Tag: Certified

How to take a Microsoft Certification Exam Online

How to take a Microsoft Certification Exam Online

Many people these days are looking in to taking Microsoft certification exams and get certified. You can take the Microsoft certification exam locally in an official test center, or online. In this blog post, I want to give you some tips and tricks on how to take a Microsoft certification exam online, from home or in the office. Since I have taken many Microsoft Azure exams online, so I want to share my experience with you. This includes:

  • How to schedule an online exam
  • Microsoft Online Exam Requirements
  • Online Exam check-in experience
  • During the exam
  • After the exam and retrieve score report


AZ-303 Study Guide Azure Architect Technologies Exam Study Guide

AZ-303 Study Guide: Azure Architect Technologies

To get the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification, there are two new exams which you need to pass, the AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and the AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design exam. In this blog post, I am going to share my AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Certification Exam Study Guide with you. To learn and prepare for the exam, I usually use a couple of online resources, mainly Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, which I am going to share with you. You can find more information about how I prepare for a Microsoft Certification exam on my blog post: How to prepare and pass Microsoft Certification Exam.

NOTE: This exam will be available on or around April 28, 2020.

Also, check out other Microsoft Azure Certification Exam Study Guides:

Here is my AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Certification Exam Study Guide

It is essential to get familiar with the exam objectives and skills measured first. That is why I recommend reading the description of the exam and the skills measured.

Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

Candidates for this exam are Azure Solutions Architects who advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions. Candidates should have advanced experience and knowledge of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platform, budgeting, and governance. This role requires managing how decisions in each area affects an overall solution.

Candidates must have expert-level skills in Azure administration and have experience with Azure development processes and DevOps processes.

The high-level view of the skills measured in the exam:

  • Implement and Monitor an Azure Infrastructure (50-55%)
  • Implement Management and Security Solutions (25-30%)
  • Implement Solutions for Apps (10-15%)
  • Implement and Manage Data Platforms (10-15%)

You can find more information on the exam website.

Free Online Microsoft Learn AZ-303 Exam Study Guide resources

Microsoft Learn provides you with free online training and learning paths for different Microsoft technologies. They not just offer reading material, but also control questions and free online labs. Here are some relevant Microsoft Learn modules and learning paths for the AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Certification Exam. Microsoft Learn is an important part of my AZ-303 exam study guide.

Microsoft Docs AZ-303 study guide resources

One thing I always used to prepare for my Microsoft exams is Microsoft Docs. Here are the relevant Microsoft Docs which I used to prepare and study for the AZ-303 exam.



AZ-104 Azure Administrator Exam Study Guide

AZ-104 Study Guide: Azure Administrator

I am currently preparing for the new Microsoft exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator, which was announced to replace the AZ-103 exam. There are many great resources out there to prepare for the exam, that’s why I want to share my AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam Study Guide with you. To learn and prepare for the exam, I usually use a couple of online resources, mainly Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, which I am going to share with you. You can find more information about how I prepare for a Microsoft Certification exam on my blog post: How to prepare and pass Microsoft Certification Exam.

NOTE: This exam will be available on or around March 31, 2020.

Also, check out other Microsoft Azure Certification Exam Study Guides:

Here is my AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam Study Guide

It is essential to get familiar with the exam objectives and skills measured first. That is why I recommend reading the description of the exam and the skills measured.

Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

The Azure Administrator implements, manages, and monitors identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. The Azure Administrator will provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources as appropriate.

Candidates should have a minimum of six months of hands-on experience administering Azure. Candidates should have a strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. Candidates for this exam should have experience in using PowerShell, the Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, and ARM templates.

The high-level view of the skills measured in the exam:

  • Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)
  • Implement and manage storage (10-15%)
  • Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (25-30%)
  • Configure and manage virtual networking (30-35%)
  • Monitor and back up Azure resources (10-15%)

You can find more information on the exam website.

Free Online Microsoft Learn AZ-104 Exam Study Guide resources

Microsoft Learn provides you with free online training and learning paths for different Microsoft technologies. They not just offer reading material, but also control questions and free online labs. Here are some relevant Microsoft Learn modules and learning paths for the AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam. Microsoft Learn is an important part of my AZ-104 exam study guide.

