How to Prepare for Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-301?
A big hello to fellow Information security, Cloud, and IT Professionals. Today we will talk about How to Prepare for Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-301 and also share my AZ-301 exam review. I passed the exam this Saturday, 13 June 2020 and perspectives are quite fresh.
Online proctored exam of 210 minutes duration excluding response to survey questions. You could also book for the PearsonVue test center exam. I booked for an online proctored one due to Covid-19.
You can expect different question formats and types in this exam including review screen, mark review, multiple choice, short answer, hot area, repeated answer choices, drag and drop, case studies, build list etc.
AZ-301 Exam Review
The exam environment provides the total number of questions and a running “progress” indicator while you are taking the exam. I had total 48 questions. As with any other exam use this to manage your time appropriately. First section which appeared was a case study and tricky part is you cannot skip this section for lateral comeback and review is allowed only for concluding this section. You could expect 8-10 questions in this section and it’s very important to maintain your composure and nerves.
Other sections allow you to flag questions for later review. The exam environment will allow you to go back to those questions and reconsider your answers at the end of that section. I used this function in the few instances the question wasn’t totally clear to me, or multiple answers initially made sense. I’d consider the question for a short time and pick the answer that seemed best based on my initial reaction. Then I’d flag it for review. Once I finished the section I could consider the exam time remaining along with my exam progress to determine how long I wanted to review the questions I flagged.
This was truly a design exam, covering consideration of requirements, trade-offs among competing technologies, and selecting the right attributes of chosen technologies. It felt like a good blend of questions that could reasonably be expected of an Architect familiar with the product. Exam tests on fundamentals and also towards architecture best practices including cost and performance optimisation.
Domains covered in the exam
- Determining Workload Requirements (about 10-15 % weightage)
- Designing for Identity and Security (about 20-25 % weightage)
- Designing a Data Platform Solution (about 15-20 % weightage)
- Designing a Business Continuity Strategy (about 15-20 % weightage)
- Designing for Deployment, Migration & Integration (about 10-15 % weightage)
- Designing an Infrastructure Strategy (about 15-20 % weightage)
AZ-301 Exam Preparation Strategy
- Acloud guru course on AZ-301 (by Nick Colyer). I would also suggest to go through AZ- 300 course material as AD/Identity Management related sections are covered in more details
- Microsoft Azure documentation – very important to understand the details of key services
- MS AZ-301 online course (free on Microsoft website)
- Microsoft Azure subscription – Important to practice the concept learned and complexities around key azure services like API management, ARC, Storage etc.
- Whizlab AZ – 301 practice test – Good for concept building and very close to actual exam. Go through the practice test answer explanation to sharpen the fundamentals
3-4 months of regular reading and practice will help you to achieve this. Important thing is to maintain the momentum and spend 1-2 hours daily. Also important is to enjoy the enriching learning experience and not only see things from exam perspective.
With this we will take a pause. Please feel free to suggest your thoughts/ questions in comments section of the blog or contact us
Deepesh Kumar works as Associate Director – Information Security Risk Management in Novartis. He has also worked with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. He holds CISSP, PMP, CIPP-E, AWS Cloud solution Architect, Azure Architect Design, and other Information Security relevant Certifications.