Read Part 1 and 2.
Part 3: Tips
This is the final article in a series on Microsoft exam AZ103. We’ll be providing additional information to help you pass this exam.
Microsoft Azure exams are not easy. There is no magic bullet, silver bullet or magical wand that can help. Without the necessary knowledge, it is virtually impossible to pass them. The labs are particularly difficult. You cannot just click your way through Azure portal without understanding what you are doing. Even if you know the details of a lab task, it is possible to get lost if the portal doesn’t work the way you want. It is easy to guess that at least one task in the Azure world will involve creating a virtual machine (VM). You will most likely make a common mistake if you only read about it and have never created a VM. The Boot diagnostics setting can be found under the Management tab of the Create a virtual machines blade. It defaults to On, so you will need a storage account to save the boot diagnostics. Even if a storage account exists, it is not automatically selected. Clicking Review + Create to start the creation of the VM will display an error message stating that some information is missing or invalid. To prevent this error from happening again, or to correct it if it has, you should turn Boot diagnostics off. This is a common problem, and you will know about it if your portal attempts to create VMs. It might be nearly impossible to find the problem quickly enough if you don’t know.
Azure is a dynamic environment. You will almost always receive one or two notifications when you sign in to the portal about the latest updates. The portal’s GUI is constantly changing and new features are added almost daily. No matter what materials you use to prepare for the exam, whether they are printed training manuals, practice exams or third-party blog posts or Microsoft’s original technical documentation online, there is always the possibility that some GUI-based procedures, or information about certain features, may have become out of date.
Some things are now possible that were impossible in the past. In the past, managed disks, VMs, and other resources that include managed drives were not possible to be moved between resource group. They can now be moved between resource groups starting on September 24, 2018. The portal also allows you to rename or replace menu items, and remove others altogether. Options and settings can be renamed or moved around.
You should be careful what you answer if you see a question on your exam that targets a newly added feature or mentions GUI elements such as pages, blades, or settings. It is possible for exam writers to keep their content current and the question is based upon the latest featureset or portal GUI. It is possible that questions related to new features or the GUI are not updated, while other questions are. Analyze the question and look for clues to help you determine the state of the feature or the GUI that the question refers to.
These issues are irrelevant when you’re working in the labs. You are using the real portal with the most current featuresets and GUI. If you don’t already have an Azure subscription, you should get one for free and practice all the usual procedures as often as possible. You should be able to identify what is possible and where the most common settings are located.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone can make mistakes.