How to pass (or fail) the Microsoft Exam AZ-220 Beta?

Glenn Colpaert | 25.03.2020
Reading time 2 min

Beginning of January 2020 Microsoft released the official beta exam for Microsoft Azure IoT Developer. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down and took the AZ-220. It was the first-ever beta exam I took and to be honest the first certification exam in a long time! So how did it go…

Unfortunately, specific information on the exam or any exam-related information cannot be shared publically. However, this blog is intended to give you some overall guidance on the focus areas of the exam. Before going into some of the details let’s take a step back and recap what skills are being measured during the AZ-220 IoT Developer beta exam.

Skills Measured

Below is a high-level list of the skills that will be tested. The complete exam skill outline with details for each area can be downloaded here

  • Implement the IoT solution infrastructure (15-20%)
  • Provision and manage devices (20-25%)
  • Implement Edge (15-20%)
  • Process and manage data (15-20%)
  • Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize IoT solutions (15-20%)
  • Implement security (15-20%)

The percentages next to each area are representing the number of questions that will pop up during the exam. This already gives a good idea of what to focus on during your preparation or studying time.

Given these numbers, I would highly recommend you spend time studying the objectives that cover roughly 50% – 65% of the exam. Topics that are important and should get your main focus, not only for this exam but when building IoT solutions in general, are understanding how to implement an IoT solution and it’s infrastructure and making it secure and easy to troubleshoot from the edge to the cloud.

The Exam

The actual exam is planned to take around 180 minutes. I was able to finish the exam in approximately 90minutes, including the time to provide feedback on the questions. Unfortunately, because this is a beta exam, there are no details available on what the actual passing criteria are. But I assume, when looking at other exams, that the default scoring mechanism is applied. Microsoft normalizes the possible questions to a 0-1000 scale for the whole exam. 700 is required to pass.

Usually, the way I approach these exams is to take 2-rounds through all of the questions. Taking some time for each question and if I’m not sure to mark it for review and come back at the end of the exam to answer it. As always with these certification exams, make sure to pay close attention to each detail of the questions and the correct wording. A single word can completely change the context of the questions and the actual answer Microsoft is looking for.

The exam covered some of the topics in-depth, more than I expected. So make sure to put additional effort into preparing the exam.

Are you planning to take the AZ-220 or are you taking the exam after the beta? Happy to hear your feedback.

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