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What Is New In The Updated AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam (CSAA)

AWS has made its updated AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam (SAA-C02) available from March 23, 2020. Here is an attempt to explain all the changes that have been made to update AWS CSAA 2020 Exam. 

So you are interested in earning your AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification, but the recent updates in the AWS CSAA 2020 Exam are not clear to you and that is making you apprehensive about the certification. Many other candidates are sailing in the same boat. Going through this blog will definitely help you and others to get rid of all the confusions.

AWS CSAA as we all understand, validates a candidate’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. It is one of the most popular AWS certification exam available. Candidates who have skills for designing AWS systems with higher availability, fault tolerance, and scalability are suitable for AWS CSAA 2020 exam. The new AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification exam (SAA-C02) will definitely prove to be the benchmark to initiate a career as an AWS Solutions Architect.

New AWS CSAA Exam Requirement

There are no specific prerequisites for candidates from AWS to appear for its AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. But it is recommended to have :

  • One year of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS
  • Hands-on experience using compute, networking, storage, and database AWS services
  • Hands-on experience with AWS deployment and management services
  • Ability to identify and define technical requirements for an AWS-based application
  • Ability to identify which AWS services meet a given technical requirement
  • Knowledge of recommended best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
  • An understanding of the basic architectural principles of building on the AWS cloud
  • An understanding of the AWS global infrastructure
  • An understanding of network technologies as they relate to AWS
  • An understanding of security features and tools that AWS provides and how they relate to traditional services

The Changes Made In The Course

Old Exam (SAA-CO1) Updated Exam (SAA-CO2) 2020
Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures (34%)


Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures (30%)
Domain 2: Define Performant Architectures (24%)


Domain 2: Design High-Performing Architectures (28%)


Domain 3: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures (26%)

Domain 3: Design Secure Applications and Architectures (24%)


Domain 3: Design Secure Applications and Architectures (24%)
Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (10%)



Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (18%)
Domain 5: Define Operationally Excellent Architectures (6%)

Thus, we can summarize that:

  • SAA-CO2 will have only four domains and not five as it used to have in the older version.
  • Although domain 5 doesn’t exist in the updated version, the other four domains are very similar.
  • Each domain in updated AWS CSAA 2020 Exam now has different percentage contribution and one must prepare accordingly.

The Difference Between the Old and The Updated AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam

  • All assessment points in Domain1 of both the old and the updated exam appear to be very similar in their requirements.
  • The title of Domain 2 appears to be similar in both the exams, but this domain has been updated the most. Applying caching is not a part of the updated domain. Candidates will also be able to select high-performing networking solutions for a given workload.
  • The requirement of knowing how to define the network architecture of a single VPC application is not included in the updated Domain 3. It has been replaced by the need to understand how to define secure access to AWS resources. Other assessment points within this domain remain unchanged.
  • All the requirements of the current exam have been included in the Domain 4 along with an additional point of being able to demonstrate how to design cost-optimized network architectures. 

For detailed information on the difference between the domains of the old and the updated SAA-CO2 exam please see the AWS Certified Solutions Architect official study guide. 

Exam Details:-

There are two types of questions on the examination:

  • Multiple choice: Has one correct response and three incorrect responses (distractors).
  • Multiple response: Has two or more correct responses out of five or more options.
  • Exams can be given only at the pre-selected testing center
  • Fees for the exam is $150 USD
  • Exam can be availed in four different languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean.

If you are planning for AWS CSAA Exam preparation, AWS offers training and ample of course material in its official exam guide. For customized AWS CSAA online training course, you can enroll yourself to Infosec Train. In-depth training on the latest curriculum is available here to help you earn the certification. For more information please visit www.infosectrain.com

Sweta Choudhary
Writer And Editor
Sweta Choudhary is a writer and editor for last 10 years. After completing her journalism from Delhi, she started her career with ‘The Pioneer’ Newspaper in 2003. She has also worked with other esteemed organisations like hindustantimes.com and Algerian Embassy. She has written various articles on wide range of topics like mainstream news, lifestyle, fashion, travel blogs, book reviews, Management courses, Information Technology, Workplace Organisation Methodologies (5S) and many more. Her work can be read on the websites of multiple organisation, magazines and Quora.