Azure developers, beta exam AZ-204 is just for you

Posted 28 Feb 2020 by Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

A few weeks ago, I shared several upcoming updates to Azure and Data & AI exams—a result of our regular portfolio reviews, which help ensure that our certifications remain technically relevant. These reviews also help make sure that Microsoft Certifications continue to assess the key skills and abilities required for success in today’s cloud-based job roles. Because certifications can open career doors, so we’re committed to keeping them current for you.

Today, I’m excited to announce we are releasing the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Azure beta exam. Cloud developers will be interested to know that this exam is the only requirement to become a Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate. It replaces exam AZ-203, which retires on May 31, 2020.

Wondering whether you’re a candidate for the AZ-204 beta exam? The answer is yes, if you’re a cloud developer who participates in all phases of development, including requirements definition and design, development, deployment, and maintenance. The exam measures proficiency in Azure SDKs, data storage options, data connections, APIs, app authentication and authorization, compute and container deployment, debugging, performance tuning, monitoring, and more.

Ready to prove your Azure developer skills? Get the discounted beta exam offer*

The first 300 people who take the AZ-204 beta exam on or before March 27, 2020, can get 80% off market price!* (Learn why beta exams are no longer free.)

To receive the discount, register now and, when you’re prompted for payment, use code AZ204WINTERSET. This is not a private access code. The seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. You must take the exam on or before March 27, 2020.

Do you already hold the Azure Developer Associate certification? This exam is good news for you, too, because you can take advantage of the discounted beta exam to prove that your skills are up to date and to extend your current certification expiration date by two years.

Preparing to take the AZ-204 beta exam

The AZ-204 beta exam is a more streamlined approach to assessing the core skills that you, as a developer, need to be successful in Azure. To help you get ready, we’ve got some practical tips:

  • Review the AZ-204 exam page for details. The skills outline document can help alert you to key topics covered on the exam.
  • Study using the Microsoft Learn training suggested on the AZ-204 exam page. It’s already aligned to the new exam.
  • Connect with Microsoft Learning Partners in your area for in-person training that’s even more in-depth.
  • Need other preparation ideas? Check out my blog post on preparing for beta exams.

What about the AZ-203 exam?

The AZ-203 exam will remain in market for 90 days, effective today, at the regular price. To compare the two exams, check out the AZ-204 skills outline document on the exam page.
After May 31, 2020, only AZ-204 will be available. Regardless of which exam you take, when you pass, you’ll have earned your Azure Developer Associate certification and it will be valid for two years.

*Beta exam conditions

Keep in mind that beta exams aren’t scored immediately. You’ll receive your final score and passing status after the exam is live. For updates on when the rescore is complete, follow me on Twitter (@libertymunson). For updates on Microsoft Certifications, including new content available to help you prepare, follow @MicrosoftLearn. For questions about the timing of beta exam scoring and live exam release, see the blog posts The path from beta exam to live exam and More tips about beta exams.

Through the beta process, you have an active voice into the certification and exam design. Your data and comments are used to evaluate the quality of the items, identify fixes needed to improve accuracy and clarity, and flag questions to remove. The data and information we gather through the beta process is, perhaps, the most important part of ensuring the validity and overall quality of the exam.

Remember, the number of spots is limited to the first 300 candidates taking the AZ-204 beta exam on or before March 27, 2020. Please note that the beta exam is not available in Turkey, Pakistan, India or China.

As a cloud developer, this is a great opportunity to prove that you have the knowledge and skills to design, develop, deploy, maintain (and more!) Azure solutions. And these qualifications are in high demand in today’s job market. Ready to get started? Check out the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Azure beta exam.