Data science is one of the fastest-growing careers in the world of technology. Harvard Business Review deems it to be the most demanded job in the 21st century. Research says that by the next couple of years, the US will need about 20 thousand data scientists to work on 50 billion smart devices in the world and collect, analyse, and share data. Because of their qualifications and certifications, data scientists tend to earn more than the average IT guy. 
 
The demand for data scientists has given rise to candidates who want a career in the growing field of data science. These candidates are opting for various data science certifications, including the DP-100 exam. The number of data professionals will fall short soon, which is why taking the DP-100 certification exam offered by Microsoft Azure is a fantastic opportunity for you to kick-start a career in data science. Here is everything you need to know about preparing for the Microsoft DP-100 certification exam.
 

DP-100 Exam: Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate

The first step towards clearing any exam is to get a clear idea of what the exam is. The DP-100 exam is taken by candidates wanting to make a career as an Azure Data Scientist Associate. The most exciting part of this exam is that you only need to qualify for the exam to get the certification!
 
An Azure data scientist's role includes leveraging Azure machine learning techniques for training, evaluation, and deployment of model solutions for solving business issues. The professional would implement scientifically accurate techniques for data investigation and obtain actionable insights, and then share them with the stakeholders. The role also requires a multi-disciplinary collaboration to ensure that the AI solutions created are in accordance with ethical, governance and privacy regulations. 
 

Details Of The DP-100 Exam

Some of the most important details required to start your preparation for the exam are related to the exam pricing, structure, and languages. Ideally, the exam consists of 40 to 60 questions, but this number is just a ballpark. The official number is not mentioned anywhere on any official source. The exam duration would be 180 minutes and starts with case studies. 
 
The exam questions would be designed and implemented in different formats, so candidates need to be ready to find multiple-choice questions and case studies with multiple questions. There are also questions with single choices, depending on the scenario. There can be questions where candidates will need to fill in or complete an incomplete code or arrange components in their appropriate sequence. 
 
The registration fee for the DP-100 exam is $165 and can be appeared in four different languages like English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
 

How To Prepare for the DP-100 Exam?

Now that the crucial details of the exam are discussed, here is a guide on how you can prepare for the exam. You will need the best practices to prepare for this exam effectively. The following steps will help you navigate through the study process and help you achieve the certification.
 
  • Visit The Official DP-100 Certification Page

Now that you have decided to pursue this exam prep, make your way to the official certification page on the Microsoft website. There is detailed information available on different aspects of the exam. You can also find contact information for getting any necessary support you need for the exam. 
 
The official website can provide you with access to resources you might need for the exam. For instance, the illustration of a certification learning path and the facility of Microsoft Certification support forums. 
 
  • Thoroughly Review Exam Objectives

The next important thing you need to keep in mind is the exam blueprint or objectives. The exam objectives can provide you with a clear idea of different topics that can come as questions during the exam. You can also find more domains that can give you access to most of the question types that could appear in the exam. These domains and their underlying subtopics can help you strengthen your exam preparations accordingly. 
 
  • Sharpen Your Skills With Training

Training is a must to qualify for the DP-100 exam. Almost every exam prep guide will tell you the importance of training before you attend the certification exam. You have two options to choose from - online training or instructor-led training from the official exam certification page. 
 
You could go for the free online training or the paid instructor-led training depending upon your requirements and preferences. There are also other online trainers who you can go to for paid courses to help prepare you for the DP-100 exam.
 
  • Practice Will Lead To Perfection

After your training is done, you will need to practise what you have learnt. It is the next most important step for you in your journey of becoming an Azure data scientist. Practice tests ensure that you are sure of your strengths and weaknesses in different concepts of the exam. You can also find any potential areas that you may tend to make more mistakes in and work on them. You will also get detailed reports on your performance, allowing you to map out what you are excellent at and what needs to be worked on. 
 
  • Use Study Materials

The study material available for the DP-100 exam is very important as it gives you reliable information that you can study from. There may also be other resources like podcasts and videos on the official website to help you through your prep. You can also scout industry white papers to help improve your preparation for the exam.
 
 

What Are The Domains Covered In The Exam?

Knowing the domains that are covered in the DP-100 exam is as important as the methods to study them. There are several preparation guides available that can help you get an insight into the different domains covered in the exam. These domains form the basic blueprint of the certification exam.
 
  • Define and Prepare The Development Environment

The primary domain essential for the exam preparation is to define and prepare the development environment. This domain accounts for around 15 to 20% of the exam questions. The subtopics of this domain include explicit indications towards how to select and set up a development environment. Another important subtopic is how to quantify a business problem.
 
  • Data Prep For Modeling

The next domain you need to concentrate on is the preparation of data for modelling. The domain shows that this part accounts for almost 25-30% of the total questions in the certification exam. The important topics in this domain include transforming data into usable sets and cleansing and transforming data. You can also find the subtopic of Exploratory Data Analysis in this domain. 
 
  • Executing Feature Engineering

The third domain of the DP-100 certification prep guide includes information regarding the execution of feature engineering. This domain contributes to about 15-20% of the questions. Other important topics to explore in this domain are extraction and feature selection. 
 
  • Developing Models

The final domain of the DP-100 exam is designing and implementing an Azure data solution, and it is the most crucial one. This domain deals with the development of solution models, contributing to the exam's most significant share of questions. You should expect about 40-45% of questions from this domain. The subtopics of this domain are the most basic requirements of every DP-100 exam prep schedule. It includes topics like selection of algorithmic approach, recognising data imbalances, splitting datasets, evaluation of model performance and training of models. 
 

Keep Calm, Crush The Exam Anxiety

First things first, get yourself together. Get a handle on your emotions and focus on the exam. It is going to be fine. Put your best foot forward, and you will nail the exam without any issues. If you are still worried, here are some tips to help you calm down:
  • Keep all your things ready the night before so that your morning is not a mess.
  • Wake up early on the day of the exam and read something light. It will warm up your mind and body for the exam.
  • Relax, don't overthink. You will be okay! Trust your journey.
 

What Are The Prerequisites For The DP-100 Exam?

A career as a data scientist is open to anyone who has a background in computer science, maths, IT, physics or any other related field. If you know R Programming, you have an added advantage as companies generally prefer the knowledge of such analytical tools.
 
The emergence of data science as a career field has substantially raised the demand for an Azure data scientist. However, there is no reason for you to worry. All you have to do is follow the best ways to prepare for the exam effectively with dedication and commitment. You can get various opportunities to prepare for the DP-100 exam only if you know where to look. 
 
Armin Vans
Aarav Goel 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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