On March 20, 2019, Microsoft announced via a blog post changes to the path for earning the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification. The path has been simplified in that it now requires a single exam, AZ-103 in order to achieve the credential. Those who complete exam AZ-100 before May 1, 2019 will also be certified. Previously, candidates had to complete exams AZ-100 and AZ-101 to become certified.
This is great news for anyone who has passed AZ-100, but hadn’t yet completed AZ-101. Those individuals save on test fees as well as study time for the second exam. It seems to be less awesome for anyone who has created exam prep content for AZ-100 and AZ-101 as both retire on May 1, 2019 to be replaced by a new exam AZ-103.
Microsoft says AZ-103 will be very similar to AZ-100 with some AZ-101 content. I suppose it would have to be very similar for Microsoft to feel comfortable awarding the same certification for completing AZ-100.
This directly impacts me. It means I’m now “on the clock.” I paid for an AZ-100 exam pack that includes a retake a few weeks ago. I originally planned to write about all of the cool study materials I planned to use for AZ-100 when I came across the news. It’s been a long time since I sat my last Microsoft exam, so I was worried that I might not do well. Now, it appears I need to schedule the exam for mid April to take the second shot if needed.
Overall, this exam change is a reasonable one. I thought it was odd that Microsoft required two exams for the entry level credential when the comparable AWS cert requires only one. This move brings closer parity when it comes to planning time, study resources, and financial investment required to earn the entry level certification.
Munson, Liberty. “Microsoft Learning Blog.” Microsoft Learning, Microsoft, 20 Mar. 2019, www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/community-blog-post.aspx?BlogId=8&Id=375217.