Coming Soon to AWS Certification

Find out about upcoming exam updates, beta exams, and new certifications

What's Coming

New exam: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate (SOA-C02)

Posted: December 29, 2020

Registration is now open for the new AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate beta exam. You can take the beta exam from February 16, 2021 to March 26, 2021. The current version of the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate exam (SOA-C01) will continue to be available throughout the beta phase of the new exam. 

What's new

We are making updates to the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate exam to account for the rapid pace of innovation on the AWS platform and the latest best practices for the SysOps administrator role. For the first time, exams may include a combination of multiple choice, multiple response, and exam lab items. When you complete exam labs, you will be demonstrating skills relevant to a SysOps administrator role by building solutions with the AWS Management Console and AWS CLI.

You can view an updated description of what to expect in the exam guide. To help you prepare, the outline includes the test domains, the weight of each domain, and detailed learning objectives with example AWS services. 

About the beta exam

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate beta exam is open to anyone at a discounted rate of 75 USD. You’ll have 220 minutes to complete the exam. If you successfully pass, you’ll earn AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification with all the associated benefits. Results are available approximately 90 days after the end of the beta period rather than immediately after the exam.

Exam appointments for the beta are limited, so register early to participate. If you don’t make it into the beta, the updated exam (SOA-C02) will be generally available in Q3 2021. The beta exam is available in English only and can be taken at select Pearson VUE testing centers as well as through Pearson VUE online proctoring.

If you take your exam via online proctoring, external monitors are allowed for the SOA-C02 exam. Run the system test first to ensure your network meets the system requirements. To access a list of testing centers offering the beta exam, sign in to your AWS Certification Account and select “Schedule New Exam.” The SOA-C02 exam is listed in the eligible exams menu. After you select to schedule it with Pearson VUE, you can access the list of specific testing centers offering the exam.

Curious about online proctoring? 5 tips for a successful online-proctored AWS Certification exam

About the certification

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate is intended for system administrators in cloud operations roles who have at least one year of hands-on experience with deployment, management, networking, and security on AWS. This credential helps organizations identify and develop talent with critical skills for implementing cloud initiatives. By earning AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate, builders can highlight their experience using AWS optimization strategies, network configuration, and security implementation and compliance policies.

Get the Exam Guide (SOA-CO2) »
Get the Sample Questions (SOA-CO2) »


  • What is an exam guide?

    AWS Certification exam guides include the content outline and relevant details for a certification exam. Creating an exam guide is a critical component in our rigorous process for industry-recognized exams and credentials.

  • Why is there a new exam guide for an existing AWS Certification?

    We develop new exam outlines to maintain the currency of our certification exams. We also provide a revised exam guide when an outline changes.

  • For exams with new versions that are coming soon, which exam should I take?

    We encourage candidates to review exam guides carefully and consider how long they need to prepare for an exam. They should also consider exam availability dates when making a decision about which version to take. Passing a beta exam or standard exam will result in earning an AWS Certification valid for three years.

  • How frequently are exams updated?

    AWS Certifications are designed to validate experience and knowledge of current AWS technology and best practices. Domains and objectives for each certification are carefully created by AWS subject matter experts. Once a certification is available, exams are refreshed on an ongoing basis. AWS subject matter experts will update domains and objectives as needed to reflect new AWS technology or best practices. The frequency varies by exam. If you’re interested in taking part in our rigorous approach to creating and updating our exams, learn more about our SME program.

  • What is a beta exam?

    AWS Certification uses beta exams to test exam item performance before use in a live exam. An exam goes through the beta process before the exam is launched for the first time. AWS Certification also completes a beta process when an exam outline changes.

  • What is the benefit of taking a beta exam?

    Beta candidates have the opportunity to take the newest exams first and to participate in data gathering about the performance of exam questions. For new exams, candidates who pass the exam can be among the first to hold the new certification. In addition, beta exams are typically offered at 50% off standard exam pricing.

  • What happens if I pass the beta?

    Candidates who pass the beta exam will be awarded the AWS Certification once scores are released, typically 90 days from the end of the beta period. Your certification will be valid for three years from the day scores are released.

  • What happens if I do not pass the beta exam?

    Individuals who participate in beta exams but do not pass can retake the exam once the standard version is released. A passing score on the beta or standard exam is required to earn the certification.

  • Why is there a beta exam for an existing AWS Certification exam?

    We develop new exam outlines to maintain the currency of our certification exams and provide a revised exam guide when an outline changes. A beta period for the updated version allows us to gather statistical information about new questions that fit the new outline.  

  • Where do I take the beta exam?

    Beta exams are delivered by our testing vendors, PSI and Pearson VUE. Testing centers are available in thousands of locations across the globe. You can access a list of the available testing centers in your area with available dates and times during the exam scheduling process.

  • Why is beta registration limited?

    We offer beta versions of new exams in order to gather statistical information about new questions that fit the new outline. Once we reach our capacity for this statistical analysis, we may close registration for a given beta exam. Anyone who has already registered will have the opportunity to complete their beta exam as scheduled.

  • What languages are beta exams available in?

    Beta exams are available only in English. We anticipate more languages will be available once the exam is released in full.

  • What prerequisites are required to take these beta exams?

    There are no prerequisites for our AWS Certification exams, including beta exams. In October 2018, we removed prerequisites to give candidates more flexibility for our exams.  

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