Skip to content

Contact sales

By filling out this form and clicking submit, you acknowledge our privacy policy.

AZ-500 Certification: Azure Security Engineer Associate guide

Everything you need to know to take the AZ-500: test difficulty, requirements, pass score, exam structure, preparation materials, and more.

Dec 20, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

Please set an alt value for this image...
  • Cloud
  • Security
  • Learning & Development
  • azure

Looking to take the AZ-500 and become a certified Azure Security Engineer Associate? There's nobody better to guide you through the process than Pluralsight's Senior Azure Training Architect Wayne Hoggett, who has successfully taken not just this exam, but also the more advanced Cybersecurity Architect Expert.

What is the AZ-500 certification?

The AZ-500 certification exam is the only requirement to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate certification. It’s designed to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills as an Azure security engineer. As an Azure security engineer, you implement, manage, monitor and secure resources in Azure and multi-cloud environments. With your knowledge, you are also able to recommend which configurations and services can be used to protect identities, data, applications and networks.

How hard is the AZ-500 exam?

While technically an associate level exam, AZ-500 is one of the more difficult associate-level Microsoft certification exams. You’re expected to have practical experience in administering Azure hybrid environments. You also should be very familiar with the foundational level components of the Microsoft cloud, including compute, network and storage, and identity with Microsoft Entra.

What are the requirements for the AZ-500?

There are no mandatory exam requirements for the AZ-500 exam. But, you definitely should prepare for AZ-500 by first preparing for and passing at least the AZ-900 certification exam. You will also benefit from any other certification exams that will help reinforce your foundational knowledge, including the AZ-104 exam, AZ-204, AZ-800, and even AZ-305.

Personally, I took the AZ-500 exam after AZ-305. I found it useful because I first learned the architecture of Azure, and then was able to look at that same architecture with a security lens.

Does the AZ-500 exam have labs?

While I can’t be 100% sure what you will see on the AZ-500 exam, the chances of encountering a lab are fairly low. For AZ-500, you are mostly likely to see the following question types:

  • Multiple choice - Where there are multiple possible answers and only one answer is correct

  • Multiple choice, multiple select - Where there are multiple possible answers and one or more answers are correct

  • Drag and drop - Where you have movable options on the left side of the screen that you must correctly place on the right side of the screen, some or all of the options on the left may be required

  • Built list reorder - Where you move options on the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen and place them in the correct order, some or all of the options on the left may be required

  • Active screen - Where you select or mark options on a screen element such as a desktop window

  • Hot Area - Where you must select one or more clickable areas to mark the correct answer or answers

  • Case Study - Where you must review requirements and existing environments and answer a series of questions based on the case study

And finally, you may have sections of the exam where you cannot return to the previous question or section. The sections will sometimes have one question repeated with different potential solutions. Sometimes only one of the answers will be the correct answer.

Is the AZ-500 a good certification? 

AZ-500 is one of the best certification exams to take, especially if you are working or would like to work as an Azure security engineer or multi-cloud security engineer.

How much does the AZ-500 exam cost to take? 

The AZ-500 certification exam is currently $165 USD and the price is subject to change and local currency conversion.You may be entitled to a discount for a number of reasons, including if your employer is part of the Enterprise Skills Initiative, check with your employer and/or Microsoft Representative for more information. Academic pricing is also available for students.

There may also be other offers, so go here for the current list.

What sort of jobs can I get with the AZ-500?

You can expect to see AZ-500 certification as a requirement for roles like:

  • Cloud Security Engineer

  • Cloud System and Network Administrator

  • Systems Administrator

  • Senior Systems Engineer

  • Technical Lead

How long is the AZ-500 valid for?

Once you pass the exam, the certification you earn is valid for one year and can be renewed for free by passing a renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn.

What is the structure of the AZ-500 exam?

The AZ-500 exam will be likely broken up into multiple sections. You will likely see at least one case study section, a section with a variety of question types and one or more sections with questions where you cannot return to the previous question or section.

What is the pass score for the AZ-500?

To pass the exam, you need to achieve a score of at least 700 out of a possible 1000 points. It’s important to know that 700/1000 isn’t technically 70%. The passing score is calculated based on your ability to answer the questions and the difficulty of the questions. 

It’s also important to point out that points are never deducted. You should answer every question, even if you need to guess.

Can I take the AZ-500 multiple times?

Whether you pass or fail the exam, you can take the exam multiple times. You might not want to take it a second time if you pass, but it’s good to know you can if you want a thorough check of your skills. But it’s far more likely that you will opt to keep your certification current using the free renewal assessments.

If you don’t pass the exam however, you can also take the exam again. You only need to wait 24 hours before having a second go, if you need to have another go though, you will need to wait 14 days, and may be limited to 5 attempts in a calendar year.

Microsoft also offers an Exam Replay feature where you can take your exam again if you don’t manage to achieve a passing score on the first attempt.

How many questions are in the AZ-500 exam?

Microsoft doesn’t officially state exactly how many questions you will get on your exam, but you can expect it to be somewhere between 40 and 60. I would expect to see about 55 questions on your exam.

What are the key pointers to remember for the AZ-500 exam?

As you prepare for your exam, take note of the verbs  that Microsoft uses in the Skills Measured on the official study guide. You should have hands-on experience for skills that use the following verbs:

  • Secure

  • Implement

  • Manage

  • Configure

  • Monitor

  • Evaluate

  • Integrate

  • Assign

And you should be familiar with the prerequisites for skills that use the following verbs:

  • Plan

  • Enable

And you should be familiar with the pros and cons of specific services and when you should use them for the following verbs:

  • Recommend

  • Select

How do I prepare for the AZ-500 exam?

You’ll need a mix of theoretical and practical experience to prepare for the AZ-500 exam. I recommend starting with the AZ-500 learning path here on Pluralsight where we take you down the layers of the Defense in Depth strategy.

By taking the learning path, you will get the chance to learn new skills in video lessons and how those new skills are applied in walkthroughs and hands-on labs. And finally, you will get a chance to review and check your learning outcomes with quizzes and practice exams.