How to prepare for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification

Resources and tips to help you prepare for the AZ-900 exam to earn the "Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals" certificate

Dhyanendra Singh Rathore
8 min readDec 6, 2021


Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

Azure Fundamentals certification is the baseline to prove knowledge of cloud concepts and expand foundational knowledge of Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support.

This article will list out the resources and tips that can help you on your journey to pass the AZ-900 exam to get Microsoft's Azure Fundamentals certificate.

Please read our terms of use before proceeding with this article:

Azure Fundamentals certificate is an independent credential and doesn't have any pre-requisites. To earn this certificate, a candidate has to pass the exam AZ-900. Microsoft provides a comprehensive learning and journey path for each of its certifications.

Azure Fundamentals: Certificate Overview

Exam Skills Outline

A candidate is evaluated on the following skills

  • Describe cloud concepts (20–25%)
  • Describe core Azure services (15–20%)
  • Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure (10–15%)
  • Describe general security and network security features (10–15%)
  • Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features (15–20%)
  • Describe Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements (10–15%)

Exam content is frequently updated, and Microsoft updates the exam skills outline accordingly. Therefore, always check the latest skills outline to avoid surprises during the exam.

Azure Fundamentals: Learning Path

You can take all Microsoft fundamental exams for free if you attend respective Microsft virtual training days. More on it later in the resource section.

Exam Setup

The exam format is dynamic, and the number of questions and types of questions might differ for each participant. Microsoft does not specify the specific exam format or question types before the exam. A supplementary text will determine how to answer the question. Below is a general outline

  • Exam duration: 100–120 mins
  • Number of questions: 40–60
  • Passing marks: 700 (max 1,000) — no penalty on wrong answers
  • Question types: You can demo the exam experience by visiting the “exam sandbox” or referring to the Microsoft docs for samples.

Recommended reading on scores:

Planning Checklist

  • Setup a date for the exam before you start studying — Seriously, stop reading this and schedule the exam. Giving yourself a date to work towards is VERY motivating.
  • Plan your study — We suggest you use Microsoft Learn as the primary study content for the exam.
  • Spend enough time on each section topic- "Enough time" is relative for everyone, but this means you need to define how much you know of each section and how much you do not know or know little.


Theoretical concepts

There are several resources at your disposal to get yourself familiar with the concepts. First, we will list free resources followed by paid resources.

Microsoft Learn: The Microsoft Learn Portal should be considered the primary source for your exam studies. Every exam and certificate page contains a predefined Microsoft recommended learning path covering every section of the measured skill. Additionally, some of the modules come with a hands-on exercise, follow side-by-side to reap the most significant benefits.

Microsoft Virtual Training Days: Microsoft experts provide regular and frequent virtual training for every fundamental exam. These trainings are run live and are available at no cost to everyone. Check the schedule and reserve your place in advance.

After completing this free training, you’ll be eligible to take the AZ-900 exam at no cost. The “discount” is associated with your email.

Microsoft Instructor-Led Training Recordings: Microsoft Instructor-Led Training for the various Role-Based Exams are run live and recorded. These recordings are decent preparation material. When you click on a module link, it seems like you are signing up for a live session. However, you are registering to get access to the recording. You need to register for each module (it takes less than 1 minute), and you will receive a custom link by email.

Azure Architecture Center: Azure Architecture Center is a one-stop-shop and repository for designing and building Azure solutions using industry-established standards practices.

Instructor-Led Training (ILT): Microsoft has partnered with many vendors in most countries known as Microsoft Learning Partners to deliver course-specific training in various formats. ILTs are paid and delivered by a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).

Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI): The ESI program is an initiative by Microsoft to enable its partners to assist their employees in learning the skills they need to succeed with Azure and other Microsoft technologies. If you work for a Microsoft partner organization, then the chances are that you have access to the ESI portal or try reaching out to your talent development leads for guidance.

Third-party resources: Some third-party vendors like Udemy also provide paid online courses. These courses are often available in packages and include theoretical course content, videos, practice tests, and practical exercises.


Several questions in the exam will test your practical knowledge of the Azure portal, creating and managing different resources, and scenario-based questions. Thus, we recommend practicing as much as you can.

GitHub labs: Each Microsoft Azure exam is complemented with a Microsoft-recommended lab exercise to gain hands-on experience with each module.

Practice test and replay

Once you're ready to take the exam, you can measure your knowledge by taking the practice tests or assessments. These tests are paid and only mimic the exam.

Official Microsoft practice test: MeasureUp and mindhub offer the official Microsoft practice test to help you measure your learning for the final exam.

Practice tests do not guarantee your success with the final exam and shall only be used to measure your preparedness.

Exam Replay: Exam replay is available as a special offer from Microsoft to increase your chances of succeeding in your exam. If you fail your exam, exam replay gives you a second chance to pass the exam.

Third-party sample questions: Some sample exam questions are also available on the Internet. A word of caution though, the answers and questions are not always correct and might be misleading or incorrect altogether. Refer to such content at your own risk.

Suggested study method

Everyone has their way of studying, but some of these suggestions have worked for others.

  • Start with the MS learning path and the corresponding GitHub exercise to solidify your grasp on the concepts or opt for a paid third-party course.
  • Take up a mini personal project to reinforce your overall understanding of the highest weighted components.
  • Measure your learning with a practice test or go through the free sample questions. If you could answer most of them (in the case of free sample questions), you're ready for the final exam.

Tips for the first time exam takers

A Microsoft exam can be very daunting if you haven't taken an exam before. Below are some tips to ensure you don't feel overwhelmed and pass the exam.

  • Make sure you have enough rest. Then, clear your mind and focus only on the exam.
  • Read the test center or online exam rules beforehand and comply with the ID and test space (online mode only) requirements.
  • Read the NDA beforehand to ensure you fully understand the requirements and agree to them without running out of time. You will get only 5 minutes to read it once the exam begins. If you do not agree to the NDA in the time allotted, you will not take the exam.
  • Demo the exam experience by visiting the “exam sandbox.” In the sandbox, you will be able to interact with the different question types available in the actual user interface that you will navigate during the exam. In addition, this experience includes the same introductory screens, instructions, and question type help information that you will see on your exam and the non-disclosure agreement that you must agree to before launching the exam.
  • Don't panic while taking the exam. Instead, go through it at your own pace and read everything carefully.
  • Make sure you set some timing checkpoints. E.g., if the exam is 30 questions long and you have 2 hrs, make sure you are close to halfway through the exam at the hour mark.
  • Read everything in the question and answer carefully. Every word is there for a reason, and there is no fluff. Do not make assumptions because the answer is not based on assumptions; if something will not work because something is missing in the question statement, it is so for a reason.

Further reading on Exam policies and FAQs

Good luck with your preparations and exam!

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Dhyanendra Singh Rathore

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