Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Training Guide (AZ-104)

The Azure Administrator Certification is aimed at those who already have good knowledge of Implementing, managing and monitoring Azure environments. That is not to say you need years of experience before taking this exam, but you do need to start with a good foundation knowledge of the Azure platform.

In this article we are going to take a look at what the Azure Administrator Certification is all about, what we need know focus our learning on and how we can go about taking the exam for free and passing first time.

Azure Administrator Certification Information

To earn the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification you need to complete the AZ-104 exam. The exam costs £113 or $165 and can be taken at a local test centre or in the comfort of your own home. However, if you stick around further in the post I will be showing you how you can take the AZ-104 exam for free!

The AZ-104 exam is broken down into 5 key sections, the exam questions will focus questions on each key section to ensure you are familiar with all of the services. These sections are:

  • Manage Azure identities and governance 
  • Implement and manage storage
  • Deploy and manage Azure compute resources
  • Configure and manage virtual networking
  • Monitor and backup Azure resources

The exam outline located here: provides percentages as to how the exam is weighted. However, in my experience, this info is not relevant. You will be given questions randomly out of a larger pool during the exam and they may not exactly match up how you would expect. It is important that you do study well for this exam and ensure you are familiar will all of the services listed here:

Azure Administrator Training Resources

First of all, if you have made it this far, I highly recommend you take a look at our Complete Azure Training and Online Learning Guide. Here I have collated all of my favourite and highest rate online training content for Microsoft Azure. We look at the best Books, Free content, Paid content and communities to get you fully trained in Azure. 

Here I will break down some of my favourite Azure Administrator training resources for you.


This is the only book I am currently recommending to purchase for your Azure Administrator Certification training. Not only because it helped me pass the exam, but because I still use it day to day a year after completing the exam.

Title: Exam Ref: AZ-104 | Microsoft Azure Administrator

Firstly, you cannot go wrong with this book. Written by Microsoft Azure Trainer Michael Washam it is available both via paperback and instantly through Amazon Kindle. Personally, this helped me pass the exam by using it as a reference alongside the exam skills outline posted by Microsoft. It was definitely a worthwhile investment as I keep it on my desk as a reference for my day to day job. 

Online Training

Microsoft Virtual Training Days are virtual webinars that cover a wide range of topics on Azure. They cover the fundamentals of Azure, including AI and Data, Azure Virtual Desktop and the Well Architected Framework. The webinars are hosted weekly, so check out the link above to register on one of the free virtual webinars hosted by Microsoft.

Microsoft Learn

The Azure Administrator Microsoft Learn path is broken down into 6 key segments, each containing all the information you need to pass the Azure Administrator exam. It is perfectly tailored by Microsoft to cover each topic in detail, provide you real-world scenarios, temporary hands-on labs and questions to help you train.


YouTube is the best place to learn for those visual learners. There are hundreds of content creators delivering valuable content for free. Some include: John Savill, FreeCodeCamp & Adam Marczak.

Pluralsight offer both free and paid online training services which cover the Azure Administrator Certification. Most of the content is authored by Azure Subject Matter Experts. It also provides free assessments and skills grading for different topics relating to the Azure Administrator Certification.

Certification Exam Feedback

I have both passed this exam the first time around and have also recently passed the renewal assessment, which is scheduled 2 years after initially completing the exam. If you would like to read my feedback on the renewal assessment, you can read it here: Azure Certification Renewal Feedback for the AZ-104 Exam.

For this exam, I got 62 questions in total, which included 2 case studies. The total time to complete the exam was 180 minutes. I believe I completed the exam in around 90 minutes or so, with a pass mark of just under 900/100.  I did you get any labs during the exam, however, this was likely due to Azure IaaS resource issues at the time of taking the exam, so you can be expected to get labs yourself.

The exam contents itself broadly covered almost every topic which is listed in the AZ-104 skills outline, so there is no trying to avoid the difficult topics! I thought the exam was well balanced, but still very tough! These Azure exams are definitely getting harder!


To summarise, all of the online training and books mentioned above, I personally utilised when I studying for the AZ-104 exam. The exam was very tough and the topics do need to be fully understood before scheduling the exam. The AZ-104 reference guide I still use occasionally for my day to day duties. Also, if you want to take this exam for free check out my post here: How to get Free Microsoft Exam Certifications.

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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