Passing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02) Exam

Adrian Cantrill
10 min readJul 15, 2020

Full disclosure — I create online training courses for AWS, I currently have one for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate one for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Professional and a Bundle containing both. This article (I think) contains unbiased opinions & experiences, but I wanted to be clear about my perspective right at the start.

On March 23rd 2020 AWS Released a new version of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate (CSAA) exam. The exam was given a new code SAA-C02, a departure from the usual minor incremental changes to exams which AWS is known for. SAA-C02 represents a sweeping change to the associate architect exam, with some estimating a 30% change to subjects tested with a firm architecture focus.

This article represents my experiences on the exam, and feedback provided by the initial wave of students who’ve completed my Architect Associate course and gone on to pass the exam.

The article has a few main areas

  • Training Material (no surprise I’ll be recommending my own)
  • Topic hints and tips (my own, plus student feedback)
  • Exam and Question Technique
  • Study Notes from a student (curated)
  • Additional suggestions for exam practice

Before you start, the topic hints n tips are in brain dump format, so don’t expect much in the way of sentence structure and grammar :)

Training Material

There are a range of courses available for the CSAA exam. Each course ranges in price, quality and how up to date the content is. I made a decision in later 2019 to create a brand new course for the SAA-C02 exam, rather than updating existing SAA-C01 content. My opinion then, and still now, is that the exam is a major update which requires major content changes. I stand behind my own material for SAA-C02 which I’ve been working on for the past few months — focussed specifically on the needs of the SAA-C02 exam. I’ve put in significant effort to make sure this is (IMO) the best material for confident exam passes.

Whatever material you choose, look for how recent the console looks, check for coverage of new…



Adrian Cantrill

Technical Trainer, Cloud Architect, Tech, Productivity & Efficiency Obsessed wannabe minimalist.