How to Get Microsoft Azure Certification for Free 2022 (And Practice Sites)

February 16, 2022 in Azure

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, Passing a Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge, Clearing Microsoft 30-Days Challenge (50% Discount), or even by the Pluralsight Certification Program for Microsoft Azure (50% Discount).

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. And as you can see, here is the free exam voucher

Eligible Certifications and Preparation Resources

Currently, you can get three certifications by attending Microsoft training days.
  • Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals Exam

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 Azure AI Fundamentals Exam 

You can get practice exams for Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals Certification Exam from here
  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 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 ended on November 30, 2021, at 4:00 PM UTC (16:00), revisit this post for new dates.  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.

Clear Microsoft 30-Days Challenge (50% Discount)

  You can clear a 30-Days challenge to get a 50% discount on specific Microsoft certifications. The included certifications are:
  • Exam AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals
  • Exam DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure
  • Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • Exam MS-600: Building Applications and Solutions with Microsoft 365 Core Services
  • Exam PL-100: Microsoft Power Platform App Maker
  • Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
  • Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design
  • Exam AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions
  • Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • Exam MS-600: Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate
  • Exam DP-203: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure
  • Exam AZ-140: Configuring and Operating Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop

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. Click Here To Get 10 Days Free Pluralsight Trial to Learn Microsoft Azure Do you find it useful? Download my FREE Azure certification guide (Click on the image to download).

About the author 

Mohammed Osman