I did 6 Azure Exams in 30 Days

Kenji Phang • Sep 4, 2022

I spent a full month of my precious summer holidays doing Microsoft exams, was it worth it?

Microsoft Exams Poster. As of the time of writing this, I had taken 6 of the Microsoft Fundamentals exams (in this order):

  • The AZ-900: Azure Fundamentals
  • The AI-900: Azure AI Fundamentals
  • The MS-900: Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
  • The DP-900: Azure Data Fundamentals
  • The SC-900: Security, Compliance and Identity Fundamentals
  • The PL-900: Power Platform Fundamentals

I first found out about the exams through being a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador, and did my first one in mid June.

Then, I decided to do the later 5 all in the month of August as a challenge. I was planning to do all 8 of the fundamentals exams, but the remaining 2 aren’t really relevant to what I do so I stopped here.

What even are the Microsoft Exams?

Microsoft offers certifications for various technical skills based on their technologies. They are split into 5 main categories, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamic 365, Power Platform and Security. They are role based and there are many exams available to do, you can find out more about them on the Microsoft Exams Poster.

Why did I do the exams?

Now, I know what you all are thinking, exams are torturous, who in their right minds would even go out of their way to do them? Well, let me tell you why I did them.

1) They are free

Well first off, the fundamental exams are free and I am a sucker for free things. Just a few months ago, Microsoft made these exams free for students, all you need is a valid student email, read about it in the official docs. These fundamental exams originally cost about 100 USD each, and knowing that I am doing them for free now makes me happy that I am saving money.

2) They are a great way to learn about industrial enterprise solutions

I was quite interested in learning about the Cloud and enterprise tech. These are some of the things you don’t really get exposed to in university despite how useful they are to know about, so I thought I’d use the exams as an opportunity to learn about them. Having these exams kinda created a driving force for myself to learn about the content, I was put in a situation where I couldn’t really slack off or else I would fail.

3) They provide credibility

Other than that, there is also the value from these certifications, these certificates help show that you have the skills and knowledge and they are definitely useful in applying for jobs, especially in cloud computing roles. I think LinkedIn also did a statistic some time ago that you are 2.4 times more likely to get hired if you have one of these certs, so they are definitely nice to have.

The process

Every night, I stayed up studying for these exams, my approach to these exams was simple. For each exam, I would

  • Go through the Microsoft Learn modules
  • Watch the cram from John Savill’s channel on YouTube
  • Finish all the questions in the MeasureUp practice test question bank
  • Go for the exam, you can actually take the exams online from home

The exams are super convinient, there are a lot of timeslots available, I would just book whenever I felt ready, like a day before the exam itself and went for it, no hassle to travel and all that stuff.

Tips for the exam

1) Download the exam guide for the exam

You can download the detailed exam specifications under each exam, they contain a list of examinable topics and also the latest updates for the exams, so don’t miss out on them.

2) Use the tools and platforms

You can actually try out and play around with the tools and platforms, most learn modules contain a section where you can practice using a sandbox environment. Try creating resources and getting familiar with the platforms yourself, there will definitely be questions asking about some random features of the platform.

3) Think logically and use common sense

Sometimes, there will be some questions that you are unable to prepare for. But fret not, most of the questions have obvious answers, just use logical deduction and eliminate the impossible choices and pray that the final choice remaining is the right one.

4) Overlapped content and order between exams

The MS-900 exam was my worst performing exam. In my case, my MS-900 exams contained a lot of content not covered in the Learn modules, I still passed but I only found out later that the SC-900 Learn modules contained the missing knowledge that I needed for the MS-900 exam since they overlap quite a lot, so doing the SC-900 first does help.

What did I gain from doing them?

Well, I definitely gained some knowledge and skills in using the cloud, it taught me the capabilities of the cloud and how easy it is to use them, it provided me with the context about enterprise tech and it was interesting to see how businesses leverage these technologies.

As a dev, the Azure related exams defintely added more a lot more tools to my arsenal, from cloud resources like VMs and databases, to various AI services. I have some awesome ideas coming up that can make use of these cloud services and I can’t wait to build them.

On top of that, I can now put that 6x Microsoft Certified title and add a bunch of certifications into my LinkedIn profile.

And finally, I got a great story to create content on as well, just look at this blog!

Your turn?

I hope that I have managed to shed some light on the Microsoft Fundamental Exams and motivated you to start your own journey with the exams. If you’re interested in cloud computing, definitely give these exams a shot, I’m sure you won’t regret it.