New Azure Exams – My thoughts on them

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I have sat 6 of the Azure Beta exams in the last couple of months and I just wanted to jot down my thoughts on each of the exams which will hopefully help people who are thinking of doing them in the upcoming months.

You can find out a lot of good info on these exams here:-
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/azure-exams.aspx

I started with the Azure Administrator Beta exams:-

AZ-100 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-AZ-100.aspx
AZ-101 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-AZ-101.aspx

The 2 exams above are now no longer in Beta and are essentially live and good to go.

These exams are the best place to get started in my opinion, recommend you start with these if you haven’t already,


Next up I sat the Azure Architect beta exams:-

AZ-300 – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-AZ-300.aspx
AZ-301 – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-az-301.aspx

The 2 exams above are still in Beta and wont go live till the start of January 2019.

Note:- There are a few coding questions on this exam, so if you’re an architect that isn’t hands on I recommend you spend some time doing so, otherwise you might feel disappointed/frustrated after sitting the exam.


Next up I sat the Azure Developer beta exams:-

AZ-200 – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-az-200.aspx
AZ-201 – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-az-201.aspx

The 2 exams above are still in Beta and wont go live till the start of January 2019.

Note:- These two exams were very tough for me, I am a developer, now manager and not hands on writing code day in and day out and unless you really know Azure from writing code against it, I think you will struggle on these exams.

The AZ-200 is hard but the AZ-201 is really hard in my opinion, even harder when you find a bug in a radio button and you can’t select your answer.


Overall the exams are pretty good, there are some cross over questions from one exam to the other which I wasn’t expecting, but probably makes sense.

Question:- Which exams should I take first?
Answer:- Obviously it depends on your skill set, but I would probably say start with the Administrator exams if your starting out,  many people have already passed the beta and there will be practice tests and useful blog posts already available for this exam. https://gregorsuttie.com/2018/07/18/microsoft-azure-infrastructure-and-deployment-beta-az-100/ – so my answer would be do the Administrator, Architect, Developer exams if your able to do them all.

Question:- Are there any new types of exam questions?
Answer:- Not that I have seen so far.

Question:- Are they hard?
Answer:- Again depends on your experience, Administrator, Architect, Dev is for me going up the scale in how difficult they were for me, but that’s my own personal take on the exams. My favourite exam was the AZ-301 exam.

Question:- Why are you sitting all these exams, are you insane?
Answer:- I want to learn as much Azure as possible, yes I wont pass some of the exams, maybe even not ever, but that’s ok,  it shows me where my knowledge is weak and where I need to go learn more.

Final thoughts:-

I would encourage everyone to get hands on, reading material isn’t going to get you a pass on any of these exams, especially the Developer exams, there is a lot of content and they focus on the newer technologies that are out. I spent a lot of time reading and going over some topics that haven’t appeared in any of the exams, that’s fine and at least I have learned these topics.

I think that rather than being an expert in any particular area my overall Azure skills have increased a fair bit,  I now know which tools to use and why, if not the low-level details that sometimes get asked in the exams.

The longer you wait the more study materials and practice tests will appear

Best of luck to you all!, and let me know how you get on and how you thought the exams went.

17 comments

  1. Hello Greg,
    I gave az300 last night and agree with your comments about code questions. I got many .NET ones. I will get to know my result only in Jan, but I think I will cross the line. Can you give me your opinion between 300 and 301, how hard or type of questions? I am thinking about going in for 301 as well in few days.

  2. Good post. I’ve got the az-100 exam tomorrow. Total unsure whether I’ll pass or not, I use Azure in my day job, but mainly work on the portal with VMs, no app services and hardly touched much else. I’ve read the 70-533 book cover to cover and watched 20 hours of pluralsight videos so will see how I go.

      1. oh, and I passed!!!! Booking my AZ-101 exam for a month from now. I’ve already done VMware and hyper-V to Azure migration in practice at work and have a hybrid VPN setup which I’ve personally migrated form the basic 100mbs policy based model to a new standard route based multiple connection one.

    1. What types of studying did you do? Did you purchase the practice exam? I bought the 60 day trial and got roasted by my first attempt at the practice exam. I have since done much better but missed the 80%. I dont do a lot with Azure AD and networking which really brought my score down. I have worked in Azure for 4 years and have loads of hands on, but I am not sure what else I need to take a look at to prep for this exam.

      I have a voucher with 2 free retries, so I am giving it a go on Friday just to see how it is. This is my first exam from Microsoft so I am not sure what to expect.

      1. Hi, I watched a lot of videos on pluralsight. But didn’t practice much. I use Azure in my day job, mainly managing migrating windows machines to Azure and setting up rdweb servers with availability sets covering them. I found the stuff on vnets and subnet ip ranges useful to know.

  3. Anyone who has knowledge of infrastructure knowledge with AD, can learn Azure and will be able to clear all the exams. Provided they need to practice the networking concepts and understand little bit of pricing models can easily clear the exams. I have cleared AZ-100 , AZ-101 and AZ-300 in last one month. You need to work extensively in the Azure portal with in the free subscription period to understand the Azure concepts thoroughly. You need to complete the lab questions(task) in all the 3 exams to score a pretty decently. Only Labs task can provide you better option to score than the questions.

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