Recently, I passed the MS-500 exam and became a Microsoft 365 Certified Security Administrator Associate. After spending a lot of time working in Azure Active Directory and Office 365, setting up security features, it felt like the right choice. I took advantage of a lot of resources in order to prepare.
The three biggest resources I used:
- Microsoft Learn (Free!)
- Self-paced course (via New Horizons)
- MeasureUp Practice Exam
Looking back, none of the resources (including my own experiences) covered the topics on the exam completely. But between the three listed above, and search in Microsoft Docs for obscure information, I was really able to cover everything.
Microsoft Learn’s new learning paths have been a great tool for myself. Not only did I use them to do a quick high level overview of all of the topics for the MS-500, but through some exploration, I have been able to provide training to several folks around my company as well. I have also recommended to my co-workers who are currently attending Microsoft training that they run through the recommended learning paths that are related to that training so they aren’t walking in blind.
Self Paced Class
Taking a self paced class was a double-edged sword. I was able to work through the materials when I had time. But that was also assuming I had time. I ended up scheduling time on my work calendar so that I could dedicate time to studying. Once I had felt I had plateaued with my self paced studies, I started taking the practice exam.
I was very nervous about paying for the MS-500 exam. The practice test had one review and it was not great. However, the MS-500 Exam Reference book was not available so I bit the bullet and signed up. A lot of the questions were very similar to the exam questions, and it even touched on some subjects that hadn’t been covered by the other study resources I used.
Overall Exam Experience
This was the first time I have ever done an online, remotely proctored exam. This was a very new & interesting experience for me, but overall it was a good one. I probably over prepared my workspace a little by completely removing anything and everything on my desk and even made it a point to toss my cell phone across the room onto the couch on camera so that the proctor knew I didn’t have it on me. The biggest problem I ran into on MS-500 exam day was an issue with the testing application having issues with DNS filtering done by my PiHole DNS servers at home. As soon as I was able to turn that off, I got right into the exam and was able to take it.
For now, I get to wear my Security Administrator Associate badge, and work on my next goal of the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert!
You can check out all my certifications on my About Me page.