Wriju's BLOG

.NET, Cloud and everything

Preparing and appearing for AZ-300

If you pass the both AZ-300 and AZ-301 then you become
the Azure Solutions Architect Expert. This is one of the
role-based certification exams microsoft has recently announced. For more
details about which one fits you well please have a look into the blog post https://buildazure.com/2018/09/24/introducing-role-based-microsoft-azure-certification-shakeup/

Here I am going to discuss about AZ-300 specifically.

In a nutshell if you are

a)      Sys Admin (IT-Pro) :
AZ-100,
AZ-101

b)     Professional
Developer :
AZ-203

c)      Solution Architect :
AZ-300,
AZ-301

d)     DevOps Engineer :
AZ-400

Generally important links and resources are always at
the bottom of every article. I thought I will start with that – important than my
tips,

1.      Look for the detailed
module-based curriculum

·        AZ-300T01: Deploying and Configuring
Infrastructure

·        AZ-300T02: Implementing Workloads and
Security

·        AZ-300T03: Understanding Cloud Architect Technology
Solutions

·        AZ-300T04: Creating and Deploying
Apps

·        AZ-300T06: Developing for the
Cloud

 

2.      Azure Solutions
Architect role-based exam prep: AZ-300 Technologies – BRK3386

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1myyD_cGVQ

 

Here come my tips,

Preparation

Azure
documentation is your book

All the exam questions are backed up with the azure
documentations (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/).
Even if we do not have any Published book yet, you can go through Azure
documentation as per the curriculum (above).

Understand
SLA and pricing

You need to understand different SLAs. For example,
when a VM is 99.95%, 99.9% etc. For more about Azure SLA please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/legal/sla/summary/

Know about pricing, because this is a Solution
Architecture exam and as an Architect you need to optimize the cost of Azure
deployment without compromising the high availability and configuration
requirements. A quick check https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/
would help.

Hands-on is
important

A significant section of this exam is about hands on
labs. You need to login to a VM provided by the exam and implement the scenarios
mentioned. You can use Portal, PowerShell or CLI. But some may explicitly ask
you use one of the above three ones. So be prepared for that. If you are doing
hands on lab for creating VM – then I recommend you do it in all three or more
ways. Maybe you want to do it through ARM as well. You never know. No harm
preparing for it. Because at the end of the day the whole purpose of the
certification is not to get the badge but to implement your knowledge in real
world scenario. So more you learn the better prepared you are for the actual
work.

Subscription Limitations


Understand the subscription limits. For more visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-subscription-service-limits,
you don’t need to remember them by heart but having a knowledge (like quick
glance through) would help you take some decisions as an architect.

Read
FAQ
.

Many of us really don’t put a lot
of emphasis on this but let me tell you this is your real dump. You have so many
tricky situations you can answer if you go through each of these FAQ sections of
the major services covered in the exam. Most of the Azure services FAQs are in
their corresponding documentation section but if you do a quick search on the
top of the documentation page as https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/search/documentation/?q=FAQ
never miss it!!!

No
programming (coding) required
.

Though
this is a technology exam and covers broader aspect of both IT Pro and Dev, you
don’t need to know C#, Python etc. But you
are expected to know PowerShell or CLI. So, this is more IT Pro and less
developer. Many non-developers are bit skeptical about it. I think this is by
design and for good reason. If you are a developer and write code everyday then
you must target AZ-203.

During Exam

You can write this exam in either a registered test
center or online proctored. This is what you select when you register your exam.
Test center option is simple. You go to the registered center and follow their guideline and give exam and come
out either passed or failed.

For online proctored, I have some tips.

High
bandwidth and bigger screen
.

Make sure
you have stable high bandwidth internet connection. You don’t want it to drop in
between. So, if you are not sure, don’t start your exam in that environment.
Make sure you are using a large screen – this would help you during Lab.

Clean room
and no breaks
.

You can’t keep anything
not even a water bottle in the exam room. You stay enough hydrated but at the
same time make sure that you won’t get a chance in middle of your exam for a bio
break. So, don’t over consume water. The exam duration is ~3 hour. This is a
long duration. Be prepared for both mentally and physically.

Read
questions multiple times
.

Read
questions again and again. Because some questions are tricky. If you read it
twice the meaning could appear different than the first read. For example, some
answers need you to select multiple answers. If you select one, then it could be
wrong.

No negative
marking
.

Never mind if your answer is
wrong. Just move on. Because there is no negative marking – attempting for the
answer may increase your chance of getting additional marks.

Time
management.

Time management is the key
in AZ-300. This exam is for 150 min. You might have no time finish all. So,
don’t spend too much time in one question. Clock runs. Just observe that. Keep
more time for Lab because you need to select and create which takes time. Some
other exam you can finish in an hour or little more, but this exam needs full
time.