Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-302 First Impressions: Beta Version

Last week I took Exam AZ-302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition (beta).

This is the exam for those who have taken Exam 70-535 to transition to the new Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect: Expert certification. As the documentation notes, this exam does not earn that certification if your current MSCE: Azure Solutions Architect certification is based on passing Exam 70-533.

Also of note: Microsoft will officially retire exams 70-532, 70-533 and 70-535 on Dec. 31.

Going forward, Azure certifications will be earned using the new AZ-1xx, AZ-2xx and AZ-3xx exams.

The transition exams — AZ-102, AZ-202 and AZ-302 — for current MCSE / MCSD certifications, will retire on June 30, 2019. After that date, you will need to “start from scratch” to earn one of the new Azure certifications.

Finally, the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Cloud Platform and MCSA: Linux on Azure certifications will be sunset on Dec. 31. You won’t be able to earn those certs next year; but they will remain as active certifications on your transcript.

Here’s my take on that exam:

It’s the standard PearsonVUE exam experience. I had something on the order of 55 questions and 2.5 hours to complete the test.

There were yes-no, multiple choice, “arrange the tasks in order” and “complete the code” type questions. There were a couple of case studies, constituting about 14 questions. As with all PearsonVUE exams, I couldn’t review case study questions, but I could review all other questions.

All of the topics listed in the domain objectives were on the exam, in roughly the percentages indicated. Remember this is a transition exam; that means it extends topics from Exam 70-535 and addresses things not on Exam 70-535.

You’ll note that the objective domain says the majority of questions will be in Develop for the Cloud, Determine Workload Requirements and Design a Business Continuity Strategy. That was certainly the case on my exam.

This is an exceptionally strong exam in its current state. I would expect it to be implemented pretty much “as-is” when it enters production, probably sometime in the new year. I was not confused by any question and found very few of them nebulous.

So, my best advice for this exam is:

  • Focus your attention on the higher-percentage topics in the objective domains.
  • Expect to see questions across the breadth of Azure: IaaS, PaaS (data and applications), Storage and microservices reference architectures will all be on this exam.
  • Have a working understanding of C#, specifically how it is used in Functions.
  • Know service limits and requirements for every service named in the objective domain.

Exam AZ-302 is a beta exam subject to change. Keep that in mind.

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