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A lot of people have a question in their mind, whether they should go for a certification or not? We have people from both the school of thought. One in favor of certification and others not very keen in going for it. I would consider certification as a platform to explore the technology and provides an opportunity to validate your understanding. Its more than reading a book on a topic. Definitely, there is no substitute for experience but not everyone gets opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of a technology. A certification broadens your horizon that can be utilized in solving the real time problems. It helps a fresher/inexperienced person to jump start on a technology and an experienced person to explore the breadth of a technology. Certification introduced me to new topics in Azure. Certifications are beneficial and more relevant in below case.
No Knowledge < Knowledge < Knowledge + Certification
Please refer Microsoft page for more reasons and stats.
If you are new to Azure or have some experience in it, this is the entry level certification. The exam doesn't assume you to be an expert in Azure and only tests your knowledge on the topic at a high level. The main objective is to give an introduction to the services available in Azure. It spans across compute, networking, governance, policies, budgeting etc. For more details please check the certification page
Some information about the exam
The cost of exam is $99 only at the time of publication of this post.
For jobseekers affected by COVID-19, the exam is available at a special price of $15. Please refer certification page for eligibility
A discount voucher of 100% could be obtained and applied by attending two sessions of 3-hour each spanning 2 days. To register for the event please visit Microsoft Virtual Training Days and register for Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals at your convenient date. After completing the training, you'll receive an email for scheduling the exam at no cost. It can be scheduled after 5 days of completing the training.
- Passing score > 700
- No of questions: 37
- Time limit: 60 minutes
- Type of Questions
- Scenario based
- One answer correct
- Multiple answer correct
- Match the answers
- Select an item from drop down
The exam can be scheduled through different platforms based on your eligibility as mentioned in certification page. I got it scheduled through Pearson VUE and it was a smooth process.
Planning for an exam is of utmost importance and you need to be committed to it. People tend to fall into vicious circle of learning which never completes and they are unable to schedule the exam. More or less they go into analysis paralysis syndrome and have a fear of never completing the exam content or ready for it. I too had the same feeling and kept postponing it months after months. The way to overcome is to analyze the preparation time and schedule it.
Here I'll describe the plan I have followed to clear the exam. Most of it is relevant irrespective of registration process(Regular/COVID-19/100% discount). I did utilize the 100% discount path for registration and attended virtual training on 22/23 October 2020. Got an email from Microsoft after couple of days describing the process of registering an exam. I did kept postponing the preparation and exam. Finally got it scheduled on Feb 1, 2021 for Feb 22, 2021 after looking at the Microsoft Learn content.
I have had prior experience of working on Azure and had some knowledge on services available in Azure. Still, there were some areas in certification curriculum which were unknown to me. I did plan for three weeks, gave the exam and cleared it. An effort of 2 hours on weekdays and 4-5 hours on weekends is required. Please find below 3 week plan.
First week was committed to Microsoft Learn modules. There were total 6 modules and I planned to cover at least 3 of them. First week is very important in laying the foundation and getting into rhythm. Focus on getting the concepts right instead of rushing to complete. Re-read the modules if required. Do not proceed until and unless things are clear. The modules covered are as follows and can be accessed at Microsoft Learn Path
By this time, I got fair understanding of concepts in Azure and have the momentum for certification. This week was dedicated to complete remaining 3 modules. Once all modules were completed, I did a revision of all the modules at a high level. Analyzed the weak area and re-read about them. During this week, I also started to watch a Udemy course on AZ-900 by Scott Duffy which is a great course and can be considered as a video version of Microsoft Learn modules. Its a 8.5 hrs course and I did complete half of it in Week 2. The course is updated with recent changes done in the month of January, 2021. There is a practice test at the end of the course. It helps to understand the strong and weak areas with respect to Azure concepts. Take this practice test seriously and work on improving the weak areas.
Completed Scott Duffy course during this week. After that took 3 test by Scott Duffy and 6 tests by Mohit Kumar. Both have good explanations and covers a good amount of questions and concepts. Do not mug up the answers, focus on the explanation provided. Re-visit any concept that is unclear.
By the end of 3rd week, a good understanding on AZ-900 question pattern gets developed and practice questions boosts confidence of giving the exam.
After 3 weeks of preparation, I gave the exam. The exam window opens 30 mins prior to scheduled timing in order to get things ready. The questions were scenario based and requires an understanding of the concepts. There were multiple choice questions which tries to confuse by giving near by options. There were some questions for which I had no knowledge but the percentage of such questions is very less. Finally gave the exam and once finished result(Pass/Fail) is shown immediately.
I hope you got some idea on AZ-900 and I strongly believe 3 week plan is relevant and enough to prepare.
Good luck and share your views on the above plan.