On November 9th, Microsoft released a refresh of the exam contents of AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, the fundamentals exam for the Azure certifications paths. In this article, you will learn what is new, what has changed, and how to prepare for this exam.
What is the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam?
To keep the exam contents up-to-date, Microsoft regularly refreshes their exams to match the relevant skill sets. The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam is focused on cloud concepts and describing Azure core services and workloads, basic security and privacy in Azure, pricing, and support.
These refreshes are necessary because Microsoft regularly releases new services and features in Azure, from visual changes to improvements to the user experience (UX), as well changing how some tasks are performed. You can check these changes on the Azure updates website.
This exam is intended for candidates who are starting to work with Azure or cloud-based solutions. It will certify that you understand the main concepts of cloud computing and the core services available in Azure.
This is the right exam for you even if do not work in a technical role! As a fundamental exam, this is a good fit for project managers, product owners, and also commercial teams that sell cloud-based solutions.
What is changed in AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Overall, you should not expect drastic changes in the Azure Fundamentals exam at this refresh.
If you are already studying for this exam, look at the new subjects like serverless computing, the shared responsibility model, the concept of defense in depth, and GitHub.
Other subjects that are less likely to be on the exam, because they were removed from the skill set measured by the exam, include:
- Virtual Machine Scale Sets
- Application Gateway
- Azure Content Delivery Network (Azure CDN)
- Azure Database Migration service
- Azure Information Protection (AIP)
- Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
- Determining composite SLAs
- Describing best practices to minimize Azure costs and cost analysis
You might not want to spend much time on these topics, and instead spend more time on other subjects like cloud computing concepts and core services like Azure Virtual Machines, App Services, and Azure Active Directory.
Changes based on topics weights
Before the refresh, the skills measured were:
- Describe Cloud Concepts (15-20%)
- Describe Core Azure Services (30-35%)
- Describe Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Trust (25-30%)
- Describe Azure Pricing, Service Level Agreements, and Lifecycles (20-25%)
After the refresh, these objectives changed to:
- 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 (20-25%)
- Describe Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements (10-15%)
As you can see, the first objective has a higher percentage, so expect to see more questions about Cloud Concepts on the exam. Other skill sets that slightly changed are Describe Core Azure Services and Describe Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Trust.
First, some contents from Describe Core Azure Services got split into Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure. The contents from Describe Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Trust were also split into Describe general security and network security features, and Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features.
AZ-900 exam contents breakdown
Let's break down each skill set and see what changed:
- Describe Cloud Concepts
- Identify the benefits and considerations of using cloud services
- Describe the differences between categories of cloud services
- Describe the differences between types of cloud computing
This objective didn't have a lot of changes. Expect to see new questions related to the shared responsibility model and describing serverless computing.
- Describe Core Azure Services
- Describe the core Azure architectural components
- Describe core resources available in Azure
The scope for this objective was reduced to core Azure architectural components and core resources available in Azure only. A few resources were removed from core resources available, including Virtual Machines Scale Sets, Application Gateway, Content Delivery Network, and Azure Database Migration service.
- Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
- Describe core solutions available in Azure
- Describe Azure management tools
The contents of this new objective came from the old Describe Core Azure Services objective, with the addition of describing the benefits of services like GitHub and GitHub Actions.
- Describe general security and network security features
- Describe Azure security features
- Describe Azure network security
In this objective you should expect questions focused on describing security features like Azure Security Center, Key Vault, Network Security Groups, and the concept of defense in depth.
- Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
- Describe core Azure identity services
- Describe Azure governance features
- Describe privacy and compliance resources
In this objective, you can expect the same contents as before, with the exception of the contents moved to Describe general security and network security features. A few more specific services were removed, like Azure Information Protection (AIP) and Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).
- Describe Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements
- Describe methods for planning and managing costs
- Describe Azure Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and service lifecycles
This final objective was simplified, removing complex subjects like determining composite SLAs, describing best practices to minimize Azure costs, and cost analysis.
How to get prepared
Although the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam is considered a fundamental one, you need to understand a lot of concepts to succeed. You can use a lot of reference materials, like the learning paths available in Microsoft Learn.
Before taking the exam, make sure to review the skills measured on the exam page.
To gain more confidence before the exam, make sure to check the Microsoft official AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals practice test from MeasureUp! It is updated with the refreshed content, with questions that prepare you for the real exam, including detailed explanations for each question.