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SOA Certified Architect Experiences

I recently got my SOA Architect Certification from Aritura/SOASchool.com and considering the lack of information about the certification, I thought of sharing my experiences in this blog post.

Exam Overview

To be a Certified SOA Architect, you are required to pass the following five exams:

  • Fundamental SOA & Service Oriented Computing – S90.01
  • SOA Technology Concepts – S90.02
  • SOA Design & Architecture – S90.03
  • Advanced SOA Design & Architecture – S90.08
  • SOA Design & Architecture Lab – S90.09

The time allowed for the first four exams is an hour and the final Lab is a two hour exam. All these exams can be taken at any authorized Prometric center. Like most Prometric exams, the score is provided immediately at the end of the exam. Once you complete two of the above five exams, you will become a Certified SOA Professional and will receive a SOACP certificate in mail.

Exam Details

Here is a high level overview of the five exams and their passing score.
Fundamental SOA & Service Oriented Computing – This exam tests the fundamental SOA terminology and concepts. If you are serious about SOA, like Thomas Erl mentions in this article, the topics required for this exam must become a second nature to you. The exam itself has 50 multiple choice and True/False questions. The passing score for this exam is 80% (40 of 50 questions).

SOA Technology Concepts – This exam tests concepts such as XML, XML Schemas, Web Service Contracts and WS-* stack. The exam has 50 multiple choice and True/False questions. The passing score is 78% (39 of 50 questions).

SOA Design & Architecture – This exam tests concepts surrounding services, service roles, service compositions with a heavy emphasis on the eight service orientation design principles. The exam has 50 multiple choice and True/False questions. The passing score is 80% (40 of 50 questions).

Advanced SOA Design & Architecture – This exam tests an understanding of design patterns in a SOA environment. To pass this exam, you need a solid understanding of Service Inventory Design Patterns, Service Design Patterns, Composition Design Patterns, ESB Patterns and Orchestration Patterns. Like the above three exams, this exam has 50 multiple choice and True/False questions. The passing score is 78% (39 of 50 questions).

SOA Design & Architecture Lab – This exam is heavy application based and tests the application of SOA concepts and design patterns. As part of the exam, you will be asked 20 scenario based questions. The passing score is 60% (12 of 20 questions). I am planning to post a separate blog with more details about this exam.

Exam Preparation

Arcitura/SoaSchools.com offers module courses that correspond to each exam. I took their five day WebEx of SOA Architect Certification training. After registering for the training, I received five module booklets and three books. Another good thing about taking the training is that we get exam vouchers at a discounted price.

After my training, I heavily used the booklets to prepare for the exams and referred to sections in the books. I took Exam 1 followed by Exam 3 which I heavily recommend as these two exams share concepts. Since the lab exam is more application of concepts learnt during previous exams (4 and 3 more specifically), I recommend not delaying it for a long time. Also, when taking the exam I noticed that if I click on the text of an answer it gets selected. If I were to click on the text again, it deselects it. If you are like me and click on the screen a lot while reading, be careful when reviewing your answers. You might accidently unanswer a question.


It has been an interesting journey taking these five exams. I feel good about scoring a 98% in the first exam and 100% in the rest of the exams. To conclude, this is truly a vendor neutral certification and it helped me solidify my existing SOA experience.

  1. August 9th, 2013 at 09:07 | #1


  2. Yashovardhan
    September 2nd, 2013 at 08:47 | #2

    Hi Balaji,

    Congratulations!!!. I have cleared S90.01 and S90.02.
    I am also preparing to become SOA Certified Architect.
    Now my next target is S90.03. Can you please let me know what all chapters from Principles of Service Design are important to read?

    Thank you.

  3. Viddyasagar CS
    December 5th, 2013 at 10:34 | #3

    Hi Balaji,
    I am preparing for the SOA Architect Exam. I am trying to get the self-study kits for the preparation But the shipping costs for 5 modules itself costs about $450 USD and unable to find out if there any resellers based in India. Can you please guide me in this regard?


  4. Vincent
    March 4th, 2014 at 08:18 | #4

    Hi Balaji,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this info. May I ask if SOASchool issues any physical certificate (a paper cert) to you after you obtained the certification? Or just providing an electronic cert on their website? Unlike other vendors, it seems their website does not mention about anything this. Please share your experience if possible.

    Thanks a lot.

  5. ShivaSK
    November 1st, 2014 at 04:53 | #5

    Hey Balaji

    Congrats! Can u share the expereinces of your preparations and what topix needs to be taken attention for completing the Fundamental SOA & Service-Oriented Computing ( S90-01A ) exam..

    If you have any preparatory material, kindly share me shivaa_virgo@yahoo.com

  6. Faris
    February 9th, 2015 at 19:35 | #6

    Thanks a lot for sharing this info.
    I am also preparing to take the final exam S09.

  1. August 9th, 2013 at 21:46 | #1