Last week I took (and passed :P) exam MB-300: Microsoft Dynamics 365: Core Finance and Operations. After taking other older exams I’d like to share my views on MB-300.
The MB-300: Microsoft Dynamics 365: Core Finance and Operations exam is part of the new role-based certifications, and with exam MB-500 is needed to get the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate certification.
You can see all the role-based paths in the image below (and click it to download the full poster):
As you can see all certifications have the MB-300 exam as a prerequisite.
When I started studying for the MB-300 I was expecting sort of an “entry level” exam for FnO. Just basic LCS usage, some Azure DevOps like BPM LCS sync or some work item creation and D365 UI usage and basic configuration.
Maybe this expectation was caused by what I remember about AZ-900 which is a really really really basic exam about Azure. It turns out the MB-300 exam is not basic at all. It has all those basic things I was expecting but it also has others more complicated. And as my colleague Juanan said:
And I’m a developer. Go check the MB-300 skills outline. Configuring workflows, security, legal entities, the DIXF, etc… I’ve obviously done most of that, but I sometimes need help from my functional colleagues to do it.
And from a functional consultant point of view it’s the same. Configuring the e-mail, integrate Power BI, test scripts, network printing, etc. This mix of functional and technical questions is what makes this exam a bit harder of what one would expect of the core exam.
Exams are getting harder
As I just said, I think that the exams are getting harder with the certification changes. Having taken other exams like the AZ-900 or MB6-894 (the old MSDyn365FO developer exam) I can tell Microsoft is raising the bar on its certification exams. The old ones used to be mostly multiple choice or yes/no questions while the newer exams have different types of questions:
- Multiple choice
- Blocks: you need to put some steps in the correct order to solve the problem.
- Case studies: you’re given a scenario with requirements and issues and need to answer some questions that depend on the case study.
- The lab: I’ll talk about this later.
The combination of all these different kind of questions makes, in my opinion, a more difficult exam. But this also makes…
Exams are getting better
I honestly think that passing an exam or earning a certification doesn’t mean you’re qualified to do what you’re expected to do after passing the it. You get that with years of experience. Passing the exam only means you learnt the contents of the exam 🙂
But the exams getting harder make better exams at qualifying people for what is expected from them. Because you really need to study, and you also need some experience. I don’t think the MB-300 will be an easy thing for someone that has little REAL experience with Dynamics 365 FnO.
And the next section is one of the main reasons for this.
I don’t know about other exams, and at least the MB-500 one doesn’t have this part. But I think that some AZ exams have it too: a hands-on lab!
After finishing the questions and the case studies you get the best part of the exam, the lab. A MSDyn365FO virtual machine where you need to complete tasks on Dynamics 365’s UI.
This is what proves that you have learnt and that you can do things and that’s where exams should head to. A way of proving you can DO things instead of proving you can memorize the learning portal 😉
I’m not a believer in exams and certifications to prove your worth or validate your skills. As I said, this comes with years of experience, failing and learning.