Answering Your Questions About AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam

Posted 29 Apr 2019 by Liberty Munson (Microsoft)


Updated on May 8, 2019: If you haven’t received your vouchers, please contact pvamericascustomerservice@pearson.com.

As promised, here are the answers to your questions that you posted related to the upcoming change to the Azure Administrator blog from March 20, 2019: Simplifying the Certification Path for Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate.

I was a little surprised by the number of people who didn’t seem to believe that passing AZ-100 was sufficient to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification starting on May 1. It is! On or around May 1, if you have passed AZ-100, you will be awarded the Azure Administrator Associate certification. Period. End of story.

Q. When/how will I get the voucher for AZ-101?

A. Anyone who takes AZ-101 on or before May 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time will receive a 100% voucher from Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE has sent the first batch of these vouchers and will send the remaining vouchers on or before May 7, 2019 to the email that they have on file for those of you who took that exam. These vouchers expire on April 5, 2020. Occasionally, these emails go to junk mail, so please check your junk box if you have not received this voucher by May 31, 2019. If you haven’t, contact mslcd@microsoft.com. This voucher should NOT be confused with the vouchers that VUE is sending as your “bonus” for taking beta exams. If you have taken a beta exam, you will also receive one (or more depending on the number of beta exams you have taken recently) 25% discount vouchers. (Remember, AZ-100 and AZ-101 retire on May 1, 2019.)

Q. What happens if I failed exam AZ-100 on or before May 1, 2019? Can I get a retake?

A. No. Your option is to take AZ-103 to earn the Azure Administrator certification.

Q. I already have the Microsoft Azure Administrator certification (I passed both exams). What happens?

A. You will receive an exam voucher because you have taken AZ-101 (see the question above), and you will retain the badge for that exam. Because we are retiring this exam, you are one of the elite who will have this badge! Share it with others so you can show off the additional Azure Admin skills that you have. And, of course, you keep your Azure Administrator certification badge.

Q. I earned my Microsoft Azure Administrator certification by passing both exams. Is it still valid? How long is it valid?

A. Yes! You still hold this certification and will be able to keep for as long as you meet our maintenance requirements. The certification is valid until we announce our certification maintenance program. More details to follow.

Q. Are you going to consolidate AZ-300 and AZ-301 (for Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert) into a single exam like you are doing for the Developer and Administrator tracks?

A. We do not have any plans at this time to do this, and from my perspective, this seems very unlikely because we intentionally designed AZ-300 to cover skills that ensure that you can implement the solutions as well as design them. This eliminated the need to require Azure Administrator or Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate as a pre-req to earning the Solutions Architect certification.

Q. I am going to take Transition Exam AZ-102. How does this change affect me?

A. It doesn’t. You will earn the Microsoft Azure Administrator certification once you pass that exam as long as you have also passed 70-533. Do not take AZ-102 if you have not passed 70-533. Remember that AZ-102 retires on June 30, 2019.

Q. The updated instructor-led courses for AZ-103, are releasing on May 1, 2019 but the Microsoft Learn content won’t be updated until July 1, 2019. Is there another source or any other free on-demand trainings that will be able in the gap between May 1 and July? How would I study for the new exam on my own for those two months?

A. Review the PDF that we attached to the Simplifying the Certification Path for Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate blog that shows the alignment between the new exam and the old ones. Focus on the free content that is available for AZ-100 and AZ-101 that is relevant to AZ-103. It’s a bit more work to curate your own learning experience, but this is the best suggestion between May 1 and July 1 if you’re looking for free alternatives. See also the Guide to Training for Azure Administrator Associate. The instructor-led training for AZ-103 will be AZ-103T00x.

Q. I ordered Exam Ref AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment. What happens now?

A. Microsoft Press is updating Exam Ref book/books to reflect the new AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator certification. If you pre-ordered Exam Ref AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment, your order will automatically be updated to Exam Ref AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator. If you pre-ordered Exam Ref AZ-101 Microsoft Azure Integration and Security, your order will be cancelled and refunded in the coming weeks. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause. This also applies to books purchased via Amazon. Please check https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/store/exam-ref-az-100-microsoft-azure-infrastructure-and-9780135466582 for more information as it becomes available.

Q. I completed 70-533 in 2017 and 70-535 in 2018. I’m concerned about the new Azure certifications from Microsoft and how to stay relevant since both my exams have been replaced by the AZ-100 and AZ-300 series. Because there isn't an expiration date (correct me if I am wrong) for 70-533 and 70-535 exams, how do I keep those certifications active?

A: By passing AZ-102 and earning the new Azure Administrator certification. If you have passed 70-533 and pass AZ-102 before it retires on June 30, 2019, you will earn the new Azure Administrator certification. If you don’t, you will need to take AZ-103 to earn this certification. In other words, until June 30, 2019, if you have passed 70-533, you can take either AZ-102 OR AZ-103 to earn the same Azure Administrator certification. For Azure Solutions architect, you would pass AZ-302 by June 30, 2019, to achieve the new Azure Solutions architect certification. (And, 70-533 and 70-535 retired on December 31, 2018. Learn more about exam and certification retirements.)

Q: What happens to my current certification based on 70-533 after May 2019?

A. You keep the certification. It remains on your transcript and will remain valuable for long as the market deems it to be. There is no way to renew it, however. As a result, the skills measured will eventually be outdated, and it will no longer be valued by the market.

Q. How do I renew or maintain my certification?

A. We are working on a “stay current” strategy that we will announce late in 2019. Once we announce it, we will ensure that anyone holding a certification will have sufficient time to meet the requirements to maintain your certification. Stay tuned for more information.

Q. The naming convention of the certification needs to be permanent, so it will be more recognizable in the industry. There have been too many changes. Please settle on a standard. The certifications need to be recognized in years to come, not keep changing every six months to a year.

A. Agreed. The current program is designed for longevity, and we have hired a new certification product manager who is focused on ensuring that these new certifications are recognized more broadly across IT Pros and developers, organizations, IT publications, and other IT media outlets, etc. We will continue to evolve the program to address market needs, but I believe that the concept of “Microsoft Certified” will stick as our certification brand in this new role-based approach.

Q. If I passed AZ-100, does that mean that I will be grandfathered into AZ-103? Will it show on my transcript? Or, will I be expected to do it again?

A. The exam(s) that you passed will appear on your transcript. Regardless of which exam you passed, you will earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification and the associated badge. As a result, there is no need to take AZ-103 if you have passed AZ-100. If you prefer, you can take AZ-103, and if you pass, AZ-103 will appear on your transcript, but you will not be awarded the certification or badge because you already earned them by passing AZ-100.

Q. How will this affect the requirements for Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert?

A. It doesn’t. The Azure Administrator or Azure Developer certifications are a required component in the DevOps certification. Now that both Azure Administrator and Azure Developer have one required exam each, the certification journey to DevOps Engineer has become shorter.

Q. Does this affect Implementing Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions 70-538 and/or Implementing Azure DevOps Solutions exam AZ-400 and Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert exam? I don't know the difference between them.

A. In September, 2018 we rolled out a new role-based certification program that will eventually replace all 70-xxx exams and MCSA/E/D certifications. This means that 70-538 will not be developed; AZ-400 is essentially that exam. For more info, see Related announcements below.

If you had a question that I didn’t answer, please post it here.

Related announcements

Skill up and stand out, with new role-based training and certification!
New role-based certification and training is here, and we’re just getting started!
Catching up: continuing our journey with new role-based certifications and training
Simplifying the Certification Path for Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

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