After passing the AZ-300 exam and being not too happy about the new exam experience, I liked this exam much better. Let me explain why.
In my blog post about the AZ-300, I talked about the fact that you can run out of time quickly and that the exam was lacking transparency about the amount and type of questions you still have to do when compared to the time you have left. This AZ-301 was way better. I only had to do 3 cases, 2 at the start of the exam and one at the end. This allowed me to understand how many time I can spend on a case and on the multiple choice questions. I also managed to do this exam in under 120 minutes, which means I had at least 30 minutes on the clock.
The exam focuses on creating solutions around requirements and considerations. To be able to pass the exam, you need to understand what kind of solutions fit the requirements of the customer. Especially around the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions in Azure. In most Microsoft exams, you look at the requirements for the new environment and answer the questions based on that. This time I had to look for the specifications of the current environment as well, to find some pitfalls that affect the solution. (Be aware of this!)
Exam score communication
This time I received the ‘Pass’ score right after the exam while still in the Pearson Vue application, so that is good. In contrast to the AZ-300 exam, I also received the “Congratulations on your Microsoft certification!” email this time.
Two more things…
Pearson Vue ditched the PVProctor application, which you need to use if you sit for the exam at home. That’s a great move, because it used to be an installer and based on Adobe Air. (*Yuck*) Pearson Vue now uses a new portable application called OnVUE, which I talked about in my previous blog post as well. While I absolutely like this new portable application, I’ve seen two issues with it. The first one is that the Pearson Vue system check to analyze if your system is ready for the exam, is still based on the old PVProctor application. The second issue is that the OnVUE application does not remove or notify you to remove the old PVProctor application. This means that everyone that used the PVProctor application before, needs to remove the PVProctor application and Adobe Air manually. Of course not everyone will frequently check which applications are installed on their machine, so we will see a lot of legacy PVProctor applications in the wild with old and possibly vulnerable Adobe Air instances. (*Sigh*)
Hope this gives you some insights into this exam and the exam experience. Good luck!