How I passed the Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam

Microsoft’s Cloud Azure is one of the large cloud providers that has now been around for quite a few years, and with good reason, Microsoft has always been a big player when it comes to computing and software and it is only natural that they also participate and play an important role as a cloud provider.

This certification is the entry point into the Azure certifications, while it is the easiest of the Azure certifications, it will give you a good foundation and overall understanding of the services Azure has to offer as well as provide a good foundation of cloud concept in general as well as help you understand the security, compliance, support and pricing that the cloud provider has to offer.

Before you start

About this post:

  • 2 – 7 min average reading time
  • Suitable for beginner through to advanced

What you will gain reading this post:

  • A set of strategies to make the exam experience easier
  • A list of recommended training materials and providers

What you can do to help support:

  • Like, comment and share this article
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Now, let’s get started.

Strategies

On the day of the exam you can feel nervous.

This is normal, but the conditions of the exam centres/online exam can also exaggerate that feeling.   

Setup yourself for success

As the date of the exam approaches is to put yourself in a similar environment. 

  • Try putting yourself in a quiet room, such as those you find in a library. 

The more you are able to mimic the exam environment, the less the environment will add to your nerves on the day of the exam.

Managing your time

Managing your time is very important, not only do you need to be aware of how long it will take you to complete the exam, but also how long you will require to review your flagged questions before you do a final submission. 

  • The exam gives you 60 minutes with 30-50 questions, where you are required to answer them all in that time frame, some of those questions are actually multiple questions in a single question space, so for example I had 34 questions in total, but for question number 5 out of 34, I was required to answer 3 questions and then clicking next continued to 6 out of 34.
  • When taking the exam make sure that you leave yourself enough time to perform a review of the questions that you flagged.  

I gave myself 20 minutes, but you may require more or less time to perform your review.

What is important is you understand how much time you require and ensure you leave yourself enough time.

Training Providers

Microsoft

Microsoft themselves have training courses that they are offering for free at the moment, I found the course material very helpful and well presented, even providing you with the option to ask questions throughout via a chat, finally at the end of the course (around 1 week later) you will be provided with a voucher to take the exam for free.

I am not sure how long the offer for the free training and certification will last so my recommendation is take it up as soon as possible and take advantage of Microsoft’s generous offer.

To access the free training and certification, these are the steps I took.

  • Click the link Microsoft Azure Training Day
  • Register for a training session (free), if sessions are full look for one that isn’t
  • Microsoft will issue a voucher around a week after the training is completed

Linux Academy

Linux Academy was one of the main training providers that I used all the way through to taking the exam. 

With the course I have linked below, you will get a good understanding and practical experience on how the different Azure services work and integrate with one another. I highly recommend this course. 

https://linuxacademy.com/course/microsoft-azure-fundamentals-az-900-exam-prep/

The Exam

Unless you are scoring 90% or above consistently across all the practise exams then do not take the actually exam.

It is better to wait until you understand the concepts well, you can then go into the actual exam confident and provide yourself a very high chance of succeeding.  

I decided to take the exam at home, this was a very smooth process for me and it gave me great flexibility, I was very happy with the result and it is the approach I will be taking from now on.

If you would like to take that approach the link to the online exam provider is here https://home.pearsonvue.com/Clients/Microsoft/Online-proctored.aspx

Keep in mind

  • The difficulty of the questions you experience during the exam could vary greatly between individuals
  • You will be expected to answer questions about Azure services as well as understand more widely about what they have to offer this included support plans, signup plans and even where you navigate to locate information and commence processes such as raising support tickets in their portal
  • Do not also be surprised if you are asked the construct of the URL to where you find updates and the URL to the portal itself.
  • Do not let yourself become overwhelmed but instead focus on answering the questions as best you can
  • Start by eliminating answer/s that you know are incorrect
  • Ensure you read the questions a few times to grasp what they are trying to test you on and then if you are still not sure make an educated guess
  • Make sure you flag the question to come back later and revisit the answer you initially provided.
  • You will be able to grasp how you are doing by the number of flagged answers you have
  • Answers that are not flagged you do not need to come back and revisit as you will be confident with the answer/s you selected

Following this will help you with your time management for completing and reviewing you exam before your final submission.

The Results

Almost instantly, you will be provided with your results via the Microsoft Dashboard.

You will get given

  • A badge that you can share with your employers or services such as LinkedIn
  • A transcript that you can share with your employer or potential employer
  • A pdf version of the certificate
  • A score up to 1000 

The pass mark required is 700, my final score was 900.

Finally enjoy and celebrate your success, you have earned it.

Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals

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Author: Robert Leggett

I am a passionate, pragmatic and focused leader for people and technology. I love to converse in Spanish, play video games and spend time with my family.

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