AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (2019) | Exam Experience

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

I wanted to share the resources I used throughout my studies in pursuit of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam. I hope this may be useful to you.

When it comes to studying try and find what works for you, I typically drop my notes into Evernote. Though this time I tried an online mind mapping service called Coggle and it helped massively with mapping out the different services AWS offers. I’m not one to write things on paper because my handwriting is shocking and I cannot even read it back. Though for some that works and that’s cool.

My Coggle mind map can be viewed here its a mess and literally a dump of what was going on in my head, but it worked for me. It may provide some use or at least point you in the direction of how to create a mind map. I’m sure the next map I do will look more presentable! A good book I would highly recommend for further reading on Mind Maps is ‘Buzan’s Study Skills: Mind Maps, Memory Techniques, Speed Reading and More! (Mind Set)‘ big shout out to Faye Ellis at A Cloud Guru for this recommendation.


AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate All-in-One Exam Guide (Exam SAA-C01) – This is the only book I used when studying supplemented with the training courses below. I quite like the All-in-one Exam guides as I find them easier to read.

Online training courses

I used a variety of training courses to ensure I had all bases covered, probably overkill but it worked! I have yearly subscriptions with the training providers below which work out cheaper than paying monthly. FYI: The best time to get a yearly subscription is on Black Friday / Cyber Monday where there tend to be good deals. A cloud guru typically doesn’t participate in these deals as they are considerably cheaper compared to the others.

  • Linux Academy As a visual learner I found the material full of useful high-level diagrams throughout the LABs which helped to visualise how things were being built out.
  • A Cloud Guru The theory used here was full of information and useful exam tips. The LABs were good but I felt not as in-depth compared to Linux academy.
  • Pluralsight Great training videos, no labs but can follow along with a free tier AWS account. 50% off your first month or 15% off an annual subscription if purchased via the link provided.

If you struggle to keep engaged in the video content, I’d recommend listening at around 1.5x speed and see if that helps. I found normal speed a little slow for my liking.

Practice Exams

The above courses include practice exams along with them. I have included some additional practice exams I came across:

I was recommended the following Udemy exams from a colleague (thanks Hugo!) and used these in my final preparations for the exam.

I’m glad I did as I noticed some additional services came up that wasn’t covered in the other training material. Though I can’t recall being tested on any in the exam but could be luck of the draw.

2V0-622D – VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Delta Exam | Exam Experience

Wow, it has been a while since I last blogged! What better way to get back into the swing of things than with a pass on the VMware 2V0-622D exam.

My VCP6-DCV was coming round for renewal and as usual, a mad rush to recertify. Days just before the exam was scheduled, this happened: ‘VMware Certification: Recertification Is Changing and What It Means to You’ Essentially, allowing you to recertify when is convenient for you. With most of the hard work already put in, it made sense to press ahead with taking the exam. The question now remains, do I renew in the future… watch this space!

For those that are not aware, the 2V0-622D is the delta exam, this delta exam focuses more on the upgraded content between VCP6 and VCP6.5. 

Here are my tips for passing the 2V0-622D exam:

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2018 Goals

Goals A Happy New Year to you all!

2017 was a crazy busy year and one quite quiet on the blogging front. The biggest achievement for myself was completing my BSc in Computing and IT & Business with the Open University, it’s been an incredible 7-year journey where I have learnt so much from my studies and also about my self.

I was also promoted to Technical Executive at IPsoft, looking after the technical aspect of the clients I manage and then put in charge of leading a small team.

Review of goals set for 2017:

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VCP6-DCV – Data Center Virtualization | Exam Experience

My VCP5-DCV certification was due to expire at the beginning of March 2017. In order to retain the VCP status, VMware requires that you recertify every two years. The reasoning for me to take the VCP6-DCV was due to work commitments and to keep on top of my current skill set.

The resources I used, have been similar to what I have used before.

I took the vSphere 6 course with 360GSP – Dai, their trainer is excellent and knows the subject inside out, I would highly recommend, especially if a weekend course is more suitable!. Read my review here of the vSphere 6 course with 360GSP.

First place as always, is to review the exam objectivies to get an understanding on what the exam covers.  I used the following additional resources to have all bases covered:


Virtual Langer VCP 6 study guide

VCP6-DCV by TheSaffaGeek


Mastering vSphere 6 by Nick Marshall


Pluralsight –  VMware vSphere 6 Data Center Virtualization by Don Jones

Exam tips:

  • Review the exam objectivies
  • You can book the exam via, make sure your name on your PerarsonVue account matches the ID you’re bringing
  • Make sure you have two forms of ID as per PearsonVue requirements
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early
  • The exam is ~120 minutes and consists of around 85 questions

I took the exam at Nexgenn Consulting Limited, as it was close to where I work. What I was really intrigued by is how thorough they were in ensuring you are not carrying any materials, they asked for all pockets to be pulled out, sleeves rolled up, asked me to pat my trousers down! I’m surprised by what lengths people will go to! The exam centre also provide lockers to store your personal belongs. More than happy to use this test centre again, being close to work is a big convenience.

I decided to go for the full exam (2V0-621) rather than the delta, main reasoning being is that I had a voucher to use, otherwise I would have taken the delta path.

I’m glad to report I passed the VCP6-DCV exam, further renewing my VCP status for another two years. What’s next? At the moment my focus is completing my degree with the Open University, which finishes around September and then I shall decide on what path next!