No one like studying and knowing where to start and what works for you can be one of the hardest parts of your learning journey. The Microsoft Certification exams are tough and they're supposed to be tough, even at the associate level. If you go into an exam unprepared without a proper study plan, you may not do as well as you hope. What makes it even harder is that everybody learns differently. There's no strategy that works for every single person, every single time.
Sometimes that works for you might not work for someone else and what works for someone else might not work for you. But what's important isn't to create a study plan or look at someone else's study plan and just follow it to every day. What's important is coming up with a strategy that works for you and your life and your learning style and applying it. So we've put together these 5 tips to help you do that.
1. Join community
Our first tip for studying for your Microsoft Certification exam is to join a community. This could be online in person, it doesn't matter what you want to look for is people who are in your position or have been in your position. They're looking study for and pass their Microsoft Certification exam. Maybe they already have a couple they're studying for another one. You're just looking for a like-minded group of people that can help you to stay on track and reach your goals.
There are a few big benefits to joining a community, one is the support. If you're stuck on a concept you feel like you're not getting it or you're not making the progress that you think you should. You can go to those people and say hey, I feel like I'm not getting it or I'm just not making progress. What should I do? And you'll have an answer another one is accountability.
When you tell people about your goals, you're more likely to meet them. It's easy to set a goal by yourself and just brush it off and keep putting it off and procrastinate and never reach it. When you tell people, you have people to have held you accountable and that's really valuable when you're learning. Your community can be online or in-person, it doesn't matter as long as you have that network for support and accountability.
2. Follow blogs
Our second tip for studying for the Microsoft Certification exam is to follow blogs. You got to read a variety of different writers, different topics, different technologies, even to really immerse yourself in the technology that you want to learn and that's really key. You want to immerse yourself, we've said this a lot before but the Microsoft Certification exam is not just memorizing the answer to a test. You need to know the services inside and out there. Use-cases different combination of services. When you would use one over another thing and like that and that's the kind information that you're going to get reading different perspectives and opinions and people's voices on Microsoft.
A good place to start this might seems obvious but Microsoft their news blog that's where you'll hear about all the news services, the new features, updates to the platform and things like that. You really want to stay on top of those things, just get a sense of how the platform changes, what they have in mind when they're designing Microsoft. You can start even your own blog as you're learning. You don't have to be an expert. One of the best ways to learn is by teaching other people and sharing your knowledge. This can be your ultimate solution if you follow different types of blogs for gathering your knowledge.
3. Specific time to study
Our third tip for studying for your Microsoft Certification exam is to set aside a specific time to study. Now this may seem obvious but it helps you get into a routine and I'll give you an example. For me personally, my routine is to set aside about an hour and a half each morning. This is before, I start work. It's before I do anything else. I just set aside some time to read blogs. Sometimes write a little bit of code and just immerse myself in the Microsoft ecosystem and learn as much about it as I can and here's why that works for me when I get home from work, sometimes I'm tired maybe I had a bad day and I don't feel like studying.
I have all these distractions that are keeping me away from it. So what I like to do is study first thing in the morning. It's before I have a chance to get distracted that's what works for me. However, your schedule might be different and that's okay. Like I was saying, in the beginning, you don't have to set specific plan and stick to it letter for letter. You can find something that works for your life and your schedule.
4. Build a project
Our forth study tip is to build some build a project. It can be anything. Everyone has their reason for wanting to get certified. One person might want a promotion at work, another person might want a whole new career in the technology industry, another person might just enjoy the challenge of working with new services and platform. But what those people all in common is that they love technology and understanding how things work and creating things. Think about this once you get Microsoft Certification sure if there's a promotion maybe or a new job. But what are you going to really do with that knowledge? You're going to apply it, building real systems, real services, real platforms. So why not start now. Why not get the experience and increase your chance. So you can get started working with Microsoft.
Here's another thing you probably heard us say before, people learn best by doing things until you really test your skills in an actual live environment using the services. If you want to get started using Microsoft building projects and getting your hand dirty with the platform where you start. Well, one place that we recommend is cloud assessments that's one reason that we started cloud assessments. You can go through take a challenge. It'll give you a real scenario in real Microsoft environment and you can see what's skill already you have, what you're good at and also what you need to improve on.
If you like something little more open-ended that's fine too. You can find a free open source software project. There are thousands of them out there, maybe millions. Download it and just try and set it up on Microsoft. What's important is that you get started using the platform, get used to the services, get used to the error messages, because you'll see the plenty of those. Whatever project you choose, the important thing just starts getting that real-world hands-on Microsoft experience. You'll learn a lot more effectively and you'll have a much better chance of passing your exam.
5. Two learning goals each day
Our fifth and final study tip is to set two learning goals for yourself each day. This may seem a little old or counterintuitive, but let me explain what I mean. So when you set your two goals, you're going to want to have a large learning goal and a small learning goal. A large one should be something significant. That's really going to help you learn and that you want to aim for. This might be something like spending an hour watching videos and working on projects. You're also going to want to set a small learning goal.
This might be something like reading three blog post and these two goals should be significantly different in the amount of time and effort it takes to complete them, but they should also be realistic. You don't want a too large goal to be too large and don't want your small goal to be too small. So what's the point of having two goals?
Well, it's kind of silly trick but it's one that I've found really effective for me. You want your large goal to be the real goal that you set out each day to accomplish. Your small goal isn't something that you've to do in addition to that, but something that you can fall back to if you don't meet your large one. This will help your time management as well as keeping a good balance in your life.
Studying is a necessary part of the journey to success and believes me, I've been there starting at the documentation, looking at server configurations. It's not fun but just remember it's not impossible for people. People have passed the Microsoft Certification exam. People are going to keep passing them and the way you do that is the create effective study strategies that work for them. These tips we've talked about don't all apply to you. You might find that one of them works really well for your life.