Microsoft Docs AZ-104 study guide resources

One thing I always used to prepare for my Microsoft exams is Microsoft Docs. Here are the relevant Microsoft Docs which I used to prepare and study for the AZ-104 exam.



Microsoft Certification Transcript

How to Share your Microsoft Certification Transcript

If you have done your Microsoft Certification exams, you will get a Microsoft Certification Transcript attached to your Microsoft Certification ID and account. In this transcript, you will find all the exams you have taken, active certifications and certification history. In the case you want or need to share Microsoft Certification Transcript with your employer, friends, and colleagues, you can follow the steps I listed here.

This Microsoft transcript is the official record of your exam and certification achievements. You can email yourself a copy of the transcript, share your transcript with your employer, friends, and colleagues, and download a copy.

Please note it can take up to 48 hours after passing an exam for an exam or certification to appear on your transcript.



MCT Microsoft Certified Trainer 2020

MCT Microsoft Certified Trainer 2020

I am happy to let you know that I just got the confirmation that I requalified as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) in 2020. After being a Microsoft Certified Trainer in 2017 and in 2019, I am happy to be part of this community again. Being an MCT again is a great honor and I am happy to be part of this community, even I am nowΒ working for Microsoft.

Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs)Β are the premier technical and instructional experts in Microsoft technologies. Join this exclusive group of worldwide Microsoft technical training professionals and reap the benefits of MCT training certification and membership. You will get exclusive benefits as an MCT including access to the complete library of official Microsoft training and certification products, substantial discounts on exams, books, and Microsoft products. In addition, you will be able to use Microsoft readiness resources to help you enhance your training career and engage with other MCT members in an online community forum. You will also receive invitations to exclusive Microsoft and local MCT community events.

Microsoft Certified Trainer MCT 2020-2021

Microsoft Certified Trainer MCT 2020-2021

If you want to know more about the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) program, you can have a look at the following resources and pages:

If you want to know more about the latest Azure Certification and exams like AZ-103, AZ-30X or AZ-900, check out my blog posts.

You can find a general overview of the new Azure CertificationsΒ here. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Tips on how to take Microsoft Azure Certification Exams

Tips on how to take Microsoft Azure Certification Exams

As I wrote a couple of blog posts on Microsoft Azure Certification exams, like why should you become Microsoft Azure Certified, how you pick the right Azure Certification path or how you prepare for an Azure exam, I now got the questions if I have some tips to share about how to take the Microsoft Certification exams. I know that everyone takes exams differently, but I want to share what helped me to pass the exams. So here is a short list with tips on how you can be more successful when you take your Microsoft Azure Certification Exams.

Make sure you are prepared πŸ’ͺ

As mentioned in my blog post how you prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure Certification exam, you need to go through the topics and prepare. There are a lot of great resources to prepare for this exam. Great free resources I use usually are Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, make sure you check out my blog post to get prepared.

There are also Microsoft Official Practice Tests available which are a great way to build your confidence and validate your skills, allowing you to identify gaps that you might need to resolve before you take your Microsoft Certification exam. Another resource you might find helpful is the Exam Replay offer, giving you the opportunity to retake the same exam if you failed the first time.

You can also have a look at my Microsoft Certification exam study guides:

Empower your brain ⚑

Now it is essential to make your mind work best during the exam. Make sure you had enough sleep, and you have the right amount of sugar and caffeine in you. Depending on the exam, you will be spending quite some time on the exam, and you will read a lot, so make sure you have enough energy to get the answers out of your brain. Questions often come with a lot of different information. Parts of that information is relevant for the answer, and other parts are not. You will need to focus on sorting relevant and irrelevant information.

Plan enough time and avoid stress ⌚

If you are going to take the exam at a test center, make sure you show up early. It is not great if you have to rush into the exam room because you came late. The same applies when you are taking the exam from home. I like to be ready for the exam more-less half an hour before the exam starts. This gives me a little bit of time to get in exam mode and make my brain switch from the thing I was doing before, to the exam topic.

Get into the topic πŸ“„

For some people switching context between different things isn’t a big deal. For me, it works best if I have some β€˜stress-free’ time after the last thing I did, before getting into the exam mode. I usually do an extra round on Microsoft Docs to get my brain thinking about the right context.

