Born to Learn

The Official Community Site for Microsoft Learning, Microsoft Certifications and Training
  1. Azure Administrators: Show off your skills with exam AZ-104

    Today, we’re excited to announce the release of the AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator (beta) exam—the only exam that a cloud administrator must pass to become a Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate. Exam AZ-104 replaces exam AZ-103, which retires on August 31, 2020.

    Is this the right certification for you?

    If you’re a system engineer, architect, or technologist—or if you’re in IT operations—in the cloud and Azure, consider this certification. Responsibilities of an Azure Administrator include implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. If this sounds like your workday, you’re in the right place.

    If you are thinking about taking this exam, you should have hands-on experience administering Azure, along with a strong understanding of core Azure services, workloads, security, and governance. In addition, you should have experience using PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal, and Azure Resource Manager templates. 

    Ready to prove your Azure Administrator skills?

    Take advantage of the discounted beta exam offer. The first 300 people who take the AZ-104 beta exam on or before May 31, 2020, can get 80% off market price! (Learn why beta exams are no longer free.)

    To receive the discount, register now. When you’re prompted for payment, use code AZ104WAGONER. This is not a private access code. The seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. You must take the exam on or before May 31, 2020.

    If you already hold the Azure Administrator Associate certification, please note that we’re extending—by six months—all certifications that expire between now and December 31, 2020. If you want to prove that your skills are up to date right now, you can use the discounted beta exam as an opportunity to extend your certification’s expiration by two years.

    Did you know that you can take any role-based or fundamentals exam online? Take the exam from your home or office, monitored by a proctor via webcam and microphone. It’s simple—when you schedule the exam, just select the option to take the exam online. Get more details about Microsoft Certification exams online, including system and environment requirements.

    Getting ready to take the AZ-104 beta exam?

    The AZ-104 beta exam aligns closely with the core skills and technologies that you need to be a successful Azure Administrator. We’ve got some suggestions to help you prepare for the exam:

    • Review the AZ-104 beta exam page for details. The skills outline document alerts you to key topics covered on the exam. Plus, the suggested Microsoft Learn training is aligned to the new exam. For updates on new content available to help you prepare, follow @MicrosoftLearn.
    • Want even more in-depth training? Connect with Microsoft Learning Partners in your area for in-person training.
    • Need other preparation ideas? Check out my blog post on preparing for beta exams.

    What happens to the AZ-103 exam?

    The AZ-103 exam will remain in market until August 31, 2019 at the regular price. To compare the two exams, check out the AZ-104 skills outline document on the exam page.

    After August 31, 2020, only AZ-104 will be available. Regardless of which exam you take, when you pass, you’ll have earned your Azure Administrator Associate certification and it will be valid for two years.

    Beta exam conditions

    Remember, the number of spots is limited to the first 300 candidates taking the AZ-104 beta exam on or before May 31, 2020. Please note that the beta exam is not available in Turkey, Pakistan, India, or China.

    Keep in mind that beta exams aren’t scored immediately. You’ll receive your final score and passing status after the exam is live. For updates on when the rescore is complete, follow me on Twitter (@libertymunson). For questions about the timing of beta exam scoring and live exam release, check out The path from beta exam to live exam and More tips about beta exams.


    Related announcements
    An important update on Microsoft training and certification

    Updates to several Azure and Data & AI Certifications are coming soon

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  3. An Important Update on Microsoft Training and Certification
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  4. How Microsoft Dynamics 365 certification can help women achieve more
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  5. MCT Monthly Newsletter - March 2020

    Work with Microsoft Dynamics 365? Nigel Frank seeks your input
    Nigel Frank International, a leading organization of recruitment experts, is looking for professionals who work with Dynamics 365 to take part in its annual salary survey. This survey is open to individuals worldwide and explores global compensation trends. If you work with Dynamics 365, please take 15 minutes to complete the Nigel Frank survey.

