Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) is an entry-level exam that covers the fundamentals of Azure cloud services, pricing, security and compliance. Pass this exam and you’ll earn a Microsoft certification, which is a great way to prove your knowledge of cloud concepts.

Why Azure?

It is mainly because of my professional experience with Microsoft technologies. My first ever certification was MCSD: App Builder, which you can see on my LinkedIn profile. Gaining this certification helped me secure good offers from several companies.

Since then, I have been tinkering with Azure for a few years for both personal and work-related projects so I wanted to formalise my hands-on experience.

Exam Experience

I took the exam in-person in one of the Pearson VUE branches in Edinburgh.

Just like most in-person exams, I placed all electronic devices is a locker. You can only take your clothes, a pen and a pencil to the exam. If you’d rather to take the exam online, you’ll need a webcam and an examiner will be watching you all the time. No pressure!

There are 45 questions and the passing score for this exam is 700. Fortunately, you will not be penalised for incorrect answers. I managed to score 865 in my first attempt!

You can collect your exam result within a few minutes of completing the test, which shows a chart of your performance:

Part of the exam results showing my performance
My exam performance

The exam costs £69 in the UK but there are ways to take the exam for free:

  • Attend a free Microsoft training days and get a voucher.
  • Check to see if your company has access to Microsoft ESI.
  • Ask your boss to reimburse the cost, most companies will happily pay employees to up-skill.


I mainly prepared for this exam using the official Microsoft Learn website.

Microsoft offers learning paths for each skill measured in this exam:

I spent around 15 hours in total to prepare for the exam. This includes going through the learning paths, taking notes and answering mock exam questions.

You can find lots of practice exam questions online. I even shared one here based on my notes.

If you have access to Microsoft ESI, you can find 150 free practice questions to prepare for the exam.

There is also one day long instructed-led training available at around $1450. This is only worth it if you have never used Azure and want in-depth learning. For most people, the free learning path will be more than enough to prepare.

What’s Next?

Earning certifications can be addictive. You feel a sense of achievement when you get a recognition of your skills. While I am very happy to have passed AZ-900, I now have my eyes on the Azure Developer Associate certificate. This is a more complicated exam and recommended for cloud developers.

Do you value certifications? Let me know in the comments below!

Umut Esen

Software Engineer specialising in full-stack web application development.

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