My remotely proctored AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate exam experience

I recertified my AWS SAA certification this past Friday. It was the older SAA-C01 exam which expires on June 30th, it has been replaced by the SAA-C02 exam. The SAA-C01 seemed harder than the SAA-C00 exam that I took 3 years ago, there seemed to be more speeds and feeds memorization that I thought the original exam did not focus on.

Thank you to A Cloud Guru which is the only tool I used to pass the exam.

This is the first time I ever took a remotely proctored exam. A couple of points from this experience:

  • You get checked in by a registration person, they are not the exam proctor. The registration person can see your webcam, they talk to you and give you instructions.
  • They’re not kidding when they say they want your desk empty – literally nothing but a keyboard and mouse. They even complained about my laptop being on the desk – it was docked and it took a fair amount of convincing to let me continue.
  • You’re going to have to use your webcam to show them around the room, so be prepared to take down a monitor-mounted one or to spin your laptop around.
  • If they see or hear somebody in the room with you, it’s an instant fail. Make sure you are in a room with a locked door.
  • Do yourself a favor and disconnect and unplug any dual-or-greater monitor configuration before you get into the exam.
  • There is no scratch paper, no dry-erase board, your only option is an electronic notepad built into the testing software. It wasn’t a big deal for this exam but I could see this being a big problem for subnetting on a CCNA exam, or calculations on a VCAP design exam.
  • I got the feeling that nobody was really minding the store. I had an issue and clicked on the “chat” for help, it took somebody like 15 minutes to respond, they said they would call my computer but they never did.
  • Overall it wasn’t all that bad, and it surely was nice to not have to drive back and forth to a testing center. I would do it for another exam where I wasn’t expecting to have to write notes.


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