Exam MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops study guide and exam prep

Salaam, Namaste, Ola and Hello!

Back in August I blogged about the MD-100 exam, the resources I used and how I prepared for this ( https://iamitgeek.com/2019/08/28/md-100-modern-desktop-associate-study-guide-exam-prep/ ). 

Last week I was successful in completing the second part of this certification, the MD-101 exam on Managing Modern Desktop and in this blog I will detail my journey, including:

  • Study Resources
  • Topics you need to cover
  • Exam Tips

For those who are not aware, the MD-101 is the second certification required for the ‘Modern Desktop Associate Administrator’ and focuses on Windows 10 deployment and management using services such as Azure Intune and SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager).

STUDY RESOURCES: To start my learning for this exam with the content on Pluralsight (https://www.pluralsight.com/). There are some great videos on here which gave me a good starting platform for my preparation. The main course series you will need to watch is “Microsoft Modern Desktop Administrator: Managing Microsoft Desktops (MD-101)” by Glenn Weadock. The course is 5 videos totaling up to 8 hours altogether which have the following headings:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Modern Desktop Administrator MD-100 and MD-101 Exams
  • Managing Microsoft Desktops: Deploying and Updating Operating Systems
  • Managing Microsoft Desktops: Policies and Profiles
  • Managing Microsoft Desktops: Managing and Protecting Devices
  • Managing Microsoft Desktops: Apps and Data

All the content is video based and I, like others I am sure needs more than just this to take in content. What i found worked really well for me was watching a video and then doing some practical content around that subject.

For example I would watch the video on ‘Managing Microsoft Desktops: Policies and Profiles’ and then login to my test Office 365 subscription and put what I just watched into practice by configuring policies and profiles, then deploying them to my test Windows 10 VMs.

I found the content was going in much better this way and I was ‘Learning by doing’ rather than watching and half of the information being forgotten.

The final resource I used for my preparation was the Microsoft OpenEDX learning resource (https://openedx.microsoft.com). I cannot speak highly enough about this resource as it blends written content with practical and test quiz questions which helps you test the skills you have learnt over the course. For the MD-101 it is split into three course:

  • MD-101.1: Deploying the Modern Desktop
  • MD-101.2: Managing Modern Desktops & Devices
  • MD-101.3: Protecting Modern Desktop & Devices

Each course has a great mixture of written, video, practical labs and a quiz at the end which I found to be a great blend for a learning resource.

TOPICS YOU NEED TO COVER: For a detail look at the skills that are measured in this exam I recommend reading https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/md-101 which breaks down in detail each of the following sections:

  • Deploying and updating operating systems (15-20%)
  • Manage Policies and Profiles (35-40%)
  • Manage and protect devices (15-20%)
  • Manage Apps and data (25-30%)

EXAM TIPS: In my blog on the MD-100 I explained the over arching format with the standard multiple choice questions, scenario based questions and use case section which consisted of 7 questions. As with the MD-100 there was no lab in the MD-101 either, however I would recommend preparing as if there is a lab section just in case Microsoft decide to change it up.

The exam was 42 questions in total with the big use case to start (7 questions in total). Now I have done a few of the new format exams, I have actually found a great way to tackle these types of questions. What I found was that their is a lot of information to take in with these use cases and it can take up to 5 minutes plus to read through everything. What I did with both the MD-100 and MD-101 exams was is that I did not read the use case to begin with, and instead read the question first and then referred to the specific part of the use case I needed to read to be able to best answer the question.

I found this way of tackling the question saved a lot of time but also didn’t clog up my mind with a lot of information i didn’t need for the questions. As I mentioned there were 7 questions in this section, so I only needed 7 bits of information! Please note this is just my own experience with the exams in this format and it might not work for you.

Hope you find this helpful, if you would like any more information feel free to tweet me @shabazdarr or ask a question in the comments section below! I am planning on doing the AZ-500 exam next so will follow that up with another post!

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