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How Hard Is the Microsoft AZ-400 Exam Really?

  • How hard is the AZ-400 exam?
  • Published by: André Hammer on Feb 09, 2024
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Thinking about taking the Microsoft AZ-400 exam and planning to emerge as a Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert? Curious about how hard it is? You're in the right place.  

In this article, we'll look at the AZ-400 exam and tell you details such as weightage, course content, exam duration, and much more!  We’ll also give you some tips for doing well. Whether you've tried this exam before or are new to it, knowing the real challenge of this exam is crucial for setting achievable goals and getting ready. Let's find out!

What Is the AZ-400 Exam?

Overview of Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

 Perhaps this is your first step toward the certification, or perhaps you are coming back for another round. It could be the first step to a new high-paying job and an amazing career.

 The AZ-400 is also known as the Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions. As with all their tests, there is some freedom on Microsoft's part to examine an array of subjects. For you, that means knowing the majority of AZ-400 content is required because they test randomly on the many subjects available.

Be aware too that experience is required. This exam requires DevOps professionals who are capable of combining processes, people, and technologies for continuously delivering services and products that meet business objectives and user needs. These professionals must be proficient with Agile practices in software development. It evaluates the candidate's skills and knowledge in designing, implementing, and maintaining DevOps processes and solutions on Microsoft Azure. To sit for the exam, candidates should have practical knowledge of the Azure platform. They should also have experience with Azure DevOps and other related technologies.

Additionally, hands-on experience in designing, implementing, and maintaining solutions that use Azure DevOps is essential.

The exam covers various topics including designing a strategy, implementing DevOps development processes, implementing continuous integration, and continuous delivery, and implementing dependency management. These topics prepare candidates to demonstrate their expertise in using Azure DevOps. They’re meant to implement DevOps processes and solutions that accelerate the delivery of high-quality products. The goal is to innovate and engage customers and reduce time to market.

Exam Details: Microsoft Azure DevOps (AZ-400) 

  • Certification name: AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Pre-requisite: There are no official pre-requisites for the exam. For instance, whether your AZ-104 has expired or not, you can go directly to the AZ-400 exam. However, if you want to earn the Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert Badge then you have to pass either the AZ-104 or the AZ-204 exam additionally. Even though there are no mandatory prerequisites, the following can improve your chancesof qualifying for the exam: Proficiency in Agile practices, the ability to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, configuration management, build compliance, release, and testing by leveraging Azure technologies. Also, expertise in streamlining delivery through the optimization of practices, creating automation, and implementing strategies for the application code and infrastructure is important.
  • Exam duration: 150-210 minutes
  • Number of questions: 40-60 (One lab with around 10 subtasks)
  • Passing score: 700 (Out of 1000)
  • Exam cost: USD 165.00
  • Validity:According to Microsoft, all role-based and speciality certifications will be valid for 1 year from the date you
  • Exam languages:English, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese

How Hard Is the AZ-400 exam?

Understanding the Difficulty Level

This is an intermediate-level exam that demands thorough preparation. The typical study plan for it may take around a month with 4-5 hours a day of intense study.

Essentially, the study plan relies on the level of experience that candidates possess on the various topics analyzed in this exam. Of course, experienced DevOps professionals would spend less time compared to beginners.

The AZ-400 exam is designed for DevOps professionals who have already obtained the badge of Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate. Candidates taking the AZ-400 exam must be acquainted with Azure administration and Azure development. They should be proficient in any one of these areas. This aspect implies that candidates must first attain either the AZ-103 certification or the AZ-203 certification before appearing for the AZ-400 exam. Basic programming knowledge of DevOps and knowledge of Cloud computing are required. In essence, the AZ-400 exam is challenging but manageable for those with experience and knowledge in DevOps.

Tips for Preparation

Preparing for the AZ-400 exam involves several steps:

  • Organize the study material into manageable sections.
  • Dedicate a specific amount of time each day to review the material thoroughly. Four hours seems to be an average.
  • Use practice tests and online resources to test knowledge and identify areas of improvement.
  • Seek guidance from professionals or join study groups for different perspectives and support.
  • Stay updated with the latest exam patterns and requirements.

By following these steps, individuals can approach studying for the AZ-400 exam with a structured and strategic mindset, increasing their chances of success in achieving the desired certification.

