I passed the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure certification this past week. I have a few years of experience with Azure, so an Introductory exam was not particularly challenging. The content was not the main reason I took the exam; the big challenge was the venue, my home.
Every test I’ve taken up to this point has been at an exam location. I am fortunate enough to live in an area with plenty of testing facilities nearby. But times are strange, and those locations are not an option, at least not for now. As my only option, I decided to take this one on as my first at-home certification exam to get an understanding of the experience. Taking the AZ-900 exam from home would be a test run for me.
Overall, the experience went well. There are a few things to consider, however. First is the location. A quiet place with no disruptions is critical to testing from home. Also, speaking is not allowed during the exam. I have older kids that understand “do not disturb.” For those sheltering in place with younger children, this may be more difficult and take some extra coordination.
The location has to be clutter-free. Getting the place prepared may take some effort before the exam. Clear off the desk and clean up your work area. Get anything that may look suspicious to the proctor off the walls or cover it up before the test.
I used my laptop in an empty room for the test. A day before the test day, I ran a system check that I received with the confirmation. The system check walked through the check-in process and presented a one-question exam. Run the system check a day or two before the test. Once completed, you should be set from a technology standpoint.
The check-in requires you to take photos of the environment as well as pictures of the ID you use to verify your identity. The test application needs access to the computer camera and will record you during the test.
On the day of the test, I checked in 15 minutes prior to my start time. The exam is by appointment, and being on time is just as important as taking the test at a testing location. I ran the same check-in process as I did with the system check and proceeded with the test.
The test itself was just like taking it at a testing facility. The AZ-900 was primarily multiple choice and fill in the blank. There were a couple of quests that ask to identify the location on an illustration. The AZ-900 does not have labs.
The other reason I took the AZ-900 is to prepare to deliver content related to the exam. Having taken the test gives me a point of reference. The AZ-900 provides a comprehensive overview of Azure services. The test is an excellent entry-level certification for those getting started with Azure and cloud services.
As for the actual content of the AZ-900, there are a lot of useful resources available from online training companies or freely available online. I’m not going to give out spoilers, but if you review the requirements form the Microsoft Certification site and follow along with the online resources available on YouTube or Microsoft Learn, you should do well.
Good luck with the certification!