AWS SAA Exam Prep Guide

The number one thing that'll help you prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect exam is simply putting in a lot of hours studying. Most folks start with a video course such as ACloudguru and then take a number of practice tests, and that is what I recommend if you can afford it (or if your employer will foot the bill). If you are short on cash, the exam can be conquered at a minimal cost with youtube, AWS docs, and/or cheaper courses from Udemy or Whizlabs. No one source seems to fully cover 100% of the knowledge that can appear on the exam except for the AWS docs themselves. Combining several resources is your best bet. Here is the full list of resources I found.

  1. 10 Official Sample Questions [free] are provided by Amazon themselves.
  2. Free Practice Questions on This Website [free] - I've tried to provide explanations in most answers. Might not be as good as the paid sites and I don't cover the whole exam curriculum, but hey it's free!
  3. ACloudGuru [premium option ~$35/month]
    • The AWS SAA course includes lectures, labs, quizzes, and a practice exam. These folks break things down well and make them easier to understand compared to Linux Academy in my opinion. Each quiz and exam includes explanations for each answer.
    • Some of the labs provide you with a free ephemeral AWS account with pre-provisioned resources. This IMO is a huge benefit because it's very tedious provisioning multiple EC2 instances over and over. Some of the labs though do not provide this, leaving you to pay for your own AWS account to get the maximum benefit. If you do choose to follow along in your own account, be careful to delete any resources you're not using, and keep tabs on your usage by service with the AWS Cost Explorer.
    • They own Linux Academy, but it seems you need a separate membership for that. As of this writing it's $35/month for a membership.
    • They also have a very large library of courses that includes Azure, GCP, Linux, Kubernetes, and other topics as well (they even have a blockchain course!). They have courses covering other AWS certifications.
    • Also included in each course is a forum where you can post questions about topics, labs, or quizzes within the courses and get answers from other students. I used the forum myself and found it pretty useful.
  4. Udemy Practice Exams [cheap option around $30]
    • Udemy is well known for having cheap courses and this is no exception. This pack includes 6 practice exams. They include explanations for each answer.
    • Word around my office was that these are harder than the actual exam and (as of Spring 2021) I agree. But only a little harder. One reason they are harder is because they seem to ask questions about detailed things like specific s3 notifications or cloudformation comands. My actual exam was more about design decisions, how to configure things, etc.
  5. WhizLabs Course and Practice Tests [cheap option ~$30]
    • Whizlabs has a free practice quiz, as well a pack of 6 practice tests plus a bunch of quizzes for $30 (currently on sale for $10 as of this writing). Includes explanations for each answer.
    • They also have an online course for the SAA which I have not tried. You can buy the course and the practice tests as a package deal for $20 as of this writing.
  6. Digital Cloud Training Youtube Videos [free] - a series of really well made videos where the reasoning behind the selected answers are thoroughly explained. Great option to listen to in the car or while doing chores since it's mostly verbal and you don't have to look at many diagrams.
  7. Cloud Guru Youtube Videos [free] - another youtube channel with practice questions. The name might be a ripoff of acloudguru but the content is pretty good.