AZ-801 Exam Completed with Feedback and Notes

The AZ-801 exam is the second exam required to earn the Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Administrator Associate certification. I recently took this exam while it is in beta and want to share my feedback with you. Hopefully, this information can help you focus your efforts and study to pass this exam. If you have not already seen my notes for the prior AZ-800 exam you can access them here: AZ-800 Exam Notes. The exam being taken during beta means it was discounted at 80% off the full price, but you will have to wait almost 2 months to receive your results. You are however playing a part in improving the exam experience for those paying full price, so you are doing a good deed…

AZ-801 Exam Info

Exam description snippet from:

Candidates for this exam configure advanced Windows Server services using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies. These professionals should have expertise in implementing and managing on-premises and hybrid solutions, including performing tasks related to security, migration, monitoring, high availability, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. They use administrative tools and technologies, such as Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, Azure Arc, Azure Automation Update Management, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

az-801 exam info

My AZ-801 Exam Feedback

As with most exams, I will advise that the exam is in the usual format. There are no curve balls or labs to deal with. Just the usual multiple-choice, drag and drop, yes/no and scenario-based questions. 

Similar to the first exam I was given 150 minutes to complete 54 questions. I completed the exam in just under an hour and gave a little feedback in the comments as you are advised with beta exams. 

Comparing my experience with the first exam, this one was a little more challenging. It seemed I was presented with a lot more ‘drag and drop’ based questions. Rather than picking from a pool of answers, you are ordering steps to present the solution, which by nature is a little more difficult and time-consuming.

My question pool seemed to focus on the following areas:

  • Configuring password policies
  • Configuring and managing exploit protection
  • Plenty on Group Policy
  • Lots on Microsoft Defender!
  • A handful of questions on Azure Migrate
  • Lots on Hyper-V Failover Cluster migration and management including questions on quorum and Azure witness
  • Authentication Policy Silos
  • Connection Security rules
  • Configuring and Managing BitLocker and Azure Disk Encryption
  • Lots on Azure Recovery Services for Azure and on-premise VM’s!
  • Storage Spaces Direct
  • Storage Migration Services
  • Hyper-V replication
  • Migrating IIS workloads
  • VM performance issues
If given the opportunity to go back, I would have focused some study effort more towards Failover Cluster Manager and Microsoft Defender, although it is impossible to know what areas you will be questioned on. It is a safe bet to assume all of them!
I do feel that maybe the technical writers for the exam focused a little too heavy on the intricacies of Windows Server over the Hyrbid management, Maybe this is their justification for removing Windows Server exams altogether…
It was partly a shame to see that many of my study hours went to almost no use as not every subject in the skills outline was covered in the exam content. Maybe this will change for the full exam release.

AZ-801 Study

I won’t necessarily repeat what I mentioned in my last post here: AZ-800 Study. I really just following the AZ-801 Exam skills outline here, from Microsoft. I recommend you paste the information from that link into an Excel Doc or Google Doc so you can track your learning progress and mark off sections when you feel confident!


To summarise my experience taking this exam, overall it was good. Unlike some previous beta exams I have partaken in, this exam and the first seemed to contain some well-rounded content and good questions. I could not make out any glaring spelling mistakes or grammatical errors and it all seemed to be relevant. 

Daniel Bradley

My name is Daniel Bradley and I work with Microsoft 365 and Azure as an Engineer and Consultant. I enjoy writing technical content for you and engaging with the community. All opinions are my own.

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