Today I finally passed the AZ-900 exam on the second attempt and I couldn't be happier. In all honestly, it was not an enjoyable certification. There were aspects that were interesting but overall it did feel somewhat of a chore to revise for. However, I knew the importance of being familiar with cloud services such as Azure and AWS within the cybersecurity space and I managed to push through it. I first found out about the exam through the university who gave me 2 free exam vouchers and access to GMetrix practice exams. I started studying back in February using the Microsoft Learn platform. However, my dissertation took precedent and so it had been pushed back till now. I went through all of the Microsoft Learn content and completed the practise test multiple times over the course of 10–14 days and was averaging about 90%. I felt fairly confident in my ability to pass. 70% was the pass rate which roughly worked out to around 700 marks. On my first try, I got 688 which essentially was half a question away. As you can imagine I was very disappointed. Not only had I worked hard in a particular area I wasn't that interested in but I had come so close to passing in the first place. Since I was so close to passing I decided to book the exam for 3 days later. Yes, looking back this was probably very silly but I felt I knew the content and all I needed was a few more days of practice. I worked out that my weakness was more on the scenario-based questions and questions regarding compliance and so that's what I tried to work on. The voucher from the university also came with a free re-take so I wouldn't lose out if I failed again. I decided the best thing to do was to complete practice tests over and over again. I signed up for WhizLabs which gave me a free practice test and paid £5 for a Udemy course which gave me 6 more tests. After completing those over the next few days, the exam finally came.
The day did not start well. I slept very badly throughout the night, got up late and felt exhausted. I set up my workspace and tried to memorise questions I had seen before. I completed the exam in around 14 minutes and finally got the words I wanted. “Congratulations, you have passed the Azure Fundamentals Exam”. I was relieved. Partly because I could go and catch up on some much-needed sleep but also because I had just gained my first certification. I had just conquered the first step in my cybersecurity career. It also taught me it's not about how you fail, it's about how you come back from failure and I’m really proud of my ability to push through the setback and achieve my goal.
The exam experience I had with OnVue was fantastic. This was my first kind of online exam and they made the process very straightforward and easy to use. The first exam went very smoothly and I got set up for the exam with no problem. On the second attempt, I had several technical issues regarding the connection and making sure no background processes were interfering. However, the staff were extremely accommodating and helped me sort all the issues out so I could sit the exam on time.
Overall I would say the exam is definitely worth pursuing. Although there were aspects I did not enjoy, I have learned tremendous amounts about Azure and how it integrates within other networks which will no doubt help me further on in my career. The certification is also very cheap at around £60 so it is definitely worth picking up if you plan on dealing with cloud services in future.
Here are the links to my resources:
Microsoft Learn — https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/
WhizLabs — https://www.whizlabs.com/