How to pass Microsoft AZ-900 Exam

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Microsoft AZ-900 Exam Overview

Before you start your journey to prepare for AZ-900 exam, it is very crucial to understand what AZ-900 exam actually about. As the name suggests AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is one of the basic exams that covers some general knowledge about Microsoft Azure. The Microsoft AZ-900 exam covers a basic understanding of cloud concepts including – core Azure services, security, privacy, compliance, and trust, as well as Azure Pricing and support.

Some of the things you must tick in your to-do list while preparing for AZ-900 Exam before you begin your preparation are –

  • You must have a clear understanding of the core benefits of cloud computing and various cloud models.
  • You should be well acquainted with available cloud services available and their purpose.
  • Additionally you must have clarity about the concepts of Azure in general and Azure governance, like Subscriptions, Management Groups, Azure Policies, Azure Resource Groups, Role-Based Access Control, and many more.

The article serves as a comprehensive guide providing complete details about Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 certification exam and how to prepare to crack the certification.

Why choose Microsoft Azure AZ-900 Exam?

The year 2018 encountered asignificant rise in public cloud spending by companies across the globe. Thiswas an opportunity for Microsoft Azure to get in and build opportunities forpeople who wished to enter into the field of cloud computing but had notechnical background. It was then Microsoft launched a role based AzureCertification path referred as ‘MicrosoftCertified Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam’.

Most popularly known as MicrosoftAzure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam has been designed for people from non-technicalbackground as well as tech people who want to verify their core Azure Cloudservices skills. 

The certification is suitable for people who want to gain an understanding of Azure fundamentals and exploring the field for better opportunities must go for AZ-900 Exam. The path to pass Microsoft AZ-900 exam requires you to learn about core cloud concepts, Azure Services, master security, privacy compliance and trust and also be acquainted with Azure Pricing and Support.

So if you plan to go for thiscertification you must equip yourself with the required preparation materialand proper plan for exam preparation. Testprep training offers the requiredresources and strategies to accelerate your journey to pass Microsoft AZ-900Exam.

Let’s just look at the examdetails first before we move onto the tips and tricks to crack AZ-900 exam.

Exam Details

It is a very good practice to be clear with basic details of the exam before you start preparing for AZ-900 Exam. Microsoft has a prescribed set of exam guidelines and policy. Let’s just start by noting the basic information about the Microsoft Azure AZ-900 Exam.

Prerequisites for AZ-900 Exam

Since AzureAZ-900 is considered as a beginner’s exam as compared to other role-based examsfrom Microsoft, therefore for taking AZ-900 exam you do not require to haveexperience in cloud computing or be programming wizards. The certification issuitable for –

  • If you are involved in the purchasing and selling of cloud services, then this exam is very beneficial for you even though you are from a non-technical background.
  • This exam is beneficial for people who want to validate their basic knowledge in cloud services or solutions.
  • AZ-900 Exam is useful for candidate having some general IT experience or knowledge.
  • AZ-900 exam validates your proficiency in Azure fundamental concepts and makes you competent enough to take future Azure certification endeavors.

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Exam Course Outline

In Microsoft AZ-900 exam, you can expect questions from the following defined modules. It is important to have a fair knowledge about these modules before your AZ-900 exam preparation.

Understand cloud concepts (15-20%)

Describe the benefits and considerations of using cloud services

  • Understand terms such as High Availability, Scalability, Elasticity, Agility, Fault Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery
  • Understand the principles of economies of scale
  • Understand the differences between Capital Expenditure (CapEx) and Operational
  • Expenditure (OpEx)
  • Understand the consumption-based model

Describe the differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

  • Describe Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Describe Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Describe Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Compare and contrast the three different service types

Describe the differences between Public, Private and Hybrid cloud models

  • Describe Public cloud
  • Describe Private cloud
  • Describe Hybrid cloud
  • Compare and contrast the three different cloud models

Understand core Azure services (30-35%)

Understand the core Azure architectural components

  • Describe Regions
  • Describe Availability Zones
  • Describe Resource Groups
  • Describe Azure Resource manager
  • Describe the benefits and usage of core Azure architectural components