Get comfortable πŸ›‹

Make sure you are relaxed and ready for the exam at least half an hour before your exam is scheduled to start. Also, make sure you used the restroom, you had your coffee and water because you are not allowed to take a break during the exam, and you can’t have these things close to you during the exam. And again, be relaxed, if you don’t pass the exam it isn’t the end of the world, you can still retake the exam another time. That said, also make sure you take advantage of special offers, like exam replays.

Read the questions carefully πŸ‘“

Make sure you read the questions carefully, to understand what is really asked. It also helps you to navigate through the exam, usually, you can go back to specific questions later. However, in some cases, the exam will let you know that you cannot access the question later after you have clicked next.

Answer all questions and use the mark question feature βœ”

Now, when you start with the exam, you will maybe find some topics you are not familiar with, and you might not be sure about the answer. In these cases, you can mark this question and come back to it later, so you don’t lose too much time on it. If you don’t know the answer, make sure you at least select an answer, it is always better to have a small chance in guessing the right answer, then not answering the question at all. If you want to know more about the different types of questions in a Microsoft exam, check out my blog, which has a couple of additional tips on how to prepare and pass the exam.

Write down what you have learned πŸ“

For me it doesn’t matter if I have passed the exam or not, I always write down things I didn’t know the answer to. This allows me to look them up later and learn more. Make sure you don’t share this information since that would violate the testing policies.

Do you have tips to take a Microsoft Azure Exam? πŸ€”

I hope this blog post gives you some useful tips on how to take a Microsoft Azure Certification exam. Do you have any suggestions and tips? Let me know in the comments!

By the way, make sure you take the 2020 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge and be one of the first to get the results of the report early next year.

Getting started! πŸ§ͺ

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified and how to pick the right Azure exam certification path. And have a look at my Azure exam experience with the different Azure exams.

If you want to know more about how you can learn and get started with Microsoft Azure, check out my blog: How to learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.



Prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure Certifciation Exam Microsoft Learn

How to Prepare and Pass a Microsoft Azure Exam

There are many good reasons to become Microsoft Azure Certified and take the Microsoft Azure exams. If you are reading this blog post, you might already have decided that you want to take a Microsoft Azure exam and get a certification. Since I passed a couple of the Azure exams, I would like to share how I prepared for these exams and passed. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to pass them as well.

Passing exams is all about having the right strategy and preparation. If you are looking for tips and tricks to on how to take a Microsoft exam, check out my following blog.

Choose the right Azure exam and certification β˜πŸŽ“

To begin with, make sure you choose and pick the certification path and exam which is right for you. There are a lot of different exams and industry certifications out there. Microsoft’s approach of role-based certifications are aligned to relevant market and industry job-roles, to make it easier to find the right one. It makes a lot of sense to pick the right one for you, depending on where you are in your career and where you’re going. I wrote a blog post to give you an overview and pick the different Azure exam certification paths.

Identify the certification of your interest to find the required exams. To browse all the Microsoft Certification exams, check out the official website.

Start Small 🀏

If you are not 100% sure where and with which exam to start, I recommend that you start small by taking the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam. This will help you understand how Microsoft exams work by not being too deep into technology. Having experience taking Microsoft exams helps you to focus on the actual topics and not on the testing process. Also, make sure that you have a look at these special offers, you can find more information on special offers further down.

Know the exam content, read what is measured πŸ“

First thing after and during picking the exam is to see what is asked during the exam. Every Microsoft exam page lists the “skills measured” in the exam. This list is usually very accurate and helps you to focus and study the right content. The page itself even lists available training and courses to prepare for the exam.

Microsoft Azure Exam Page - Skills measured and Prepare for exam

Microsoft Azure Exam Page – Skills measured and prepare for the exam

Understand the question types ❓

Understanding the exam formats and question types before taking the exam can help you a lot. Microsoft does not mention which question types for exam formats are exactly in each exam, but you can find a list of exam and questions samples here in this YouTube playlist. Understanding what questions types will be coming in your exam, will make it easier for you to answer them and get the most point per question.

Take free hands-on learning courses on Microsoft Learn πŸŽ“

Microsoft Learn was introduced at Ignite 2018 as a free learning platform for a lot of different Microsoft technologies, not just Azure. Microsoft Learn provides you with various learning paths depending on your job role or the skills you are looking for. Most of the learning paths give you a hands-on learning opportunity so that you can develop practical skills through interactive training. And it is free! You get instant in-browser access to Microsoft tools and modules, no credit card required.

