Tips and Tricks for getting your Microsoft Certification

Developer Support

Dev Consultant Greg Roe shares his tips and tricks for attaining Microsoft Certifications.

During the last 12 months, I’ve put a concerted efforted to beefing up my technical chops – I’ve passed 17 Certification Exams. See my LinkedIn profile if you want to see what certs I’ve obtained. I want to share my personal story Tips and Trick on how I did this so it may help you.

A word on my motivating drivers:

  • The Cloud has caused a major inflection (disruption) in the way businesses operate and customer solutions are delivered. I want to understand how I fit in and provide value in the new world order.
  • There is a plethora of new Azure Cloud technologies that’s driven my desire to refresh and “Learn-It-All”.
  • Job Security. Azure is the fastest growing cloud platform on the planet. There is an industry demand for people who know Azure.

Microsoft Certification Expert Tips and Tricks:

  1. Adopt a learn it all attitude. Be curious. Don’t be afraid to fail. No one person or class can get you certified. You have to really want it. If you’re getting your cert because your boss told you to, or you want to “get off the bad list”… you might be in the wrong role.
  2. Pick a certification path, exam strategy. Review the many certs on the official Microsoft Certifications Here are some popular Certifications: Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Azure Administration AZ 104 Azure Developer AZ 204 Azure Architecture AZ 303 Azure DevOps AZ 400 Azure AI AI 100
  3. Schedule exam first, before you even put 1 hour into study. Putting the test out there motivates me to meet the deadline. I found if I did not do this, I had a lot of false starts and stops. You schedule the exam with our exam partner Pearson Vue. You can take the exam at one of their local testing centers OR you can take at home via remote proctored exam. Here’s the link for the Pearson Vue . There’s also a link to a specific exam signup on the individual Microsoft Certifications page.
  4. Start Doing- Get your Hands-on learning. Get an Azure subscription and start doing and learning. You can get a free Azure Trial Subscription with a $200 Credit. There are 25+ free anytime services. If you have Visual Studio Subscription you get a monthly $150/$50 benefit for the Enterprise/Pro versions. You have to Activate the Azure monthly benefit on the Visual Studio Subscription Benefit page
  5. Start at the Azure Portal It’s your main GUI site for creating and managing Azure Services.
  6. Study Resources Galore (Most are Free) Azure Documentation is fantastic. I particularly would start with the Overview, Concept, and Tutorial Sections of each service Microsoft Learn All Free. Self-guided tutorials on Azure Services and technical certification paths. For example, take a look at the Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Certification Path. You follow this and then you can pass the exam. EdX Free online course from Microsoft Microsoft Learning Partners Paid Learning, given by Microsoft Certified Training Partners. Classes given locally in your area. Microsoft Funded Azure Certified Training – Talk to your Cloud Solution Architect, you might qualify for free instructor led training. Premier Workshop Plus – If you’re a Microsoft Premier Customer, talk to your TAM or ADM on many 300-400 deep technical workshops we have that can help your team learn and do and build solutions faster.
  7. Schedule a block time every day to study.  For me I booked 5am-9am every day of the week.    and then filled in open gaps of the day.  So sometimes 6+ hours /day
  8. Practice tests can help. Measureup is one of the paid practice tests. I go in practice mode and read thru the answer documentation.
  9. Don’t be afraid to fail. Go in and take it. I failed a couple on first pass … not by much, but I was close enough to brush up and take it again quickly and pass the second time.


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