Describe some of the core products available in Azure

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  • Describe products available for Compute such as Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale
  • Sets, App Service Functions, Azure Container Instances (ACI), and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • Describe products available for Networking such as Virtual Network, Load Balancer, VPN Gateway, Application Gateway and Content Delivery Network
  • Describe products available for Storage such as Blob Storage, Disk Storage, File Storage, and Archive Storage
  • Describe products available for Databases such as Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Database,
  • Azure Database for MySQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, and Azure Database Migration service
  • Describe the Azure Marketplace and its usage scenarios

Describe some of the solutions available on Azure

  • Describe Internet of Things (IoT) and products that are available for IoT on Azure such as IoT Hub and IoT Central
  • Describe Big Data and Analytics and products that are available for Big Data and Analytics such as SQL Data Warehouse, HDInsight and Azure Databricks
  • Describe Artificial Intelligence (AI) and products that are available for AI such as Azure Machine Learning Service and Studio
  • Describe Serverless computing and Azure products that are available for serverless computing such as Azure Functions, Logic Apps and Event Grid
  • Describe DevOps solutions available on Azure, such as Azure DevOps and Azure DevTest Labs
  • Describe the benefits and outcomes of using Azure solutions

Understand Azure management tools

  • Understand Azure tools such as Azure Portal, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, and Cloud Shell
  • Understand Azure Advisor

Understand security, privacy, compliance, and trust (25-30%)

Understand securing network connectivity in Azure

  • Describe Network Security Groups (NSG)
  • Describe Application Security Groups (ASG)
  • Describe User Defined Rules (UDR)
  • Describe Azure Firewall
  • Describe Azure DDoS Protection
  • Choose an appropriate Azure security solution

Describe core Azure Identity services

  • Understand the difference between authentication and authorization
  • Describe Azure Active Directory
  • Describe Azure Multi-Factor Authentication

Describe security tools and features of Azure

  • Describe Azure Security Center
  • Understand Azure Security Center usage scenarios
  • Describe Key Vault
  • Describe Azure Information Protection (AIP)
  • Describe Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Describe Azure governance methodologies

  • Describe policies and initiatives with Azure Policy
  • Describe Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • Describe Locks
  • Describe Azure Advisor security assistance
  • Describe Azure Blueprints

Understand monitoring and reporting options in Azure

  • Describe Azure Monitor
  • Describe Azure Service Health
  • Understand the use cases and benefits of Azure Monitor and Azure Service Health

Understand privacy, compliance and data protection standards in Azure

  • Understand industry compliance terms such as GDPR, ISO and NIST
  • Understand the Microsoft Privacy Statement
  • Describe the Trust center
  • Describe the Service Trust Portal
  • Describe Compliance Manager
  • Determine if Azure is compliant for a business need
  • Understand Azure Government cloud services
  • Describe Azure China cloud services

Understand Azure pricing and support (20-25%)

Understand Azure subscriptions

  • Describe an Azure subscription
  • Understand the uses and options with Azure subscriptions, such access control and offer types
  • Understand subscription management using Management groups

Understand planning and management of costs

  • Understand options for purchasing Azure products and services
  • Understand options around Azure Free account
  • Understand the factors affecting costs such as resource types, services, locations, ingress and egress traffic
  • Understand Zones for billing purposes
  • Understand the Pricing calculator
  • Understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator
  • Understand best practices for minimizing Azure costs such as performing cost analysis, creating spending limits and quotas, using tags to identify cost owners, using Azure reservations, and using Azure Advisor recommendations
  • Describe Azure Cost Management

Understand the support options available with Azure

  • Understand support plans that are available such as Dev, Standard, Professional Direct and Premier
  • Understand how to open a support ticket
  • Understand available support channels outside of support plan channels
  • Describe the Knowledge Center

Describe Azure Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

  • Describe a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Understand composite SLAs
  • Understand how to determine an appropriate SLA for an application

Understand service lifecycle in Azure

  • Understand Public and Private Preview features
  • Understand the term General Availability (GA)
  • Understand how to monitor feature updates and product changes

Microsoft AZ-900 Exam Details

Exam Name Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Technology Microsoft Azure
Prerequisites None
Exam Cost $ 99 USD*
Total Questions 40-60 Questions
Passing Score 700
Exam Duration 85 Minutes

Just like any other Microsoft Exams you can expect 40-60 questions in your Microsoft AZ-900 Exam. There are different type of questions asked during the exam including case study, short answers, multiple choice, mark review, drag and drop etc. Since there is no penalty to give incorrect answers as you will not be marked for the wrong answer, so it is better you answer all questions but just keep in mind the passing score of 700.

