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How to clear the MS-500 exam and become a Microsoft 365 Security Administrator

  • Microsoft 365 Security Administrator
  • MS 500 exam
  • Microsoft
  • Published by: ANDRÉ HAMMER on Aug 31, 2022
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Microsoft technologies and products such as Windows 10, Messaging Platform, Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure AD, and more, are being used across the globe by different companies. Given the growing cyber security threats, businesses that run on these services are in a need to protect their data better. Naturally, most companies are now on a quest for Microsoft 365 security administrators who are well-equipped to protect their business data.

In 2018, Microsoft announced its new role-based certifications. The Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate Certification forms part of this role-based model. This was done to encourage you to keep the pace of your career at par with the growing business needs of the world. Whether you’re an IT professional or simply looking for a head-start in security administration, the globally recognized Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate – could be your foot in the right direction for administering and managing a Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

This article is a quick start guide with all the relevant information about the Microsoft 365 Security Administration (MS-500) Certification exam. Please read carefully before attempting your MS-500 exam.

Let us start by understanding the role of a security administrator.

What is a Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate expected to do?

A security administrator is at the forefront of a cybersecurity team. Security administrators are typically responsible for installing, governing, and troubleshooting a company’s security solutions. They are also expected to write up security policies and training documents about security procedures for other departments and colleagues.

As a Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate your role will demand you to

  • secure MS 365 enterprise and hybrid environments
  • implement and manage security and compliance solutions
  • respond to threats
  • enforce data governance

How can a Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Certification be a good career step for you?

The Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate certificate is meant for you if you want to build a career, particularly in the Microsoft 365 domain because it verifies your fundamental knowledge and proven skills in the area of Microsoft 365 Security Administration. Apart from the validation of your skill set, here are a few reasons why this exam can be beneficial for your career:

  • Better job opportunities: Passing the MS 500 exam for this certification makes you a certified professional with proficiency in user and role management, threat management, data protection, and compliance features. This is a sure-shot way to increase your chances of better job opportunities.
  • Better Packages: An associate-level certification such as this one, increases your value as an IT professional and brings you to a position of negotiation for a higher salary than the current market average.
  • Opens doors to more certifications: The Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate certification brings you one step closer to becoming a certified Microsoft 365 Enterprise Expert. This is the most advanced level certification in Microsoft 365 domain and has the potential to alter your entire future career path.

What is the average Salary range for MS -500 certified professionals?

Through reliable resources like payscale.com, we have collated the average salary earning potential that this certification opens up for you. The annual payment for MS-500 Microsoft 365 Security Administration specialists ranges between $65-70k. A junior administrator’s average salary is about $50k yearly. You can get all these remunerations and even more if you get access to proper examination training and attain the certification.

What are the prerequisites for this certification?

The only hard prerequisite for this certification is to clear the MS-500 Microsoft 365 Security Administration exam. The exam and the certification are meant to validate that you, as an associate security administrator, know and understand all the tools and features of Microsoft used by its subscribing customers. Microsoft Associate Certifications are usually designed for individuals with two years of hands-on experience, but having a decent grasp of the technology without practical experience should also suffice.

Apart from a strong understanding and knowledge of computers, networks, and security systems, good interpersonal and communication skills are also essential for the role of a security administrator. It is needless to say that strong analytical skills, critical thinking, and a problem-solving attitude is what you will be needing the most during the exam.

It is also helpful to clear the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification exam before pursuing the Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate certification, but it is definitely not a strict prerequisite for MS-500.

How much will the Microsoft 365 Security Administration (MS-500) Cost you?

The prices of the exam vary based on the country or the region in which it is proctored. For instance, the exam fee is $165 USD in the US. Microsoft’s role-based certifications are now valid for one year only, but they can be renewed online for free. However, there are additional costs to consider if you choose to get training for the MS-500 exam. The cost of Physical or Private classroom training can end up being much higher.

With Readynez, you can get a training program for the Security Administrator certification that guarantees value for your money.

What does the MS-500 exam look like?

