Last week I sat and passed what I consider to be the formidable AZ-104 Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate exam.
Since sharing my success with the Azure community on Twitter, a few people have reached out to ask me to share my experiences. This is a quick post aimed at doing just that.
The first thing I strongly suggest doing is reviewing the exam breakdown under the ‘Skills measured’ section of the exam page. This will give you a good understanding of what you need to tackle.
As always, the Microsoft Learn content is utterly fantastic for this exam, but I’ll be honest, I find sitting down and reading through pages upon pages of content very cumbersome. I’m a ‘watch and learn’ kind of person, and the first YouTube channel I turn to whenever I need to learn anything about Azure is by John Savill.
The video below is what I came to rely upon (but the URL is here if you need it):
The above is an exam cram, so a lot of the higher level points are covered but not in great detail. I’d suggest you supplement the areas you find weakest with Microsoft Learn. I also found this video from freeCodeCamp quite handy as it goes into a bit more depth.
One quick tip when watching these YouTube study videos is to click the ‘SHOW MORE’ link under the video description. Often deeper down in the description there will be a breakdown of the video, giving you an option to skip to specific points in the video.
The CloudSkills.io was also really great, albeit it a paid for resource.
If I had to pick one paid for training resource though, it would be the Whizlabs course, purely for the practice exams. These exams are VERY similar to the real exam, so if you can afford this (and feel as if you need it) then this is the one I’d pick.
The number one rule for me in exams is to READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY!
Some questions are designed to trip you up, so read and re-read them. You can always mark questions for review and come back to them later. For this particular exam I relied on this feature, as some of the questions left my head spinning. By skipping over them and coming back a short while later, my head had re-adjusted and I soon realised what I needed to do.
The number two rule is to always READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!
In addition to that, also keep an eye on the time and how many question you have left to complete.
The reason I say this is because I skim read the instructions, particularly the part about case studies. I got to what I thought was the end of the exam with 20 minutes to spare. I spent 10 minutes going over the questions I’d marked for review, then clicked ‘Next’ thinking I was done…
I was not!
To my sheer horror, I had another few case studies still to complete, which I had to rush through in my final 10 minutes!! In the case study sections, you aren’t allowed to mark questions for review or even go back to them. I had been keeping a close eye on the time, but failed to notice that I still had 20 or so questions left to answer. So yeah, that was stressful!
To my utter surprise, I still managed to pass the exam. I was however notably weaker in some areas, which I fully intend to go back and brush up on. Still, what a relief!
The next exam on my hit-list: AZ-305 Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
Thanks for reading.