Pass Azure Certification from home

I recently passed the AI-900 exam. The AI-900 is an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of common ML and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure. It is not a prerequisite for any other exam but is a great start to prove your foundational knowledge of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) concepts and related Microsoft Azure services.

Now that we have the option to attempt the exam from home, I wanted to document the process so that the focus remains on acing the technical competencies required and less on the exam logistics. Though presented in the context of AI-900, the same is applicable for other Microsoft certification exams too. E.g. except for the course content and exam specific details, I’d previously followed the same process for the AZ-900 too.

Before the exam

  • Browse to the certification exam page for AI-900. Make sure you’re signed in to Microsoft Learn. The Skills outline and the Learning path from Microsoft are important resources that will help in preparation for the certification.
  • Schedule with Pearson Vue your exam appointment. Here, you need to be signed in using the email associated with your Microsoft Certification profile (which maybe different from your Microsoft Learn account).
  • On your dashboard, verify details of your Certification Profile and click Continue
  • Apply any Exam Discounts, if applicable and click Schedule
  • Use the next couple of steps to select your exam options.
    1. Choose where to take your exam – at a test center or at home.
    2. Accept Terms and Policies
    3. Choose preferred language for the exam
    4. Choose the language you’d prefer the proctor to speak in
    5. Choose exam times. Note that you can reschedule/ cancel up to 24 hours of this selected time.
    6. Verify all your details.
    7. Proceed to checkout and pay.
  • Check the inbox of the email associated with your Microsoft Certification profile. You should receive a confirmation email from Pearson VUE for your registered exam. The email will contain links to Test your system by running the OnVue simulator on your machine. It will run System tests (microphone, Internet, and webcam) and also launch the Exam Simulator. (The Simulator failed to launch on my work computer and I shifted to my personal laptop. So make sure you verify this works.)

The day of the exam

  1. When you are ready to take the exam, head to Microsoft Certification Dashboard. Select Pearson VUE as the exam provider.
  • Your forthcoming appointments should show in the dashboard page.
  • Access the registered exam and Check In.
  • Complete the system tests, once again, as prompted.
  • After the system tests are done, you will be prompted to provide your mobile number. An SMS will be sent to this number. It will contain a link that will open to a portal wherein you can furnish pictures of your ID Card (Passport, Driving License etc.) Capture the photo of your ID Card on your mobile and upload it. You will also be asked to take photos of the 4 sides of your workstation and upload them. (Capture clear pictures. I was asked to reupload as my ID was blurred in the first upload.)
  • Once all the details have been uploaded on phone, return to your machine and refresh the page. It will take a few minutes for the Proctor to verify the uploaded details. After verification, the Proctor will open a chat window. You may be asked for further clarifications e.g. asked to show (by webcam/ laptop cam) a 360 view of your workstation. Hence, ensure a clean desk with no articles except for your computer. Your mobile phone is to be kept away from hand’s reach. When all details are verified, the Proctor will close the chat window and release the exam for you.
  • The AI-900 was a 90-minute exam that had 53 questions. The instructions indicate that no one is to enter your exam area during the course of the exam, breaks are disallowed and so are reading questions to yourself. (One of my friends was reprimanded for the last one!)

After the exam

  1. You should see the results, with scores, on-screen as soon as you complete the exam. AI-900 required a score of 700/ 1000.
  2. To access your certificate, check the inbox of the email associated with your Microsoft Certification profile. You should receive an email from the Microsoft Certification program. It will contain a link to the Microsoft Learning Dashboard wherein you can obtain your badges, transcripts, and download certificates.

Hope this gives you an outline of what to expect when attempting your certification from home.
Good luck with your certification!
You got this!!

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