Passing the AZ-500 Exam–How I Prepared

A few months ago, I was asked to do a webinar on security for Microsoft Teams. In preparing for that webcast, I noticed a number of security features that required either Azure Active Directory P2, or Office 365 M5. In order to get either of those two features for free, DCAC needed to gain the silver security competency from Microsoft. In order to do this one of us, had to pass wither MS (the Office/Microsoft 365 version) or the AZ-500 security exam. Since, I was the one who wanted the features, I volunteered to take the exam.

The first time I took the exam, I didn’t do much preparation. I was pretty busy, and I recently taught some Azure Architecture training and I was hoping that would be enough to get me through the exam. That almost worked–I came pretty close to passing, and likely didn’t pass because I was frustrated with some questions and kind of blew through them. Pro-tip: don’t schedule an exam for Monday at 4 PM.

The second time I took the exam, I prepared a little more. Here were the key topics I focused on:

  • Azure Active Directory
  • Azure Sentinel
  • Azure Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • Azure Networking
  • Azure Key Vault

You can see the full exam outline here. I spend a lot of time working on most of these technologies in my daily job, so this was more refreshing my memory on the specifics of how each of them work. I also paid for the practice exam, which was helpful but likely not necessary, but it did get me more into the exam mindset.

The second time I took the exam, I didn’t find the questions as friendly to my knowledge, and generally thought the exam was harder. However, this time I passed the exam, fairly easily. Yay, a week later we had P2 AAD so I can now do cooler demos. My general recommendation to folks who want to take cert exams, is to just dive in and take them as it’s really the best way to study, and know the areas where you are weak.

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