Prerequisites for Taking the Exam

Experience with Microsoft Azure

The AZ-400 exam is for people pursuing the Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification. To take this exam, individuals need to have passed the Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate or Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate certifications.

Topics covered in the exam include design secure development and compliance, implementation of continuous delivery, infrastructure as code, version control, configuration management, and the implementation of continuous feedback. Having a practical understanding of these topics is important to succeed in the exam and show a comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions.

Familiarity with DevOps Solutions

DevOps solutions are important for the AZ-400 exam. Candidates must understand how to integrate, build, and release code using DevOps tools. This includes CI/CD pipelines, release strategies, and compliance and security. Knowing best practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, configuration management, and application infrastructure is also necessary.

Practical experience with DevOps principles and hands-on experience with tools like Azure DevOps, GitHub, Jenkins, Azure App Services, and Azure Kubernetes Service is crucial. The exam requires candidates to show their ability to design and implement DevOps practices. A solid grasp of these concepts and tools is essential for success.

Format of the Exam

Type of questions

According to Microsoft, specific exam formats or question types are not being identified before the exam. This is to protect the exam security and the value of their certifications. However, going by what those who have taken the exam say, below are the type of questions that you can expect:

  • Single choice questions (based on a scenario): These questions can neither be skipped nor be recorrected later on as you cannot go back once you’ve answered them.
  • Single choice questions
  • Multiple-choice questions. These require choosing the best answer from a list.
  • Arrange in right sequence type questions in a drag-and-drop format.
  • Case studies with multiple questions

Time allotted

The AZ-400 exam lasts 150 minutes. The time needed for answering each type of question varies. Multiple-choice questions take less time, while case study questions need in-depth analysis and take longer.

Candidates should manage their time carefully during the exam to complete each section within the allocated time. Not following the time limit could lead to unfinished sections, missing important questions, and a lower score. Effective time management enables candidates to review their answers, ensuring accuracy and completeness for the best possible result. It's also important to regularly check the remaining time to plan the completion of each section.

Before the exam, candidates should practice time management strategies to get used to the time restrictions and be fully prepared.

Exam Outline and Domains Usually Covered

Configure processes and communications – 10-15%

Design and implement source control – 15-20%

Design and implement build and release pipelines – 40-45%

Develop a security and compliance plan – 10-15%

Implement an instrumentation strategy – 10-15%

Summary

The Microsoft AZ-400 exam is known for its wide range of questions and the requirement to show advanced skills in DevOps practices and principles. Candidates need to be skilled in areas like designing and implementing strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, and compliance. They also need to implement continuous integration and continuous delivery, and monitor and optimize a DevOps pipeline. To pass the exam successfully, thorough preparation and practical experience are required.

Readynez offers a 4-day Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer course, and all our other Microsoft courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Microsoft Training offer, where you can attend the Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer and 60+ other Microsoft courses for just €199 per month, the most flexible and affordable way to get your Microsoft Certifications.

Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like a chat about your opportunity with the Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer certification and how you best achieve it. 

FAQ

How difficult is the Microsoft AZ-400 exam?

The difficulty of the Microsoft AZ-400 exam varies depending on your level of experience and preparation. It can be challenging for those with limited experience in Azure DevOps, but with thorough study and hands-on practice, it is achievable.

What is the level of difficulty of the AZ-400 exam?

The level of difficulty of the AZ-400 exam is considered to be intermediate to advanced. It requires a strong understanding of Azure DevOps concepts, tools, and practices, as well as hands-on experience with implementing DevOps processes. A solid understanding of coding, infrastructure, and deployment is necessary for success.

Is the Microsoft AZ-400 exam challenging?

Yes, the Microsoft AZ-400 exam is challenging. It covers a wide range of topics such as DevOps practices, continuous integration and delivery, and automation. It is important to study thoroughly and practice with hands-on labs to prepare for the exam.

How much preparation is needed for the AZ-400 exam?

It is recommended to have at least 3-6 months of preparation for the AZ-400 exam, with consistent study and practice. This includes taking online courses, doing hands-on labs, and using practice exams to assess readiness.

What are some tips for tackling the difficulty of the AZ-400 exam?

Some tips for tackling the difficulty of the AZ-400 exam include practicing hands-on labs, utilizing study groups or forums for collaboration, and reviewing official Microsoft documentation for detailed understanding of topics.

 

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