I had just recently cleared both DP-200 and DP-201 exams for the Azure Data Engineer Associate certification. Below are the list of steps I undertook to achieve them. Hope you will find them useful!
Step 1 - Download & Print the ‘Exam Skills Outline’ document
With any certification, I will usually first download the ‘Skills Measured’ document from the official Microsoft certification page which will enlist the technologies and its aspects it will test upon.
Note: Microsoft regularly updates its exam syllabus hence it is very important to check the official pages for announcements on exam changes / retirements etc.
Below are the official exam pages links:
I will usually paste the contents into an Excel spreadsheet and print it out as a simple checklist I can refer to and easily visualized.
Step 2 - Studying with Microsoft Learn
For both these exams, there is a prepared Microsoft Learn guide already prepared by the folks at Microsoft
I personally think this is the best introductory study material as it is well-structured and friendly to someone new to the technologies. It comes with prepared labs, sandboxes, properly arranged topics, quizzes and also an element of gamification so things are not so dry.
While learning, I will usually take notes for key points or questions that I think will be useful for future easy revision/further research.
I have also uploaded some of my study notes which may of help.
Step 3 - Reading Microsoft Docs / Watch Videos
Microsoft Docs is the hands-down the best place to get detailed information about each product / feature.
Here you can find the facts / figures / offerings / limitations for each service. It also comes with supplementary tutorials which you can follow for further hands-on practice.
You can also refer to the following links for Microsoft Docs links to each item in the Exam Skills Outline:
Videos are great especially as it is visually easier than reading text which tend to get boring.
Here are some useful videos:
- Pluralsight DP-200 Path
- Pluralsight DP-201 Path
- John Savill’s Youtube Channel
Step 4 - Further practice with official Microsoft Labs
Microsoft also provided official labs for further practices:
It also come with solutions for each exercise for you to refer and compare your solution with.
Step 5 - Supplement learning by reading up prepared Microsoft Architecture
Microsoft has a Azure Architectures site which showcases a number of architectures using Azure services.
View some data-related architectures, study and figure why along with descriptions on how they integrate and its justifications.
Step 6 - Design and implement a solution with all the services learned
As a final practice and to consolidate my understanding, I came out with an imaginary problem whereby I as a farm owner would like to find out the correlation between water produced through my farm sprinklers and the amount of harvest per farm.
Step 7 - Practice papers & Memorization - The boring stuff
Once the above steps are completed, I will then proceed to work on some practice questions.
One of the best practice exam sites I love is MeasureUp.
Main reason will be the explanation that they provide for the solutions to the questions are detailed and accurate.
As with any exams there will be a fair amount of memorization required. Factual stuff involving numbers such as involving limitations(minimum/maximum) must be memorized.
Step 8 - Take the Exam
Once you feel comfortable you have covered everything in the checklist from Step 1 and confidently conquered all the questions in Step 7, you should be ready to take on the actual exam. Good luck and see you on the other side!
More Useful Resources
Some of the useful resources I have referred to:
- Cathrine Wilhemlsen DP-200 Guide
- Cathrine Wilhemlsen DP-201 Guide
- Cathrine Wilhelmsen Data Factory Series