    Certifications and exams
    Upcoming retirement of MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE exams
    Microsoft is committed to keeping role-based training and certifications current to help individuals stay up-to-date with required skills and knowledge for today and in the future and to minimize skills gaps associated with specific job roles. As we continue to invest in role-based learning offerings, all remaining exams associated with Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications will retire on June 30, 2020. Learn more.

    Microsoft Learning Community Blog Roundup
    Students can prove their Azure development skills with a new exam
    Do you have cloud developer students who participate in all phases of development? If so, encourage them to take the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure beta exam, which will replace exam AZ-203. Learn more about exam AZ-204, find details about the AZ-203 exam retirement, and get a discount code in Liberty Munson’s blog post, “Azure developers, beta exam AZ-204 is just for you.”

    Exam News Roundup
    This month, we released three live exams, one Microsoft Azure beta exam, and two new Microsoft Official Practice Tests. Check them out!

    New live exam
    Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads (English)
    MB-400: Microsoft Power Apps + Dynamics 365 Developer (English)
    PL-900: Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals (English)

    New beta exams
    Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

    New Microsoft Official Practice Tests
    Microsoft Dynamics 365: Core Finance and Operations
    MS-201: Microsoft Implementing a Hybrid and Secure Messaging Platform

    Upcoming changes to Microsoft Azure certifications
    We’ve announced upcoming changes to Azure and Data & AI exams—updates as a result of our regular portfolio reviews, which help ensure that our certifications remain technically relevant. These reviews also help make sure that Microsoft Certifications continue to assess the key skills and abilities required for success in today’s cloud-based job roles. Because certifications can open career doors, we’re committed to keeping them current for you. Get details on the changes. Read the full article.

    New Data & AI role-based certifications coming soon
    We’re excited to announce the expansion of our Data & AI certifications portfolio with two new role-based certifications designed especially for the data professional and expected in early April 2020: Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate and Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. Data professionals can start their certification journey or add to their portfolios with these new role-based certifications, which are also the best fit for people who have pursued or are pursuing soon-to-be-retired MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certifications. Get the details on the new Data & AI role-based certifications.

    Remind your students to take advantage of Exam Replay
    Help calm your students' test day nerves by encouraging them to use Exam Replay—a voucher that provides a retake on a certification exam if they don't pass the first time. Want to help them get as prepared as possible? Remind them to get ready with the Exam Replay with Practice Test offer so they know what to expect on the big day. Learn more about Exam Replay.

    Exclusive discount available for SharePoint Conference 2020 
    SharePoint Conference 2020
    is a great place to learn how to adopt the latest innovations, interact with the newest technologies in organizational effectiveness, and engage with your community. Get ready to achieve more at SharePoint Conference 2020, May 19–21 in Las Vegas. If you have a Microsoft Certification, get a $100 discount on registration fees. (Use discount code SPCMCP.) Interested in attending? Register for SharePoint Conference 2020 today!

    Training (courseware, courses, exams, clinics)
    March 2020 lab update for Learning Partners and MCTs
    Our monthly update addresses questions about lab hosting and whether it is needed for specific courses. In addition, we’ve included a practical reference table. Read the full article.

    Dynamics 365 tenants available for Business Applications courses
    In last month’s newsletter, we discussed a workaround solution to support labs for Business Applications courses. We now have Microsoft Dynamics 365 tenants available again through Authorized Lab Hosters (ALHs) to support these labs. Want more details and instructions? Read the full article.

    Courseware updates 
    This month’s courseware update topics include more details about planned Windows Server 2019 courses, some new courses aligned to new certifications, and an update on our course retirement strategy. Read the full article. 

    New online content for Azure role-based certifications
    Microsoft Learn continues to grow, with learning paths that can help you improve your skills and get prepared for role-based certifications. We recently released learning paths associated with the Azure Security Engineer Associate and Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty certifications. Check out the new content available, and get started on your certification journey.

    Microsoft Press/Books
    Three new releases from Microsoft Press and Pearson 
    This month, we’re highlighting three new releases from Microsoft Press and Pearson. Get all the details! Read the full article.