Preparing for AZ-900? Here’s How Long You’ll Need to Study

by Ross Heintzkill | Published on September 12, 2022

The AZ-900 is a familiar exam for nearly any IT professional who works with Microsoft Azure tools. The AZ-900 is the exam needed to earn the entry-level certification Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals. The test is all about identifying fundamental concepts, tools, and services in Microsoft Azure and demonstrating a basic level of skill in administering and managing them.

Taking the AZ-900 and earning the Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals is an extremely common starting point for IT professionals. So many people earn the cert that it made our list of the 15 most popular courses.

But how long does it take to study for the AZ-900? We took to Twitter, LinkedIn, and an online survey to ask IT pros how long it took them to prepare for the AZ-900. The majority only needed a few weeks, but the amount of time it takes to study for the exam depends on other factors like experience and training, too.

How long did most people need to study for the Azure Fundamentals exam?

Over 600 IT professionals shared how long it took them to study for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals exam. The vast majority — just over 75% — took less than 2 months to study for the AZ-900. Many brand new IT professionals benefit from at least a month or two to learn all the cloud computing concepts, models, and services that the exam tests — plus enough time to practice implementing IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions.

how long to study for azure fundamentals AZ-900 survey data

The rest of respondents who say they took longer than 2 months were probably people who prepared on their own with the reading materials and information they were able to find available online. But for IT professionals who commit to an online course that covers the entire AZ-900 curriculum, it’s much easier to be prepared in less time.

How should you prepare ahead of taking the Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)? 

The AZ-900 covers basic information about public, private and hybrid cloud administration, but that doesn't mean it's a total walk in the park. Before taking the AZ-900, you should be able to explain cloud concepts clearly, know how to integrate them with business objectives, identify what makes Azure architecture and services unique and have a strong sense of how to administer Azure management and governance. 

But it's not just a matter of watching a video every now and then, excellent study habits are also a necessity.

"Studies show that when you reward a behavior, you can actually create a craving," says Molly Billow, CBT Nuggets senior coach. Billow says that tying a reward to your study habit is crucial. 

"Once a habit and a reward are tied together in our brains, the reward neurons start firing before you even start finishing the behavior.”

Tips to make sure you’re test-ready before Azure Fundamentals exam day:

Since the AZ-900 tests basic skills in cloud administration, the key to getting ready for the exam is with first-hand practice and real-world experience with cloud skills. There are many tools that can help you get ready for the exam. Here are a few of our favorites.

Use virtual labs

A virtual lab is a simulation of a computer, network, or cloud network which acts exactly like a real-world instance. You can experiment on a virtual lab, making changes, updates, configurations and more – all in a completely safe sandbox. A CBT Nuggets membership includes virtual labs that can help you prepare for the AZ-900.

Test yourself using practice exams

Practice exams aren't just a great tool for making sure you're ready to take the exam, they also help you identify your problem areas before you even get started. Practice exams keep you on track and can help you reduce how long it takes you to study for Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) exam.

Learn from the experts

All CBT Nuggets training videos are created and delivered by veteran experts in the IT community. In the AZ-900 training, you'll learn from experts who hold many certs related to cloud computing, networking, and cybersecurity. Check out the AZ-900 training course here.

Create a plan and stick to it

Samantha Matta, another CBT Nuggets coach, encourages anyone preparing for the AZ-900 to use a training plan that includes the fundamentals. Because the cert is designed to be a foundation for understanding cloud concepts, it’s important to use training materials that covers the basics. 

“The AZ-900 online training can be a great boost to your career if you already have some experience. But even if you don't, this is a good course to start your journey in the cloud," Matta says.

With the right tools and training, you could be ready to take the AZ-900 in as little as 4 weeks. You can definitely go it on your own without a structured course, but then you should be prepared to spend as much as 4 months or more. 

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