What is AWS SAA-C03?

What is AWS SAA-C03? How it is different from SAA-C02?

I took the recently released AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate SAA-C03 exam version recently. The AWS SAA-C03 test replaced the old SAA-C02 exam version last August. If you can compare the official exam guide of the previous SAA-C02 version with the latest one (AWS SAA-C03), you may notice that the exam domains are almost exactly the same but with quite different domain percentages and with few new services.

What’s the AWS SAA-C03 Exam?

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification exam is designed for IT Professionals who perform a Solutions Architect or DevOps role and have several years of hands-on experience in designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.

Based on our experience with the new exam, as well as official AWS announcements and documentation, the SAA-C02 and the AWS SAA-C03 are very similar.

The organizational structure of the exams has basically stayed the same, but the weights have been altered slightly to reflect the introduction of new services and processes. More than 90% of the task statements in the AWS SAA-C03 are already included in the SAA-C02!

So, if you were preparing for SAA-C02 then you are on good track. You will have to learn few more services.

Some additional good news is that the difficulty level and makeup of the exam are also still relatively the same:

  • The exam will consist of multiple choice and multiple answer (response) questions.
  • There are no short answer questions or any hands-on lab exam scenarios.
  • The exam is about 130 minutes long and scored the same way: on a scale of 100 – 1000, with a passing score being 720 or above.
  • In terms of cost, the exam still costs $150 USD and can be taken either at a facility or remotely.

Key Facts about the New AWS SAA-C03 Exam

In this article we answer the following questions:

When is this update taking place?

It already happened! The new AWS SAA-C03 exam for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification is now live. You can no longer gave SAA-C02 exam.

When does the SAA-C02 exam expire?

The SAA-C02 expired on August 29th, 2022, so you have no option to take that exam anymore. If you’re planning to get certified, you must take the SAA-C03 exam.

I recently passed the SAA-C02 exam, what does this mean for me?

Nothing to worry. Your certification is still valid for next 3 years from the date you have taken the exam. Certification does not mention the version. So, whether it is SAA-C02 or SAA-C03 is still a great achievement.

Is the new AWS SAA-C03 exam harder?

I won’t say it is harder, but the course syllabus is broadened. New services have been included as well. So, you will have to learn more things.

Does the SAA-C03 include exam labs / hands-on labs?

No hands-on labs.

What are the exam domains for the SAA-C03?

You will notice that 3 of the 4 domains are still named the same, however their percentages have changed in the new exam guide:

  • Design Resilient Architectures – Percentage dropped from 30% to 26%
  • Design High-performing architectures – Percentage dropped from 28% to 24%
  • Design Cost-Optimized Architectures – Percentage increased from 18% to 20%

Which new AWS services are covered in the AWS SAA-C03?

There are lots of new services and features included in the new AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C03 exam! Here’s a list of some of the new services that are included:

  • AWS Data Exchange
  • AWS Data Pipeline
  • AWS Lake Formation
  • Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka
  • Amazon AppFlow
  • AWS Outposts
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • AWS Wavelength
  • Amazon Neptune
  • Amazon Quantum Ledger Database
  • Amazon Timestream
  • AWS Amplify
  • Amazon Comprehend
  • Amazon Forecast
  • Amazon Fraud Detector
  • Amazon Kendra
  • AWS License Manager
  • Amazon Managed Grafana
  • Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus
  • AWS Proton
  • Amazon Elastic Transcoder
  • Amazon Kinesis Video Streams
  • AWS Application Discovery Service
  • AWS WAF Serverless
  • AWS AppSync

How to best prepare for the AWS SAA-C03?

Take any course which outlines the AWS syllabus as per AWS SAA-C03, and it is updated. Many YouTube channels mentions it is already updated but in fact it is same as SAA-c02. So, choose wisely. Choosing course is really important. Make a note of all AWS services, go through all, differentiate it. Believe me this helps a lot as AWS is sea of knowledge which makes easy to get lost. Do practice test exams and review the exams.

You are set to go!!

Good Luck

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