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Process of Exam Scoring for AZ-900

You arerequired to score a minimum of 700 to pass the exam. Anyone scoring less thanthis mark will be considered as Fail. Just on submission of the paper yourresult will be declared within few minutes but for detailed exam report youwould have to wait for a few days. Your scorecard will contain detailsincluding overall performance in the exam, PASS/FAIL status, a bar chart demonstratingyour performance in key areas of the exam, together with the instructions onexam results interpretation.

Exam Retake Policy for AZ-900

There are manycandidates having doubts with reference to the exam retake policies. Let’s takea look at the defined cases –

  1. In case you are not able to pass the exam for the first time, then you would be required to wait for at least 24 hours before exam retake.
  2. In case you are not able to pass the exam for the second time, then the waiting time to take the exam next time is extend to 14 days.

Therefore youcan take a maximum of 5 retakes in a year.

Exam Cancellation Policy for AZ-900

Some of thecases of cancellation include –

  1. In case you plan to cancel or reschedule an appointment then it should be done at least 6 business days before the schedule exam time, such that there are no charges for the cancellation.
  2. In case there is any cancellation or rescheduling within 5 business days, then you will be charged a nominal fee.
  3. In case you fail to reschedule or cancel the appointment 24 hours before the scheduled time then the entire exam fee will be forfeited.

Exam Pricing for AZ-900

It is veryimportant to go for a price check-up before you start your exam preparation. Theexam fee is subject to change with the location from where you are taking theexam. Let’s say in case you are living in the USA, and then the exam will cost99 USD. You may go for fee reduction if you are a Microsoft Imagine Academyprogram member, Microsoft Partner Network program member or a MicrosoftCertified Trainer. Also students are also eligible for a fee reduction.

How to schedule AZ-900 Exam?

You need tofollow the given steps in the process of scheduling the exam –

  1. Go to the Microsoft portal and register your exam
  2. When you are done with preparation go ahead and schedule your exam by clicking on the “schedule exam” link
  3. Fill all your details on the next page
  4. You can select the exam delivery option on the page of Pearson VUE, Microsoft’s exam partner.
  5. Your registration will complete once there’s a confirmation on the payment of your exam fee.

Azure Training and Certification Path

Prepare for AZ-900 exam

The process of preparation for the exam determines yourexam result. So, it becomes very important to prepare well, if you want to reallypass the AZ-900 certification exam. You need to follow the right preparationsteps to pass the exam in the first attempt.

Use the following preparation guide to pass AZ-900 Exam.

Learning Resource1 – Microsoft Learning Platform

The Microsoft portal acts as a command center for allof Microsoft’s exams and certifications. We can find the listing of all theMicrosoft certifications in the Microsoft Learning Page. You can easily findthe page for AZ-900 in this portal which should be the starting point of yourAZ-900 exam preparation.

We can find all the information and verify exam detailsprecisely in the portal including exam registration option, details on AZ-900exam modules, links to AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals study materials,exam prerequisites, exam study groups, links to exam policies and examstructure, etc. Also you can refer to the Microsoft Portal to get importantupdates regarding exam schedule, module changes, pricing changes, and more.

Learning Resource2 – Microsoft Documentation

The Microsoft Documentation page must not be confusedwith the Microsoft’s Learning portal as both of these sections containsseparate learning pages.  Use the MicrosoftAzure Documentation page to easily locate the page dedicated to AzureFundamentals. Microsoft Documentation page covers crucial Fundamentals conceptsincluding Agility, Disaster Recovery, Elasticity, Fault Tolerance, HighAvailability and Scalability that are very crucial in any cloud ecosystem. Onceyou are through with the concepts then you should be able to compare andcontrast basic steps for Azure cloud migration.

