How to study ...
You can prepare for the PL-200 Power Platform Functional Consultant exam in a number of ways. These could include formal training, provided by Microsoft Learning Partners, self learning and group study. There is no right or wrong way to prepare. Our approach will generally depend on our own personal situation.
As work and home are always super busy, I’m a big fan of self-learning as I can fit it around my commitments. Study groups are really useful, and I join them wherever possible. I look out for anything being run by Julian Sharp, a Microsoft MVP, as his study groups are near legendary. In fact, I have passed 5 of my certifications while studying with Julian. Unfortunately there were no groups running while I prepared for this exam. However, I did get some help from Julian … more on this below!
What to study ...
PL-200 is the core certification recommended to become a Power Platform Functional Consultant. This certification tests ‘applied’ knowledge of the Power Platform. You will need a solid understanding of the capabilities, boundaries and constraints of the Platform to pass the exam.
- Configure Microsoft Dataverse (25-30%)
- Create apps by using Power Apps (20-25%)
- Create and manage Power Automate (15-20%)
- Implement Power Virtual Agents chatbots (10-15%)
- Integrate Power Apps with other apps and services (15-20%)
As with most Microsoft Certifications, my first step in studying for PL-200 was to check Microsoft Learn. This gives full details of the required learning for the exam. An ‘exam skills outline’ can be downloaded that contains full details of what is covered.
Using Microsoft Learn ...
When studying for any Microsoft certification, Microsoft Learn is your key resource. When getting started with Microsoft Learn, I would recommend you set up a ‘Learning Profile’. You will need the Microsoft Certification ID associated with your profile when you schedule an exam. Additionally, your learning profile will help you keep track of what you have studied and what is left to cover.
Once you’ve set up a learning profile, you can browse certifications to find information relating to PL-200. Key resources include the Skills Outline, and the Learning Paths. Learning Paths are collections of Modules that lead you through the learning content covered by the exam. The Learning Paths for PL-200 are listed below.
- Get started using Dataverse
- Managing permissions and administration for Dataverse
- Create a canvas app in Power Apps
- Create a model-driven application in Power Apps
- Create a business process flow in Power Automate
- Automate a business process using Power Automate
- Get started with Power Automate buttons
- Use best practices to secure and govern Power Platform environments
- Create and use analytics reports with Power BI
- Create relationships, business rules, calculations and rollups in Dataverse
- Create bots with Power Virtual Agents
- Bring AI to your business with AI Builder
- Improve business performance with AI Builder
Wherever available, I would recommend always following the links to any further documentation suggested in Microsoft Learn. I would also recommend allowing more time than is estimated to complete the Modules. In my experience, it always takes longer to work through the resources than estimated.
As you can see from the number of learning paths, this is a hefty body of learning. Therefore I would recommend planning to study for PL-2oo over a number of weeks.
Other learning material ...
I had heard that PL-200 was quite a tricky exam, covering a huge range of features. So I was keen to find additional resources. My first step was to purchase the Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant PL-200 Exam Guide. The author is none other than Julian Sharp, famed for his study groups! As you would expect, his comprehensive guide covers all elements of the PL-200 exam. In addition, Julian shares priceless nuggets of information. Many of these gained through his depth experience of all things Power Platform.
As with most exam preparation, I would also recommend getting some hands on practice. And this is particularly true for this exam as it covers such a huge range of features. Microsoft provide ‘trial’ environments that can be used for study and evaluation purposes. And you can find further details on these at the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Trials site.
Taking the exam ...
Information on the exam itself is available on the PL-200 certification page on Microsoft Learn. You can also book the exam from there. I would advise anyone new to Microsoft certification to check through the Exam Resources section. It is also a good idea to check the information relating to exams and question types included on Microsoft Docs.
You can either take exams remotely or in person at a test centre. More recently I have taken quite a few exams at home. And I have not experienced many issues preparing for this. I usually allow around 15 minutes to prepare the room for the exam. This includes covering my bookcase with a blanket, clearing my desk, and unplugging my second monitor. This is typically good enough for the security check.
A security check will need to be carried out before taking an exam at home. In addition to the preparations I have mentioned above, I normally leave around 15 minutes for this. This is usually enough time to upload photos of my workspace and ID. Once uploaded these are verified, and occasionally need to be retaken.
On this occasion, the exam invigilator asked me to completely empty my desk. Although I have taken 10 exams at home, this is only the second time I have been asked to do this. It was a bit annoying, and delayed the start of my exam by around 15 minutes. But an extra 15 minutes is no big deal when you’ve been preparing for weeks. So if you do happen to find yourself in this situation don’t worry. Just patiently comply and try not to become anxious. Hopefully it will all turn out well in the end, as it did for me!