I will be explaining the steps l took to pass the Azure Administrator Associate(AZ-104) with a somewhat high score of 850. The AZ-104 Certification is offered after completing an exam from Microsoft. Candidates for this exam should have subject matter expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.
Prior to this certification l had not used the Microsoft Azure environment extensively but l had sat for Azure Fundamentals(AZ-900) exam back in January 2021. The Azure Fundamentals(AZ-900) is an introduction to Azure cloud. Most of the questions in the Azure Fundamentals exam will be about your knowledge of Azure Services. Azure Administrator Associate is different because it requires a strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. It also requires to be able to comfortably use PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal, and Azure Resource Manager templates.
Resources that l highly recommend.
The first resource that l used was Andrew Brown's AZ-104 course on YouTube. He made this course in collaboration with Freecodecamp. I have used Andrew's content since the time l started preparing for cloud certifications. I like his approach to teaching and his courses are always straight to the point with no fluff. Here is a link to the course
The second resource that l used was John Savill Masterclass on YouTube. I like John's content because he deep-dives into a topic and also his visuals are second to none. I really felt like l was clicking around the Azure console with him while watching his videos. There are so many good videos with quality explanations on his channel. Here is a link
After having an understanding of the core concepts of the Azure Administrator exam, l knew l had to back my knowledge with labs. This exam, as l pointed out earlier, requires practical exercises and you must know your way around the Azure Console. You must also be able to use Powershell, Azure CLI and the Azure Resource Manager(ARM) templates comfortably. The best resource that l found is the AZ-104 labs on Github. To complete these labs, you must have an Azure account and l would suggest that you open one for yourself. Here is a link to the Github repo,https://microsoftlearning.github.io/AZ-104-MicrosoftAzureAdministrator/
Some people who have passed this exam use the Microsoft Learn Path but l find it shallow and also boring to follow. I am a visual learner so l am more biased to videos and colorful pictures than reading text. Here is a link to the Microsoft Learn resource https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104
It is good to get a feel of the exam by getting some practice tests. The platform that l have always trusted is TutorialDojo. l like these practice tests because l get to know my weak areas and some services that l would have missed. The platform contains cheatsheets which can be handy a day or two before the exam. Here is a link to the Practice Tests https://portal.tutorialsdojo.com/courses/az-104-microsoft-azure-administrator-practice-exams/
The price of the exam is based on where the exam is being proctored. It costs $165 in the US. It costs $55 to book this exam in the country that l currently reside(South Africa). To find out how much you pay for the exam just visit this link https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104 l did not pay for this exam because l had attended the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020. Microsoft was giving away a free certification if you attended the Microsoft Ignite Conference and also completed at least one challenge. I only paid $12 for the TutorialDojo exams, all the other resources were free!
The Exam Experience
I opted for an online exam instead of an onsite one, because of the current pandemic. It is very important to test your setup environment before taking the exam. I used PearsonVue to book the exam. This exam is proctored and you are not allowed to use any resources while taking the exam. Read the requirements of the exam on the PearsonVue website before the exam to avoid being disqualified. This exam is quite challenging so you need to be adequately prepared. The resources l listed above will be enough for you to pass this exam quite comfortably. Good Luck!