You can also find the scale of different Azureservices spanning on compute, security, storage and network from the Microsoft learningplatform. Also you can get a clear understanding about the benefits of Azure incloud computing, specifically how it can save time and learn to manage finances.Since you are new to Azure technologies, you must consider the Microsoft learningdocument must be an unavoidable part of AZ-900 Microsoft Azure FundamentalsExam Preparation.

Using Microsoft Documentation you can not onlylearn Azure Fundamentals, but you can also get to know more about Azure accountcreation, Azure networking options, Storing applications in Azure Blob storage,Automation of Azure tasks using PowerShell, Resource Management in Azure, usingCLI for controlling Azure services, and many more.

Learning Resource3 – Instructor-led Training

While you are preparing for Microsoft Azurecertification exam it is suggested to access links to instructor-led trainingfrom the Microsoft learning portal. The training for Microsoft AZ-900 exam comeswith the name “Course AZ-900T01-A:Microsoft Azure Fundamentals”. This learning resource contains exactly thesame modules in the core AZ-900 exam syllabus. Just like the main exam, thereare no prerequisites for taking this course although it recommends General ITknowledge.

One of the key advantages of instructor-ledtraining is the facility to set up on-demand classroom training. You can also arrangeclassroom training on your convenience such as a live class in person,attending live class remotely, asking questions to the instructor in person andmany more. The course duration for this exam will be one day. All that isrequired is to find a Microsoft Learning Partner in your area. This can be doneby clicking the “Find a classroom training partner” link in the Microsoft pagefor Course AZ-900T01-A. Once you found a Microsoft Training Partner, you canproceed to their website for booking a training section.

Learning Resource 4 – Forums and Study Groups

You can find exam study group in the MicrosoftLearning portal, for most of the Azure role-based exams. But for AZ-900 exam,this facility is unavailable. There are other popular forums providing learningcontent and practice exams. You can share your doubts related to Azure servicesand solutions in these forums. Such that you will get revert from experiencedpeople and can also respond to other members’ queries if you know the answer.

Learning Resources 5 – Books and Periodicals

You can also refer reliable book on Azure, whichwill have high impact in AZ-900 exam preparation. Some of the available Azurebooks which are very helpful during your AZ-900 exam preparation are –  

  • Microsoft Azure For Beginners by Adney Ainsley
  • Microsoft Azure Ultimate Beginners Guide by  Kennan Bismar
  • Microsoft Azure Tutorial for Beginners by DennisHutten
  • Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Azure

LearningResource 6 – Sample Tests

One of the best sources to improve your learning is practice exams considered to be most effective to analyze your competence and skills in a particular domain. You may find various websites for AZ-900 exam preparation to provide the real exam dumps for AZ-900 exam. You can choose practice tests or sample papers from various sources but not the brain dumps for your preparation.

Learningresource 7 – E-books, Analyst Reports, and White Papers

Often most of the candidates always neglectreferences during the AZ-900 exam preparation process. But you must refer toe-books, analyst reports and related white papers since these items arepublished by Microsoft itself. A lot of relevant materials can be found relatedto Azure from these resources. Also subscribe to Azure notifications to getinformed about all the latest updates regarding Azure.

Exam Day

When the finalexam day arrives for which you have been working hard, you must follow some ofthe following steps to sweep through smoothly.

  • In case you are skeptical about a certain topicthen quickly grab a blank paper and pen and write it down. This will help yourefer the same in between the exam.
  • You must choose the answer which you areconfident about, since scoring in AZ-900 is not a windfall gains.
  • Eliminate obvious incorrect answer choices basedon how they are spelled or worded.
  • Sit back and relax. Take a moment before you hitthe finish button. But just remember in case you are not able to make it to AZ,it’s not a failure.

Conclusion

Sine AZ-900 exam do not require prior experience as compared to other Azure role-based exams, therefore anyone with basic aptitude and logical skills can easily pass this exam without relying on intense AZ-900 exam preparation. But you must identify proper AZ-900 exam preparation resources as it can provide you with more insights on how to approach your exam preparation.

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