Channel Update and Azure Exam Study Tips

I recently started an Azure 101 playlist.  The idea was to occasionally post videos for people new to Azure.  I think the content was pretty good, but the video didn’t get much traction.  Recently I was reviewing requirements for Azure Certifications and realized that there was a lot of parallels to the Azure 101 playlist and the AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. 

https://youtu.be/IgqAsJ-1HOE

I’m not a pro on Search Engine Optimization, but I’m willing to guess that there are a lot more people searching for AZ-103 than Azure 101.  Going forward, content from the Azure 101 will go into a new AZ-103 playlist.  Also, future Azure basics videos on the AZ-103 test requirements. 

Since I’m talking about Azure certifications, I’m going to share four tips that have helped me with taking Microsoft certification exams over the years. 

Tip 4

Always use multiple sources.  I found books and videos a good starting point. Multiple sources provide different points of view, reinforces important points, and one may cover a topic the other misses.  Subscribing to your favorite Azure youtuber isn’t a bad idea also.

Tip 3

Use practice tests as study aids.  I’ve used tests like measure up for serval exams.  The topics may be aligned, but the interface and flow did not match the Microsoft Exam.   I also noticed the tests reuse questions for multiple exams and I found a lot of errors.  I use practice by working through blocks of about 25 questions without a timer.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll spend as long as it takes to find it.  Do not expect to memorize the answers and pass the test.  That won’t work with the new Microsoft Exams

Tip 2

Beware of braindumps.  Don’t expect to be spoon-fed answers, that won’t work.  Azure changes constantly and test questions are updated on a much faster cadence.  Brain dumps may be helpful as a study aid, but just like practice tests, don’t rely on memorizing answers.

Tip 1

And my number one tip for preparing for Azure certification exams, nothing beats hands-on experience.  You cannot pass these exams without getting into the portal and setting up resources.  Sign up for a free Azure subscription and follow along with books and videos, working through the exercises.  You don’t need to work with Azure every day, but you do need some hand-on experience for the skills-based exams. Do not expect to read about or watch videos on Azure and expect to pass the exam.

Some of you may be worried that using Azure will cost too much.  Maybe you already had a free subscription and the credit has run out.  Spending $50 to $75 a month for two months should be enough time and money for the AZ-103.  Paying for an Azure subscription will provide more value than buying a  practice test and is close to the same price.

As long as resources are removed when you’re finished and spending is monitored, there shouldn’t have a problem.  Worried about the cost getting out of control?  Well, you’re in luck because monitoring and reporting on spend is a skill for the AZ-103 and I have a video to help with that.  You can find it here.  I couldn’t think of a better topic to start studying for the exam.

I hope this helps with preparing for a Microsoft Exam.  Thanks!

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