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A Complete Guide How To Pass Any Azure Certification in 2024

Azure Certification

2024 may be an excellent time to get your first or next cloud certification. Perhaps you’re looking to level up your position or salary, or you’re looking to add your first certification to your new resume as you work to break into the industry as a fresher. Whatever the case, cloud knowledge is required for every developer nowadays. Not necessarily a certification, but knowledge of how to navigate the cloud is a requirement. If you go to LinkedIn and look up developer job applications, they almost all require some knowledge of the cloud. Also, having an actual certification is a way to demonstrate that you have this knowledge. So, Let’s explore the answers to some questions: What courses do you need to take? How should you take Azure Certification practice exams? How do you pace yourself in the exam? And most importantly, as it’s an open-book test, learn how to use this to your advantage.

Why Azure Certification?

Let’s get started with some stats on Azure. 

Why Azure

AWS had the largest market share of cloud infrastructure services at 33% in Q1 2022. On the other hand, in that same period, Microsoft Azure had a market share of 22%. And then Google was at around 10%. But in Q4 of 2022, Microsoft Azure reached a market share of 23%. 2% increase in the last four quarters! So, Azure Certification is alive and healthy. There are a lot of jobs, and any company that uses Microsoft products already will naturally want to integrate into a Microsoft cloud that significantly extends their ecosystem with services they already use, like Windows, Active Directory, .NET, Visual Studio, etc. They’ve led online cloud security, platform as a service, hybrid cloud architecture, etc. So, it’s a solid option you want to pursue in 2024.

What Azure Certification to Get?

So, what certifications are offered? What certification should you take? It depends on where you’re adding your cloud knowledge and what field you’re in. Look at the chart below, which contains a rundown of all the role-based certifications. 

Azure Certification

If you’re new to the cloud and you’ve never done anything in it, consider one of the foundational certifications like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals(AZ-900). It’s an introduction to the cloud using Azure Services. Then there’s the data equivalent, DP-900: Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals. And then the AI-900, which is the Microsoft Certified Azure AI Fundamentals. If you need to learn about the cloud, go this route. But if you want a solid starting point, you shall use the Cloud sum, AWS sum, and Azure sum. Your first actual industry-level certification can be the Az-104, which stands for Microsoft Azure administrator. If you don’t know what certification you want to take in Azure, and you want a well-rounded overview of all of its products, and you also want to be able to administer the Azure cloud in a professional setting, this is the way to go to Az-104. You should take the Az-204, the Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure certification, if you’re a developer. Whereas the 104 is like an administrator and an overarching administrator, if you’re a developer specifically, you may want to take the Az-204 instead. Those are two entry-level, solid certifications. 

Open Book?

Let’s talk about the open book policy. So this is brand new. You can now use the Microsoft Learn website during the exam to look stuff up. So, if you look at the learn.microsoft.com site, the section you’ll want to use and be familiar with is the documentation section. So, if you click on documentation and then scroll down and click on Azure, you’ll find all the information. If You forgot some information about Azure storage. Please scroll down, find storage, and say it has to do with Azure backup. You can click here and get information about it during the exam. This angered many people, but this is an excellent thing because developers memorize only some things. Developers remember only some of the VM sizes in the storage parameters in these fine details. They learn the concepts and know about them and the details about how things work, but they go to the documentation and look something up in real life. 

Open Book

How to take advantage of Open Book?

Let me give you two tips. Firstly, while you’re learning the materials or preparing for your exam, make sure whatever resource you’re using, you’re also correlating that to the documentation. For example, pull it up in the documentation if you’re learning about storage. That way, you can get familiar with where to find information. If you need help memorizing the virtual machine sizes, quickly remember where they’re in the documentation so you can pull it up and consult it when the question arises. So, while you’re learning, correlate that learning with where it’s in the documentation. That will help you look things up quickly and show you where it’s at in real life. Secondly, try to avoid planning to look anything up. Try to know all the answers because you will only have a little time. Use that as a fallback, but also know where it’s at. I hope that helps.

What courses to take?

Step 1: Take any introductory course that will help you understand how Azure certification works, basic things about Azure, and the exam fundamentals. I recommend you go to any e-learning sites, browse through the introductory courses, and take the one that provides the most value.

Step 2:

  • Go to the Microsoft Learn website.
  • Browse through your desired course.
  • Complete the modules.

The free courses provide the most detailed information about the certification exams. Also, the lessons here are interactive.

Step 3: Take mock tests. You may have learned all the materials to take your certification test. Now is the time to put yourself to the test. 591lab is an excellent platform for taking mock tests. There are other platforms; you’ll get familiar with them when you finish steps 1 and 2.

Schedule the Test Before You’re Ready

You shall schedule the test while preparing for it instead of waiting to get 100% prepared. By yourself, you will never know if you’re fully ready or not, but if you bind yourself to a schedule, it will speed up your learning pace. If you don’t do that, you’ll never take it. You’ll study and study, but you’ll never feel ready. You’ll keep looking, forget about it, and never get this certification. So, pick a reasonable day out while on this path, schedule the test, and plan your learning. 

Exam Day Tips

Firstly, take your exam early in the day. Could you not take it later in the day? Otherwise, you will risk filling your brain with stuff not in the exam. The morning is the best time to keep your mind fresh and clear. Schedule it for around 9:00 in the morning. On the exam day, wake up, drink some coffee, relax, and go into the exam clear-minded. 

Secondly, study on something other than exam day. People who study at the last minute create situations where they second-guess themselves. They knew something until that day when they looked at something, and suddenly, they were not sure anymore. Don’t study on the exam day. Wake up like I mentioned before, relax, take the exam early, and nail it.

Finally, this is important when you flag a question to come back to it. Let’s say that you get to a question you don’t know. Also, you don’t want to sit in the exam all day with that one question. So, you flag that question and move on. 

At the exam’s end, you return to the flagged questions. When you do that, make sure you pick an answer anyway. So, let’s say you don’t know the answer to a question and will flag it. There are four options, and you think it’s between one and two, but you need to know the exact answer. Go ahead and pick one, but then flag it. That way, you get it done. If, for some reason, you’re out of time, you will at least have the question checked. Keeping the questions blank is not a good practice for any Azure test.

REFERENCE

  1. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-gb/

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