Over 60% of Cert Earners Said It Took Less Than 6 Weeks to Study for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals

by Ross Heintzkill | Published on August 31, 2023

One of the great things about the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification is that it was developed for technical and non-technical professionals alike. Microsoft created the cert so that people could gain mastery over cloud-based apps and services generally and Microsoft pricing and account management specifically. So if you're getting ready to enter the workforce or need to prove that you have a good handle on all the tools of a contemporary office, the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals is a great place to start.

It may not be a particularly hard certification exam, but you won't be able to pass the MS-900 without preparation – the test is a lot more than a rubber stamp. Even if you're pretty good with computers, you still need to know what's on the exam in order to prepare properly. To help people get ready, CBT Nuggets asked IT professionals on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram how long it took them to prepare for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals. Find out how long it'll take you and what you can do to pass your first time, in as short a time as possible.

How long did most people need to study for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals?

Out of 250 responses, the overwhelming majority (84%) needed less than 3 months to prepare for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals. 63% of all respondents took 6 weeks or less to prepare. Some people took between 3 and 5 months (8%), and some even took more than 5 months (8%), but those were outliers.

Considering how many were ready for the exam in 6 weeks, the 16% of people who needed more than 3 months likely didn't have a good – or any – study plan. That speaks to the single most important part of preparing for any certification exam: having a plan and sticking to it. People from around the internet have different opinions about how long it takes to prepare for the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals exam, but everyone agrees that without a solid plan, you may struggle to finish at all.

How long to study Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals (MS-900)

The fact that 21% of people took more than 6 weeks but less than 3 months is good evidence that the test can be moderately challenging. At the same time, some people claim that they prepared for it in a week. That's good news, considering that many online training sites offer a completely free week. Using a trial like that and having a good study plan could mean preparing for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals fast and for free.

How should you prepare ahead of taking Microsoft 365 Fundamentals?

Although it's not a particularly difficult exam, the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals has enough particularities that the best way to prepare is with a short online course that covers exactly what's on the exam. The cert itself covers a lot: it's about the cloud in general as well as Microsoft 365 specifically. The parts of the exam that deal with cloud concepts could be a challenge to anyone who doesn't have an IT background and the sections that are related to licensing and compliance can be tough because they're specific to Microsoft 365.

Tips to make sure you’re test-ready before Microsoft 365 Fundamentals exam day:

Use every resource you have available to you to prepare for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals cert exam. Don't just memorize facts about the Microsoft cloud, and don't just try clicking around in a Microsoft cloud instance. If you want to know how to pass the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals, learn how to actually use Microsoft 365 and get experience managing it.

The best way to prepare is decide on how much time you'll spend a day studying, and then find some way to stick to that plan. It's better to spend even a little bit of time every day preparing than doing lots of preparation every few days.

Use Virtual Labs

A virtual lab is kind of like a video game for working with computers. A virtual lab acts exactly like the real thing, but all of the connections and elements are completely virtualized, which means you can experiment, try things out and make mistakes without ever worrying that you could break a real computer or network. Using an online Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals course with virtual labs will help prepare for the exam by giving you first-hand, real-world experience that's essential to passing the test.

Test yourself using practice exams

Obviously, one of the hardest parts of taking an exam is not knowing for sure what's on it before you take it. You can feel ready, but how do you know if you really are? Fortunately, there are practice exams that you can take that are modeled on old versions of the exam. It's not cheating! By taking practice exams, you can feel confident in the parts of the test you're ready for, and spend the time you need to on the sections you're less confident about.

Learn from the experts

You could try and find a friend or co-worker who knows enough about Microsoft 365 to walk you through the systems and explain the buttons. But the best way to prepare for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals exam is from someone with years of expertise and who has watched how the exam has changed over the years. James Conrad, for instance, is enthusiastic about teaching the basics of Microsoft 365 and has expertise that stretches far beyond the basics of the cloud.

CBT Nuggets is a leader in online IT training, with a course on Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals that you can try for free. Go to the course page and watch the first video in the series for free. If you're interested, sign up for a free week. Take that course and you're almost certain to be in the 60% of people who prepare in under 6 weeks. But study fast enough and you could be prepared for the exam before your free trial runs out! 

But your CBT Nuggets membership will also give you total access to every course in our online training catalog, which means you don't have to stop at the Fundamentals.

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