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn πŸŽ“

Up your game with a module or learning path tailored to today’s IT Pro, developer, and technology masterminds and designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Hands-on experience πŸ’ͺ

The best way to learn and pass the Microsoft Azure exams, or basically to learn anything, is most of the time through real hands-on experience with the technology. While Microsoft Learn gives you some free hands-on learning modules, there is also an Azure free account. The Azure free account will provide you with 12 months of free Azure services. You can find out more here. Make sure you dive into the skills measured and try the tutorials in the Microsoft Docs.

Read the Microsoft Docs πŸ“„

Next, to Microsoft Learn and Hands-on experience, this is one of my main recommendations to prepare for a Microsoft Azure exam. Read the Microsoft Azure Documentation. Trust me on this, Azure and the topics which come up in the exams are very well documented. As mentioned, read the skills measured on the exam page, look up the specific Microsoft Docs pages and read through them and try out the tutorials.

Microsoft Docs Azure

Microsoft Docs Azure

Video courses and training πŸ“½

There are a lot of different video training courses out there, which allow you to do video-based Azure exam preparations. To mention a couple of them like LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, Whizlabs, ITPro.TV, Udemy, A Cloud Guru and many many more! Just browse through the different offers and read the review to find the best match for you. There are also a lot of Microsoft Learning Partners which offer online courses.

Choose instructor-led courses and learning partners πŸ‘¨β€πŸ«

As you can see, there is a lot of self-study learning materials out there to prepare and pass the Azure exams. However, the classroom experience can be super beneficial and efficient, especially with the right trainer. You can find a list of official Microsoft Learning Partners with Microsoft Certified Trainers depending on your country here. A lot of them offer different courses for different technologies and in combination with in-person or online training.

Books πŸ“š

If you prefer to learn and prepare for an exam using books, Microsoft offers books written by the experts at Microsoft Press. There are some excellent books which will help you learn more and prepare and pass the Microsoft Azure exams. However, if you get a hard copy of the book, it won’t be updated in the future, to reflect changes in the technology or in the exams.

Take a practice exam πŸ“

Some of the exams also have official practice exams available. These are great to see where in the learning process you are standing and on which topics you need to spend a little bit more time. I highly recommend that you only do the official practice exams and don’t use brain dumps. Besides cheating on the exam and yourself, brain dumps are often simply wrong and contain a lot of mistakes. You can find Microsoft official practice tests here.

Study groups πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“

If you have a couple of colleagues, friends, or people you met at an Azure User group meetup, it can help to build a study group. Study groups don’t just help you to get more structure in your learning. They also help you to gain a new perspective on the study material and reduce procrastination.

Relax 🏝

Make sure on the day of the exam you are relaxed. Have enough sleep and no stress and other appointments directly and before the exam, which could make you run into a potential time issue. Make sure you arrive early at the test center, to have enough time and no need to rush so that you can focus on the exam itself.

Take the exam online πŸ’»

Taking Microsoft exam at home

Taking a Microsoft exam at home

Sometimes it is difficult to find a test center which is close to you, or they don’t have time slots available. To make it easier, you can also take an exam online by using at-home testing. For example, Person Vue offers an online proctoring service called OnVUE, which allows you to take the exam from home or your office. I take almost every exam online these days, which saves me a lot of time. However, it also comes with a couple of requirements. For example, you will need to have a room where no other person can walk in and no monitor or other things close by which cloud make it possible to cheat. You can find more about taking the exam online on the Microsoft Learning page.

Special Offers πŸ’΅

Microsoft also has a great set of Microsoft Learning special offers like student discounts and exam replays. Exam replays allow you to retake the exam if you don’t pass it the first time. This can make your exam experience way more relaxed. It is worth checking out the special offers to see if there is one for you.

Getting started! πŸ§ͺ

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified and how to pick the right Azure exam certification path. And have a look at my Azure exam experience with the different Azure exams.

And have a look at my Azure Certification Exam Study Guides:

If you want to know more about how you can learn and get started with Microsoft Azure, check out my blog: How to learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.

I hope this gives you an overview of how you can prepare and pass for a Microsoft Azure Certification exam. In my next blog about the Microsoft Azure Certification exams, I will give you some tips for taking the exam itself. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.