How I prepared for Microsoft Azure Fundamentals - AZ 900 exam ?
Microsoft Azure is one of the leading providers in the cloud computing market since many years. Azure is Microsoft's public cloud offering that is spanned across many regions and offers wide variety of services for customers. I got a chance to explore Azure platform as part of my AZ-900 certification preparation. In this post, I would like to explain my preparation plan that helped me to pass the exam and helped me to get an overview of the Azure itself.
As per Microsoft's official documentation, candidates for this exam should have foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. The exam is intended for candidates who are just beginning to work with cloud-based solutions and services or are new to Azure. The exam skills outline is as below:
- Describe cloud concepts
- Describe core Azure services
- Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
- Describe general security and network security features
- Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
- Describe Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements
Microsoft has recently changed the content of AZ-900 exam in November, 2020. So always refer the official documentation for syllabus and other details.
Let me explain my preparation plan and the materials I have covered.
I already have some exposure towards using cloud technologies, most specifically AWS and Google Cloud. I am a Google certified Cloud Engineer as well as Cloud Architect. Hence I am already equipped with the cloud concepts and services being used. This preparation has given me an opportunity to explore Azure and understand different services provided.
1. Microsoft official learning path for AZ-900
I started with following the Microsoft's official learning path for AZ-900
The below are the step-wise tutorials:
- Azure Fundamentals part 1: Describe core Azure concepts
- Azure Fundamentals part 2: Describe core Azure services
- Azure Fundamentals part 3: Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
- Azure Fundamentals part 4: Describe general security and network security features
- Azure Fundamentals part 5: Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
- Azure Fundamentals part 6: Describe Azure cost management and service level agreements
- Since this is a tutorial we have the flexibility to complete at our own pace
- The quizzes in each section test our knowledge on each topic
- With the help of detailed examples and use cases, we can understand the concepts easily
- Each topic is focusing on one area of the Azure platform
- Some of the tutorials also give us practical learning experience with the pre-configured azure services
2. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Free Course (AZ-900) by Exam Pro
After getting acquainted with the basics of Azure platform and services, I have completed the below video course from Exam Pro.
- Andrew Brown - the author of the course has covered most of the exam syllabus in just 3 hours!
- It can be a refresher before the exam
- Exam guide walkthrough
Next step in my preparation plan is to have some hands-on experience using services provided by Azure. I have created a free azure account and explored different services such as Azure Virtual machines, App functions, different SQL database services etc. This really gave me a feel of using that specific service with the knowledge I got from my theoretical lessons mentioned above.
4. Exam Topics
Finally, I have went through some of the practice exams on AZ-900 to get a feel of the exam and questions. Notable resource in this area would be Exam Topics website. There are 150+ free practice questions for this exam. One thing to remember is that the answer mentioned in the website may not always be correct. We need to go through all the discussions section for each question, use our knowledge and come to a conclusion on the answer.
I have also used some of the other materials/blogs as mentioned below:
Exam overview and experience
I have completed all the above steps as discussed. It took me around one week of time(working full-time) even being a certified cloud engineer by other provider(GCP). I have practiced a lot to get more hands-on experience on many services.
I have chosen to appear for the exam at a Pearson exam center near to my location
- I have got 41 questions(Multiple choice, multi-select, drag-drop) that need to be answered in 90 minutes
- Since this is an entry level exam - I feel that the exam is easy, given good preparation. So you need to manage time efficiently as per your preparation
- There are no questions on using commands with Azure CLI
- After submitting the exam we get a PASS/FAIL result with the marks achieved out of 1000. Microsoft also gives a detailed overview of the percentage of marks obtained in each of section. We can also take a print of that, if needed
- Immediately we also receive a confirmation email with a certificate
You may have a look at my certificate here
Thank you for reading this far. I hope my experience is helpful for those who are trying to apply and prepare for AZ-900 exam.
Wishing you all the best for your certification journey.