This afternoon I passed Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure. This was nothing like AZ-900 exam that I passed 2 weeks ago. AZ-204 will put you through wringer. It is expected to be this way because this exam is a requirement to be a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Microsoft is making sure that if you are going to train others about Azure Development, then you better know your subject.
You will have to answer 45 questions in 180 minutes. The questions will be in 3 sections. You have to complete a section before questions for next section are presented to you. In my case I had 3 sections of 30, 8 and 7 questions each. I almost screwed it up here. I saw 30 questions and thought thats all to it. So I took my sweet time to finish and then spent more time to go over some questions. As soon as I hit "Finished", I got hit with a second section. Luckily I still had about an hour left. Last 2 sections were only 15 questions but they are based on use case studies. So you have to pay attention. You have to flip between reading use cases and then answering questions. Make sure that you plan your time accordingly.
First section of 30 question is like AZ-900 exam. You have multiple option type questions. Two sections with case studies are different. In this you will be provided case study with multiple sections like Summary, Requirements, Problem, Code etc. Then you will have questions based on that case study. Read the details very carefully. Some answers are based on specific names or numbers mentioned in case study. If you did not pay attention, you are sure to get wrong answers for those questions.
In the first section, there were few questions for which there was no option to mark them for review later. There was only one chance to get it right or wrong. This was kind of unexpected.
The exam sticks to 5 broad topics mentioned on Microsoft site. The questions will cover every single topic. I can not recall if the exam missed asking question on a single topic.
Let's put it this way, Microsoft is making sure that you have written some code and configured the Azure resources mentioned in the topics. The questions range from regular multiple type questions to the type of question where you have to review the code presented in the questions and fill in the blanks. Some questions even test to see if you know what class implement what interface. Then some questions test to check if you know what method to call. This is an exam that you will have very hard time passing without spending some time writing code and configuring resources in Azure portal. There was even a question on Docker containers that made sure that I have actually written docker files and deployed containers. There is no way I was going to get it right if I had not done it myself.
If you have been doing Azure development for 2-3 years then the exam should be easy. Otherwise, plan on doing some Tutorials provided in Azure documentation. Unlike AZ-900, free course material for the exam is not sufficient. You are going to have to do something extra. I used following book t check what all topics are going to be covered and the breadth of coverage.
In addition to this book, I went over few tutorials in Azure documentation. There are some technologies that I do not use that often. I used the book to read about those topics. That is all that I did.
I will say it one more time, this exam does need you to know your subject. Keep one thing in mind that you need 700 points to pass the exam. No, you do not need 100% points. So if you are not familiar with certain topics, do not sweat in the exam. In the exam keep going through the exam. Questions that you are not sure about, mark them for review. Do not get stuck on a question for a very long time. You will have plenty of time to review. There is nothing wrong if you are not able to answer some questions correctly. It is not different than your day to day job. Some time you do not have answers to some topics and you ask others for help. Only difference is that during exam you can't ask for help. As long as you are confident that you have sufficient questions to cross 700 mark, you are good.
Hopefully this information can prepare you better for the exam. Good Luck!