How to study ...
Learners can prepare for the PL-100 Power Platform App Maker and other Microsoft certifications in a variety of ways. These include formal training provided by Microsoft Learning Partners, group study and self-learning. And the approach each of us take will depend on our own personal situation.
I’m a huge fan of self-study as I can fit it in around my work and home commitments. I find study groups really useful, as they provide structure and an element of scheduling that helps me to keep on track. I tend to look out for anything being run by Julian Sharp who is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer). Julian regularly runs study groups on subjects across the Business Applications and Power Platform areas and they are exceptionally valuable for anyone hoping to pass those types of certifications.
As there was unfortunately no study group running while I was preparing for the PL-100 I knew I would have to find my own resources, and get on with the self-study. I have provided links to some of the resources I used to pass the exam below.
What to study ...
The PL-100 App Maker certification is the ‘entry level’ exam for Power Platform app makers, intended to test a basic level of knowledge. The skills measured in the exam are as follows;
- Design Solutions (10-15%)
- Create Solutions (55-60%)
- Analyse and Visualise Data (5-10%)
- Implement and Manage Solutions (15-20%)
My first step whenever studying for a Microsoft Certification is typically to log onto the Microsoft Learn website, browse to the certification or exam and download the ‘exam skills outline‘ which gives further detail on the elements that will be tested during the exam.
As I was coming from a ‘Dynamics’ background I had limited ‘Power Apps’ knowledge and aside from the ‘model driven’ app content, was not overly familiar with many of features covered in the PL-100 skills outline, so I knew I had to apply myself to studying these topics. This would mean ensuring that wherever additional resources were signposted, I should definitely make sure to use them. Additionally hands on practice would be essential, so I made sure that I had access to a trial environment with all of the relevant features necessary to complete the study.
Using Microsoft Learn ...
Microsoft Learn is the key resource for learning material to anyone hoping to study for Microsoft certifications. To use Microsoft Learn, it is helpful to have first set up a ‘learning profile’ as the associated Microsoft Certification ID (MCID) will be needed once you decide to schedule your exam. Additionally, your learning profile will help you keep track of what you have studied, enable you to participate in challenges, and provide other motivational features.
Once you’ve set up your learning profile you can browse certifications to find information relating to the PL-100 exam, including the skills outline and the Learning Paths you will need to complete to cover all of the relevant features. For the PL-100 those are;
- Create a canvas app in Power Apps
- Create a model driven application in Power Apps
- Automate a business process using Power Automate
- Manage permissions and administration for Dataverse
- Get started using Dataverse
As with all learning materials on the Microsoft Learn website, I would recommend always following the links out to Microsoft documentation wherever provided. I would also recommend allowing more time than is estimated on each Learning Path and Module, as it always takes me exponentially longer to work through the resources than is estimated.
Other learning material ...
As the PL-100 is a relatively ‘new’ exam, there are not a lot of resources online specifically geared toward passing it. I found the blog posts by LinkeD365 and EY Kalman, thecrmninja helpful to give a high level overview of what to expect and where to focus my study.
Aside from MS Learn, while preparing for this exam, I also found carrying out the practical steps included in Rory Neary’s Power Apps Zero to Hero course exceptionally useful.
Taking the exam ...
Information on the exam itself is available on the PL-100 certification page on Microsoft Learn and the exam can also be booked from there. I would advise anyone new to Microsoft certification to check through the Exam Resources section and to additionally check the information relating to exams and exam question types included on Microsoft Docs.