How to Get Microsoft Azure Certification for Free 2021 (And Practice Sites)

Salam everyone,

Becoming certified is one of the ways to prove your proficiency and competence in a particular area of expertise. Therefore, many vendors have developed their certification programs. And of course, Microsoft Azure certification is one of them!

Currently, there are two ways to get Microsoft certification for free and one way for a reduced fee. Either by Attending Microsoft Training Days, by Passing a Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge, or even by the Pluralsight Certification Program for Microsoft Azure (50% Discount).

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Attending Microsoft Training Days

Microsoft runs recurring trainings that span one or two days. If you complete one of these trainings, you will be eligible for a free exam pass. The trainings span Azure, Business Applications, and Microsoft 365 areas. You can book your training by clicking on this link. If you cannot find spots at a chosen date, you can check a future one.

Book Free Microsoft Training

And as you can see, here is the free exam voucherMicrosoft Free Exam Confirmation

Eligible Certifications and Preparation Resources

Currently, you can get three certifications by attending Microsoft training days.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

You can get practice exams for Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals Certification Exam from here

Prepare for the exam from Pluralsight, you sign-up for a free trial!

Microsoft Exam

You can get practice exams for Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals Certification Exam from here

Microsoft Exam

You can get practice exams for Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam from here. 

Prepare for the exam from Pluralsight, you sign-up for a free trial!

Passing a Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge

The second way is an interesting and time-limited opportunity from Microsoft to become certified. It is through “Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2021: Free Certification Exam

Certification Requirements

Microsoft expects you to do some work to prove your seriousness in getting the certification. There are some free online challenges you’ll need to finish to get your certification Pass. Currently, Microsoft offers free certification passes for 12 of its certifications. You can see the certifications and relevant challenges here. Each certification will cost you 165 USD if you decide to pay it yourself (the price may vary depending on your location).

Eligible Certifications and Preparation Resources

Here is the list of included certifications in the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2021-FALL. The challenge ends on November 30, 2021, at 4:00 PM UTC (16:00).  I have bolded Azure certifications.

  • MS-700: Managing Microsoft Teams
  • MS-720: Microsoft Teams Voice Engineer
  • MD-100: Windows 10
  • MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops
  • MB-210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
  • PL-400: Microsoft Power Platform Developer
  • AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator
  • AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure
  • AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure
  • AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services
  • MB-330: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
  • SC-200: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
  • SC-300: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator
  • SC-400: Microsoft Information Protection Administrator

If your focus is Azure cloud, I’d recommend the following challenges to get the corresponding certification:

  • AZ-104 Azure Administrator Associate Certification

The Azure Administrator Associate certification requires that you have some experience or subject matter expertise in managing, implementing, and monitoring a company's Microsoft Azure environment.

The role of an Azure Administrator associate comes with responsibilities like managing, implementing, and monitoring identity, storage, governance, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. Also, adjusting and monitoring resources as needed.

An Azure administrator often serves as part of a bigger team committed to implementing a company's cloud infrastructure. As a candidate for this certification, you should have a minimum of six months of practical experience administering Azure. You should also have a strong understanding of core Azure services, security, Azure workloads, and governance.

The required exam for this certification is the AZ-104, and the skills measured are:

  • Managing Azure governance and identities
  • Managing and Implementing storage
  • Managing and deploying Azure computing resources
  • Managing and configuring virtual networking
  • Monitoring and backing up Azure resources

You can learn more about skills measured from the exam skills outline.

To prepare for AZ-104, you can watch Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-104) from Pluralsight.

You can get practice tests from Whizlabs to get you accustomed to the exam style.

You can also learn from Microsoft learn learning path for AZ-104.

  • AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate

As a candidate for the Azure Developer Associate certification, you should have adequate experience designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure.

The responsibilities for this role include engaging in all processes of cloud development, from requirements and design; to development, deployment, and maintenance. You're also responsible for performance tuning and monitoring.

As an Azure developer, you're required to partner with cloud solution architects, cloud administrators, cloud DBAs, and clients to design and implement solutions. You should have at least 1-2 years of professional development experience and expertise with Microsoft Azure to qualify for this certification.

Additionally, you should be able to program in a language that is supported by Azure. You should be proficient in Azure SDKs, Azure CLI, data storage options, data connections, APIs, Azure PowerShell, compute and container deployment, debugging, app authentication and authorization, performance tuning, and monitoring.

The exam for this certification is the AZ-204 and the skills measured are:

  • Ability to develop Azure compute solutions
  • Ability to develop for Azure storage
  • Proficiency in Implementing Azure security
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions
  • Ability to connect to and use Azure services and its third-party services

You can learn more about skills measured from the exam skills outline.

To prepare for AZ-104, you can watch Microsoft Developer Associate (AZ-204) from Pluralsight.

You can get practice tests from Whizlabs to get you accustomed to the exam style.

You can also learn from Microsoft learn learning path for AZ-204.

Pluralsight Certification Program for Microsoft Azure (50% Discount)

The Pluralsight Certification Program for Microsoft Azure is a program that combines Pluralsight skill assessments, video courses, guides, cloud labs, and free Kaplan practice tests with Microsoft Learn courses and exercises.

Do you find it useful? Download my FREE Azure certification guide (Click on the image to download).

Microsoft Azure Certification Blue Print
Microsoft Azure Certification Blue Print

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✔️Know different types of Azure certifications, what fits your current role and detailed prepration steps
✔️Access learning resources to ROCK ALL Azure certifications
✔️ Freelance websites to find Azure assignments

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