A Comprehensive Study Guide To PL-900 Exam

There are over a hundred professional IT certifications out there. Microsoft certifications are among the leading certifications out there, thanks to Microsoft’s brand value and the broad domains covered in each certification. Earning a Microsoft certification validates your knowledge and expertise in the area you choose to get certified. It also significantly increases your earning potential.

One such potential-maximising certification is the PL-900 Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification. If you have been exploring this certification or wish to qualify for this certification, you’re in the right place. 

Before you start preparing for this Power Platform certification, you should know what you are preparing for, how these skills will help your career and whether this certification is ultimately worth all the effort.

Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals Exam (PL-900) Overview:

The Power Platform Fundamentals qualifying exam tests a candidate’s proficiency in identifying core components, formulating business value, estimating the Power Automate capabilities, affirming Power Virtual Agents business value and interpreting and illustrating Power Platform’s capabilities. As an IT professional, if you wish to boost and enhance your skills using Power Automate, Power Platform etc, the PL 900 certification is the right way to go. This Microsoft certification comes highly recommended for business users, functional consultants and other professionals working in similar fields. 

This explains the key objective of taking this qualifying exam and earning the certification. The next step is to understand the exam format and structure. Understanding this structure will help you prepare for the exam in a more organised way. You will understand how to divide your time, which areas to focus on more than others and maximise your chances of success. 

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PL-900 Certification Exam:

The PL-900 Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals qualifying exam is made up of 40 to 60 questions. These questions come in various formats such as short answers, multiple-choice questions, case studies, drag and drop questions etc. You have 60 minutes or one hour to complete the exam and answer all the questions.

Almost every professional IT certification comes with an application fee. For the PL-900 certification, this fee is $99, exclusive of all taxes. If you don’t clear the exam on the first try and wish to take it again, you need to pay the application fee for every consequent attempt. 

This is the complete exam structure that you should know. You are now familiar with the format of the exam, the types of questions you need to be prepared for and the time you have to write. You can find all the types of questions in the several practice tests you will come across online.  

The next thing to understand is which domains or skills you should cover while preparing. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. 

Skills Tested in the PL-900 Certification Exam:

When the Power Platform Fundamentals certification first came out, it focused almost entirely on the business application and implementation of Power Platform. The original breakdown of skills and training was as follows:

  • Understand the business value of Power Platform: 20-25%

  • Understand the Core Components of Power Platform: 25-30%

  • Demonstrate the business value of Power BI: 15-20%

  • Demonstrate the business value of Power Apps: 15-20%

  • Demonstrate the business value of Microsoft Flow: 15-20%

This was effective, but there was great scope for improvement and more inclusivity. In one and a half years, Microsoft made several changes to their existing domains and also added a new sixth domain. The current breakdown of training and skills needed looks like this:

  • Describe the business value of Power Platform: 15-20%

  • Identify the core components of Power Platform: 15-20%

  • Demonstrate the capabilities of Power BI: 15-20%

  • Describe the capabilities of Power Apps: 15-20%

  • Demonstrate the capabilities of Power Automate: 15-20%

  • Demonstrate the business value of Power Virtual Agents: 10-15%

In the start, domains that demanded a demonstration of anything exclusively related to business value made up the entire paper. Areas that dealt with core capabilities and components were given only a 25 to 30% weightage in the qualifying exam. However, the current revised version of the exam flips these priorities. Now, only about 35% of the exam focuses on concepts related to business value, while the other 65% covers concepts about identifying, demonstrating and describing candidate capabilities using the core components of Microsoft Power Platform.

Such a transition implies that Power Platform usage is more than just knowing what the platform can do. 

Also Read: Guide To PL-200 Exam

How Much Does the PL-900 Certification Exam Cost?

Most certification exams cost significant amounts of money, some going as high as $700. The PL-900 exam is more affordable than most of these exams and costs $99. With the conversion rate, it might seem high for a single attempt. However, think of it as an investment instead of an expense. 

What are the Prerequisites for the Microsoft PL-900 Exam?

Most professional IT certifications come with a list of prerequisites. But the PL-900 certification has none. However, there are certain recommendations that Microsoft makes to ensure you have higher chances of clearing your certification exam on the first attempt. You can find the latest version of these recommendations on the official certification website and check if you meet these requirements. But even if you don’t, you can still sit for the qualifying exam. 

Who is the PL-900 Made For?

The PL-900 exam has been created for experienced users of Microsoft Power Platform who aim at upgrading to the next level. If you have a background of working exclusively with apps that your company has created, training for the PL-900 certification exam will equip you with the skills to work intricately with Power Apps, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate so that you can develop and design tools that will meet your requirements.

Additional Read: Top Microsoft Technology Trends 2022

Is the Microsoft PL-900 Certification Worth It?

For IT professionals who have never worked with Power Platform, the PL-900 won’t seem too lucrative, nor will it have too much promise. Of course, enrolling in a training course will give you valuable skills and knowledge. But you can spend your resources and time in much better ways to get the most out of your career.

If you do work in the Microsoft Power Platform domain, you have two key reasons why this certification is the best idea for your career. 

First of all, if you are a technical head working with all or most of these technologies the fundamentals certification will add significant value to your career. The study material for this certification exam focuses on key business case studies and use cases. Studying through these resources will help you to increase the depth of your knowledge and technical skills, so that you understand how customers are applying such functions every day. 

Secondly, as a business user without too much technical knowledge or a technical background, earning this fundamental certification should be one of your top choices. It’s easy to subconsciously get pigeon-holed as you work with tools that exist or are already programmed or created. You start making assumptions that limit your creativity and your output. 

Appreciating, exploring and understanding the many technical aspects underlying the Power Platform can help in accelerating your career, customising your company tools and building new use cases for the future.

Give your career the boost it deserves and enrol in a certification course today.

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Armin Vans
Archer Charles has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.



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