Getting Started with AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam: A Comprehensive Guide
After a journey of self-motivation, I successfully passed the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam on my first attempt. As a result, my peers and community members requested that I share my experience regarding the exam's resources, preparation time, and level of complexity. Hence, I decided to write about the Azure role-based examination after a long hiatus.
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This article is a must-read for IT professionals associated with cloud computing, especially those interested in upgrading their skills set with cloud, aspiring cloud professionals, and individuals with Azure exposure. It provides valuable insights on the dos and don'ts for clearing the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam.
To sit for the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam, you need nothing more than the desire to learn Azure and a few other things outlined in this article.
In brief, Microsoft designed the AZ-900 exam to serve as the starting point for all other Azure role-based examinations. Although it is optional, it is a prerequisite for all certification exam paths. Whether you aspire to be an Azure Solution Architect, Azure Administrator, Azure AI Engineer, Azure Data Engineer, or Azure DevOps Engineer, you need to start with Azure Fundamentals.
By passing the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam, you gain entry into other Azure certification exams that align with your roles, responsibilities, and interests. While it is possible to pursue other Azure role-based certifications without first passing the AZ-900 exam -> click here, it is highly recommended as the preferred pathway.
The AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam serves as the foundation for all other Azure role-based exams. It focuses on refining your knowledge of cloud services and how they are provided on the Microsoft Azure platform. Moreover, it is a useful exam for cloud enthusiasts and non-IT professionals involved in cloud-based solutions and services.
Upon passing the exam, you will earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals badge.
The AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam has a comparatively lower price compared to other Azure certifications, costing around $99 USD (prices may vary depending on the country). The latest update to the exam was in May 2019, which measures your understanding of cloud concepts, core Azure services, security, privacy, compliance, trust, and Azure pricing and support.
To prepare for the AZ-900 exam, it is essential to take it seriously regardless of your experience level with Azure. The best place to start is with Microsoft Learn, a free learning platform introduced at Ignite 2018 that offers various learning paths depending on your job role or skills. Most of these paths offer hands-on learning and interactive training to help you develop practical skills. The best part is that Microsoft Learn is entirely free, with no requirement for a credit card, and provides instant in-browser access to different Microsoft tools and modules.
Once you have selected the appropriate course modules on Microsoft Learn, click on the Azure Fundamentals course to begin your exam preparation. This course consists of less than 9 hours of learning spread across 11 modules, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the skills tested in the exam.
Remember not to just memorize the content but delve into the subject matter until you have a clear understanding of the concepts. Keep in mind that hands-on experience will always be beneficial.
While the resources mentioned above are free, you may also consider paid courses on platforms such as Udemy or Pluralsight that specifically target this exam, but only after completing the modules mentioned earlier.
During the exam, you will have a total of 60 minutes to answer approximately 44 multiple-choice questions (although this may vary). An additional 30 minutes are provided to read the exam guidelines and terms.
It's important to note that there is a common misconception that the additional 30 minutes can be added to the 60-minute exam time, but this is not the case. You will only have 60 minutes to complete the exam.
To help familiarize you with the exam question format, here are a few sample questions that provide a high-level overview of the topics covered in the exam:
After submitting the answer, you cannot go back to the previous question or review it. Make sure to read and understand each question carefully before selecting an answer.
If you notice, there is not much difference between the above two questions, except for the type of Azure resources listed as part of the solutions. This validates your understanding of the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
For Core Azure services, another pattern involves matching appropriate service offerings from the list of dropdown options available. Meanwhile, for security, privacy, compliance, and trust, the exam follows an objective type pattern with real-time scenarios and the expected answer being its outcome. Here, I would say that reading alone is not sufficient; a hands-on experience would be beneficial.
For Azure pricing and support, it is interesting to see a scenario-based question pattern where the exam measures your ability to select the appropriate pricing model for a given scenario.
It is important to avoid relying solely on dumps or mugging up online courses, and instead gain hands-on experience while appearing for the exam. Moreover, the exam should not be considered unimportant, and you must appear for it only after prior studying.
To succeed in the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam, you must strictly follow the principle of 'Don't be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all', go through each section in detail with a thorough understanding, and create an Azure Free trial account to gain hands-on experience with managing Azure resources.
It is also recommended to go for retake exam vouchers as part of Microsoft Learning special offers, book the exam during weekends to avoid before or after office meetings, and take Microsoft Official Practice Test to assess your readiness.
In summary, the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam is one of the trickiest certifications that measures your actual skills on cloud concepts and basic understanding with Microsoft Azure. From the above sample questions, you must now have a clear idea of what Microsoft expects from you in terms of Azure Fundamentals.
The intention of this article is to help you feel more comfortable and confident before appearing for the exam, with clear expectations and no assumptions. Please let me know in the comments below if this article has helped you in any way to clear your Azure Fundamentals certification. Best of luck and happy Azure learning!