Hi, this post will be about the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. After the last post about taking Microsoft exams online, I got a few requests to write more about the Azure Administrator exam. The previous post (if you haven’t read it yet) can be found in the search or at the link: https://lepczynski.it/en/azure_en/microsoft-azure-exam-at-home/
I passed the Azure Administrator exam in November 2019. When I was taking the exam, it was az-103, but now it has been refreshed to be az-104. The differences between the exams are not very big, Microsoft has described them well in the exam documents.
Detailed information about the az-104 and the differences between the az-103 can be found on the Microsoft website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104
How did I prepare for the exam?
I have had a lot of experience with the Azure platform, because I use it on a daily basis at work. I advise you to get to know Azure well if you want to take this exam.
I was helped by Microsoft Learn https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/. In my opinion, this is the best way to learn and explore Azure. You will find a lot of training there. You don’t even need an account to view the content. I believe that it is worth setting up a free account and having access to well-prepared materials, laboratories and our progress in science. Microsoft Learn gives us something like a sandbox during training. To use the sandbox you must have a Microsoft account (free is enough). Thanks to this, you have access to almost everything what you can find on portal.azure.com. Microsoft warns every time you run the sandbox that you can only use it strictly with the training running. Another downside is that you can run it, if I remember correctly, a maximum of 4 times, for no more than 2 hours. But for me it was always enough. A huge plus is that you use a real portal, create real resources, and most importantly, you pay nothing for this.
Another source of knowledge worth recommending is GitHub https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning. This is Microsoft’s official repo dedicated to training. In the description we will find a link that will redirect us to the description https://microsoftlearning.github.io/AZ-103-MicrosoftAzureAdministrator/
I was lucky that the company I work for bought for me the book Exam Ref AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator. The book is very thick, but useful to me. I had the electronic version, which was more convenient for me. I was looking through the paper-based book when I finished reading on Kindle. Azure is changing fast, so the book will probably not stay relevant for long.
On many Microsoft websites you can also find detailed documentation https://docs.microsoft.com/pl-pl/azure/?product=featured. I use it more often in my regular work.
In addition, I expanded my knowledge through online courses on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/learning. Friends browsed the Udemy courses one of the more famous and recommendable instructors is Scott Duffy https://www.udemy.com/user/scottduffy2/
Of course, you can sign up for additional several days of training in a training center or online, but they are expensive. It all depends on the teacher. I met such training once, in a well-known training center, that the teacher read the slides and could not say anything more. Worse, he was confusing concepts and even couldn’t do the labs properly. If you find a good teacher, you can get a lot from the training, but even after the best training, you still have to read and learn a lot. If you do not have experience on the platform and you think that training for a few thousand is enough, then you are making a big mistake.
Microsoft recommends the MeasureUp platform https://eu2.mindhub.com/shop/microsoft, where you can find sample tests for the Microsoft Azure Administrator exam. I have used this platform and can really say that they are helpful and show what the exam looks like.
A good place to visit is also the Microsoft Azure User Group Poland Facebook group for example https://www.facebook.com/groups/azureugpl/ or international microsoft azure group (unofficial) https://www.facebook.com/groups/azureusergroupunofficial/.
It is also worth taking a look at the page with the types of questions that appear in the exam. You will learn from it about the duration of individual exams, the form of practical exams (labs) and, most importantly, you will see what types of questions are included in the exam. The website should contain short videos also showing sample questions and tasks:
Exam duration and question types | Microsoft Learn
In the depths of the Internet, you will definitely find a lot of other materials if you need them additionally. Have fun studying and good luck in your exam.
If you would like to know what it is like to take the Microsoft Azure exam at home, see my post on this topic. I explain step by step what it looked like when I passed the exam: