I’ve recently been reviewing content and training material to help both technical and non-technical people alike pass their AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam. The official exam description is :
The exam is intended for candidates who are just beginning to work with cloud-based solutions and services or are new to Azure.
Azure Fundamentals exam is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. Candidates should be familiar with the general technology concepts, including concepts of networking, storage, compute, application support, and application development.
But what I really found was that the AZ-900 exam is all about your general fundamental knowledge of cloud in general, and a couple of services that you will almost always be using no matter which cloud set up you go for.
As an example, you should have a broad base of knowledge on cloud computing to answer questions like “What is a hybrid cloud model?” or “What is the difference between SAAS, PAAS and IAAS”, but also still be able to handle left field questions such as “What are Azure Availability Zones?” or “Which feature of Azure Active Directory will require users to have their mobile phone in order to be able to log in?”.
Essentially, it’s a very broad intro to Azure for anyone to get the gist of what cloud computing is about, and some general Azure terms and concepts. If you are using Azure in *any* capacity, whether it be sales, software development, infrastructure, security engineer, even a business analyst, it’s a worthwhile exam to take.
Exam Courses / Guides For AZ-900
There’s really only two main source of material for the AZ-900 that I recommend.
The first is actually the official Microsoft learning pathways for Azure Fundamentals.
It’s fairly verbose but it’s extremely content rich. In total, you are looking at 15 and a half hours worth of videos and reading material to get you prepared for the exam. Personally, I think it’s a bit overkill and if you have a bit of experience with Azure and Cloud already, it may be a bit of a slog to get through all 15 hours. But on the flip side, you’re going to be getting a real in-depth look at all things Azure and basically not have to go anywhere else for exam prep. And, it’s free, so no complaints there.
My second recommendation is Scott Duffy’s AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Prep video course available on Udemy.
This course is a much more concise and chopped down version clocking in at just over 5 hours. It also comes with a 50 question practice test, and you can download the audio if you’re on the go as well. There is a cost associated with the course, but like everything on Udemy, you can usually pick it up on sale for $12 bucks or so. It’s had 125k+ students through the door so it must be doing something right! The other benefit is that if you use Scott Duffy for other Microsoft Exam Prep, he often sends out discount counts to get his other courses. So if you are interested in say the Scott Duffy course for the Azure Architecture exam, you can start with him with the fundamentals and use him all the way through your learning path.
Practice Exams For AZ-900
Microsoft actually offer a paid practice exam through Mindhub. The only issue is, the practice exam is (depending on your currency) more than the actual exam itself. While the actual exam may cost somewhere in the vicinity of $99USD, the practice exam for a 60 day period is $109USD. In my view, it’s just not worth it. Specifically for the AZ-900 exam, you really don’t need to be cramming for it. It really is a fundamental exam and so spending a tonne of money on practice questions just isn’t needed.
Again, Scott Duffy also has an AZ-900 practice exam on Udemy. This is much more reasonably priced, and usually you can get a bundle deal if you buy the course with the practice questions. I think some people have a worry that buying a third party practice exam won’t be close to the real thing, but if anything, I found people complaining a lot more about the MindHub practice exams than any others. The thing is as well, you can usually get these for around $10, and it comes with 150 practice questions. Overall, these should point you in the right direction of where you need to study more, and for very little cost.
Areas For Free Points
Any time I do an exam, I look for areas that are very easy to memorize, and yet will always come up in the exam. Many many years ago, I remember doing the CompTIA A+ exam which involves memorizing a set of 15 IRQ numbers and their corresponding devices. Just a list of 15 numbers. And every single exam there was atleast 2 questions asking “What IRQ is number 2” for example.
So with that in mind, when I was looking at AZ-900 and doing practice exams, I looked for areas where I knew I could easily memorize and learn the answer for, but were an almost certainty to come up in the exam :
- Learn about availability sets, regions, update domains, fault domains, and in general know how Azure offers high availability.
- Know the different levels of feature release (Private preview, Public Preview, General Availability) and their relevant SLAs.
- Understand how Microsoft offers support and when.
- Understand the benefits of cloud hosting in general. There is almost always a question about cloud computing being “elastic” or questions about scaling
- Understand the different network security offerings in Azure, for example Firewall, DDOS Protection, NSG etc and when you would use them
- Try and understand when you would use Cosmos, Data Lake, SQL Data Warehouse, Azure SQL, Blob Storage or any other storage mechanism that comes up, almost certainly you will be asked something about which is the right data storage mechanism
- 100% know the difference between hot and cold storage in Azure Blob, you will always be asked something about this.
- Read a bit on Azure AD. It’s kind of a broad topic but in general as long as you understand what it does, and what it can offer (For example MFA), you should be good.
Overall, the exam is honestly pretty straight forward. There are always curly ones like “What is the maximum amount of VM’s allowed in a scale set”, but overall from the list above, you will get one or two in each of those areas. For example, simply memorizing the difference between hot and cold storage in Azure Blob Storage now gets you an extra mark for about 10 minutes of reading.
Braindumps For AZ-900
I don’t think it would be a tips post for a Microsoft Exam without mentioning the infamous brain dumps. So let’s get this out of the way early. Braindumps are just cheating the exam in a different way. If you’ve never heard of braindumps, it’s essentially buying the questions for the real exam, and studying to be able to answer those specific questions only.
Yes you can use TestKing. Yes you can use Pass4Sure. But let me just say this. If you need braindumps to pass AZ-900, just find a different job. It will be easier that way.
You honestly should not need a braindump for any fundamentals course. I know some people try and justify using exam dumps sometimes by saying that the exam questions are worded poorly. Or the training material is garbage and there is no way you could pass the exam without a braindump. But AZ-900 is not that. It’s a very straight forward simple exam that as long as you do any amount of study, or have been working in IT using Azure (Or any cloud) for any length of time, you can pass. You do not need braindumps for this exam.