Since the MS-500 is Microsoft’s associate-level exam, it is of ‘Intermediate’ difficulty level with respect to other Microsoft role-based exams. The certification is designed to cover four skill areas:

Skill Areas

Weightage (%)

Implement and Manage Identity and Access

30-35

Implement and Manage threat protection

20-25

Implement and Manage information protection

15-20

Manage Governance and Compliance features in Microsoft 365

25-30

The MS-500 Exam is a set of 40-60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 120 minutes in order to finish the exam. The exam is made available in a variety of languages such as English and Japanese.

In the exam, you can expect three types of questions:

  1. Business Case with follow-up questions
  2. Business scenario with proposed solutions, to be answered in a YES or a NO
  3. Simple questions: MCQs with four possible answers to be chosen from or a question with steps to be put in order

Finally, the passing score of the MS-500 exam is 700 out of 1000 points.

Where to begin my MS-500 preparation?

To prepare for the exam, you may take up a training course which could be any one of the following:

  • Online courses by Microsoft
  • Third-party online training courses
  • Instructor-led training courses

While these options are available to support your learning, they are not mandatory. Microsoft assumes that an average candidate taking up this training should have technical knowledge of the Microsoft 365 services.

The exam allows multiple retakes but each time you take the exam you are required to pay the full exam fee. That is why it is always recommended to engage yourself in a proper training program to get access to an appropriate curriculum, hands-on lab sessions, real-world case studies, and simulated Mock exams. Before paying the costly registration fee for your exam, you can always check out our courses for MS-500. Readynez is here to offer you a customized training program for a smooth sail through this one because we always put our user’s time and money first.

Before you begin your prep, read about the exam objectives of MS-500 certification clearly and learn about the skills which you may need to develop from scratch. The certification expects you to be familiar with Microsoft 365 workloads and have a good experience with identity security, security management, information protection, threat safeguard, and data governance. This makes the MS-500 exam a little difficult. But, if you have a solid foundation in the field, an independent self-study regime, without any formal training or course, may just work for you!

Here are some tips:

  • Right Content: Start with the important learning resource - Microsoft Documentations. You will find documentation for every topic on their website. It is the most reliable and free resource available online.
  • Learn and Practice: We cannot emphasize enough the importance of practice tests for any exam, and MS-500 is no different. Practice tests assure the candidate of their preparation and their areas of weakness so that they can focus on improving them. Practice tests are widely available online. We also provide practice exams at Readynez, which are quite useful for any stage of your preparation.
  • Get an insight: Once you have attempted enough practice tests, you will get a detailed insight into your weak areas. Next, you should allot time to each of these topics and fill the gaps in your preparation.
  • Final Assessment: Once you are confident enough, try the practice tests again, and then finally, sit for the actual exam without any fear!

What’s crucial to passing the MS 500 exam?

To pass the MS 500 exam, it is absolutely essential to have access to reliable and structured study material. Fortunately, Readynez has a team of experts who regularly update our study modules in accordance with the ever-changing technology. Our proven exam preparation methodology will help you to clear the Microsoft MS-500 exam with ease.

It often appears that passing Microsoft exams is a tedious task. However, anything is achievable with a focused study guide that incorporates all the subjects along with adequate breaks at regular intervals, for a healthy learning experience. We believe mock tests form an essential part of the preparation journey. These tests are meant to not just prepare you for the actual exam, but also allow you room for self-evaluation. That’s why our mock tests are designed to be as close to the real Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate exam as possible.

At Readynez, we have training programs that meet the above brief perfectly well. Above all, to pass any exam, social networking is crucial. It allows the exchange of ideas with peers which helps you in understanding the exam material more thoroughly. Readynez’s training programs encourage candidates to network and build social contacts. In fact, our programs are designed to engage individuals in teams.

Any learning advice will only work if you as a candidate are motivated all along the route. We hope that this article helped you in that direction. For any further queries regarding our courses or the exam, please feel free to contact us. Our remarkable support team is always available to resolve any learning difficulties that you may have. Wishing you the very best of luck with your exam.

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