains in detail. With this, they will be able to understand the exam scope and other important details related to it;
  • Training Course: Amazon offers the official training course to help the interested individuals gain competence in the topics of the exam. It is highly recommended that you take this course to understand the content of the test;
  • Practice Test: The vendor also provides the official practice test to help the individuals measure their competence before taking the certification exam. You can purchase it for $20 from the official webpage.

Career Prospects

The Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certificate provides the certified professionals with a wide range of career opportunities. Some of the job roles that they can explore include a Software Engineer, a DevOps Engineer, a Solutions Architect, and a Cloud Solutions Architect. The average remuneration you can expect is $114,350 per annum.

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