Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Schedule: Duration, Format, Scheduling, Scoring, and Results

January 12, 2021 by Fakhar Imam

In this article, we will explore the schedule, duration, format and scoring of two of Microsoft’s Azure certifications: Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate with exam code AZ-104 and Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate with exam code AZ-500. With this article, you will have the tools you need to prepare for the exam according to your own preferences.

Exam scheduling

Before scheduling for an online exam, candidates are required to read system requirements and test protocol requirements. System requirements require candidates to configure their antivirus program and internet security to make an exception for the PSI Secure Browser application. Doing so is necessary because online exams can be disrupted by network packet filtering/inspection, proxy servers or strict configurations of network security. Antivirus programs should also be disabled because they can cause performance issues.

Testing protocol requirements incorporate various practices, procedures and specific policies that are necessary to maintain the proctored exam integrity in an online setting. Microsoft lists those requirements as:

  • Office or home setting
  • Identity verification requirements
  • Communicating with the greeter and proctor
  • No personal belongings
  • Work area scan
  • Facial comparison policy
  • No exam assistance
  • No breaks, drinking or eating
  • Recording during the exam
  • Compliance with Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and candidate conduct requirements

Microsoft also requires candidates to perform a system check before scheduling the exam. The system check should be on the same machine, either a computer or a laptop, and on the same location where the test is expected to be conducted. The purpose of performing a system check is to determine whether your machine and location are compatible with the Pearson VUE software and testing guidelines. You can perform the system check using the link here.

Scheduling with Pearson VUE

Pearson VUE is the exam delivery partner of Microsoft. In this section, we will discuss exam scheduling for non-students who are interested in technology. Microsoft would provide you a dashboard that requires your details, such as first name, last name, job title, address and so on. You must have a Microsoft account before scheduling your exam.

  • To schedule Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104): Here you go
  • To schedule Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate (AZ-500): Here you go

Supporting people impacted by COVID-19

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has been playing havoc with mass gatherings for the past couple of months. Microsoft is offering special accommodation for people who have been unemployed due to COVID-19. For those people, Microsoft Azure AZ-104 and AZ-500 certifications are being offered with a discounted fee of $30 or $15 for each. They can apply before December 31, 2020, and will have until March 31, 2021 to appear for and complete their AZ-104 or/and AZ-500 exam. You can avail of this offer for both AZ-104 and AZ-500.

Exam replay

When it comes to one retake of the same exam, Exam Replay is utilized. Exam Replay is a voucher. If the Exam Replay is combined with a Practice Test, it will also form an exam voucher, but this time, it contains one retake of the same exam and a separate voucher for a practice test. 

If a candidate doesn’t pass the exam on the first attempt, Exam Replay is valid for one retake of the same exam. Your exam voucher will expire twelve months from the date of purchase. Scheduling, taking, or retaking within one year is indispensable to validate your skills. Exam Replay is valid for both AZ-104 and AZ-500 certifications.


The AZ-104 and AZ-500 are Microsoft role-based certifications and they are valid for two (2) years from the date the candidate earns the certifications.

Exam format

Microsoft doesn’t identify exam formats before the exam. The reason is protection for exam security and the value of their certifications. Microsoft believes in innovative testing technologies and they reserve the right to introduce those any time into their exams without any prior notice. Generally, the following question types and their combination can be expected in the exam:

  • Multiple choice
  • Repeated answer choices
  • Short answers
  • Best answer 
  • Labs
  • Review screen
  • Mark review
  • Hot area
  • Drag and drop
  • Case studies
  • Build list
  • Active screen

Usually, Microsoft exams incorporate between 40-60 questions.


The candidate requires a 700 score to pass either AZ-104 or AZ-500 exam. The student who gets any score less than 700 will fail.


Your pass/fail result will be notified within a few minutes of exam completion. The printed report along with feedback will also be available at the same time. Pearson VUE forwards your result to Microsoft within five business days. This scenario applies to both exams we are discussing in this article.

The bottom line (conclusion)

In this article, we have shed light on two Microsoft certifications: Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate with exam code AZ-104 and Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate with exam code AZ-500. 

We discussed exam scheduling, duration, format, scoring and results of those certifications. First and foremost, candidates need to perform a system check to ensure that their systems meet minimum Microsoft requirements to conduct their exams. The passing score for each of these exams is 700. Both certifications are good for one year (twelve months).



Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator, Microsoft 

Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate, Microsoft 

About online exams with Pearson VUE, Microsoft

Become Microsoft certified and build your resilience for today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy, Microsoft

Exam process overview, Microsoft

Exam security policy and Exam retake policy, Microsoft

Posted: January 12, 2021
Fakhar Imam
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Fakhar Imam is a professional writer with a master’s program in Masters of Sciences in Information Technology (MIT). To date, he has produced articles on a variety of topics including on Computer Forensics, CISSP, and on various other IT related tasks.