Part 1 is available here.
Part 2: The LabsIntro
This is the second part of a series on Microsoft exam AZ103. This post will discuss the labs as well as some tips and tricks that may prove to be very helpful during the exam.
All Microsoft exam questions were, in the beginning, regular at the Dawn of Time. A brief scenario is presented, followed by a question about the topic and four to five choices from which you can choose one, two or three. Sometimes, the number of choices that you have to choose is part of the mystery you are trying to solve.
Microsoft realized that not all exam content was kept confidential. Microsoft developed new techniques to ensure that exam takers have the required knowledge in order to preserve the certifications’ value. One technique was to include tasks that were impossible without having a good understanding of the subject matter. These tasks were known as simulations at the time. The screen looked almost exactly like the GUI for Windows or the application you were using, and you were asked to create objects, configure settings, or troubleshoot problems.
These simulations didn’t last long because they were limited in their support functionalities and difficult to create or modify. Slowly, the complexity and scope of the simulations began to decrease. Finally, interactive items were introduced. Instead of simply clicking on one or two choices out of four or five, you were required to perform some simple graphical tasks, like dragging-and-dropping items from one area to another, selecting some menu items, or simply clicking on some other active GUI elements. These types of questions have become so popular among Microsoft exam writers, that most exam questions are interactive.
Cloud computing has made it possible for simulations to be revived. Labs are the new “simulations”, and they are not simulations. They are actually the real thing. Microsoft creates an Azure subscription for each lab and populates it to ensure that it is 100% real. The credentials, the login name and password of an Azure user account with sufficient permissions to allow you to complete the tasks are provided. You simply need to read the task and then go to the Azure portal to perform the tasks.
How it works…
Click the Next (or a similar button) to indicate that you are done with this section and are ready for exit. The next screen displays a lab. The vertical pane on the right contains your tasks for the lab. The tasks are textual items that can be expanded. They are initially presented in a collapsed form. To view the lab login credentials, you will need to click the control at the bottom of the pane. The button to launch the Azure portal will be located on the left. It will then prompt for credentials. After logging in successfully, you can begin working on the first task.
Let’s say you have been given a task to create a virtual machine (VM) according to certain criteria. To do this, navigate to the portal to the page that allows you to create a new VM and then configure the settings required by the task. You might be asked to configure a specific VM in a particular way for another task. First, locate the VM in the portal and locate the settings you require.