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How I Prepared and Successfully Passed the DA-100 Microsoft Exam

DA-100 is a role-based certification for Data Analysts' job roles. This exam is a replacement of Exam 70-778 - Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI which was retired on January 31, 2021. I sat the 70-778 exam back in December 2018 and found some significant changes in the DA-100 exam when compared to 70-778.

The exam length is roughly 150 minutes, and you should expect around 60 questions. In DA-100, 25% of the questions are scenario-based, where you will be given a few case studies with a lot of extraneous details to read with the given exhibits and answer the questions. The questions were mostly simple to answer despite exhaustive details.

Skills Measured in the Exam


There are specific skills measured in the exam. Find below the skills sets and the percentage of the expected questions for each set:

  • Prepare the data (20-25%)
  • Model the data (25-30%)
  • Visualize the data (20-25%)
  • Analyze the data (10-15%)
  • Deploy and maintain deliverables (10-15%)


The official exam page states that they assess your knowledge on almost every bullet point appearing below each skillset, YES, they do.  I strongly suggest you thoroughly understand each bullet point and make yourself comfortable answering the related questions.

Preparing and Passing the DA-100 Exam


If you want to sit this exam and pass with confidence, you must do the preparation ahead of time. I have been using Power BI for nearly four years, but I found myself in trouble on the “Deploy and maintain deliverables” section as I had less exposure to it, so I had to allocate more learning time to it.

Always prepare based on proven methods. The internet is flooded with lots of resources, so pick your content wisely. I will share some of the resources that I used to prepare and succeed in the exam.


  • The 1st and foremost are the FREE Microsoft learning path tracks. You can find it right below the exam detail page. Microsoft has done a fantastic job putting up these learning paths, as they cover every topic from the skill set. You will also get some valuable quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.


    • If you want to learn or brush up your skills with each topic in the exam syllabus and prefer short video content on each topic, then I would highly recommend the DA-100 Training course on from Parker Steven. He has covered all the topics in the course and provided around 30+ quizzes for you to get trained well. It is affordable, and you get 7 days free trial as well.

    • I came across an article posted in, Study material for exam DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI. The author has linked the official Microsoft documentation to every topic in the exam syllabus. Moreover, the list is updated to reflect the latest changes in the skill set contents.


    • I have been contributing to the Power BI community forum for the past 15 months and solved around 1,200+ questions submitted by members. Microsoft has recognized me as a Power BI Super User IV for my contributions. This played an important role in my Power BI learning journey. You will find lots of community content such as webinars, blogs, answers to questions, and many more valuable resources to enhance your knowledge.


Practicing for the DA-100 Exam


Once you have learned the concepts, it’s time to practice them in line with the exam skill-set. I believe this a crucial part of the journey towards a successful exam. It helps identify and close the knowledge gaps. I would highly recommend the following resources for you:


  • Rishi Sapra,  a Microsoft Data Platform MVP has created an amazing set of Power BI Quizzes to practice questions related to DA-100. He also provides correct answers to the quizzes with explanations and links.


  • Cecilia Brusatori from Magna Data has put together an interactive quiz-style Power BI report with lots of questions to practice and sharpen your knowledge. You can select the areas you are interested in and start your practice. 


Tips for The Exam


I attended the exam from my home, it was online proctored. I liked the excitement and the energy on the day of the exam. If you plan to attend from home or office, please ensure to test your internet connection and the system and prepare the environment to make sure you have a smooth exam session.


  • Be prepared to sit through the whole of your session, you are not allowed to leave your seat for any reason.
  • They say you are monitored, and you are. I was looking away from my screen for a while as I felt a strain on my neck, and I was immediately informed through the chat window to keep my focus on the screen.
  • You are allowed to keep your water and coffee but no other stuff on the table such as papers, calculators, extra monitors, phones, etc.
  • Read your questions carefully before finalizing the answer because some wording may add complexity to the questions.
  • Your time is limited to around 2.5 minutes per question. Do not spend too much time if you are not sure about the answer. Select the answer that you think is correct and mark the question for review to come back later.
  • Avoid marking too many questions for revision as you will run out of time at the end to return and review.


In conclusion, I would like to wish you good luck and all the best for the exam if you are interested in taking part. Keep learning and practice more and more. Do not forget to visit the Power BI Community for any help.

In case you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

You may visit to know more about the instructor-led live Power BI training programs.


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