The completion of the roadmap takes around 40-60 hours. It pays off because the set of modules covers nearly all topics touched by exams. These free online courses were also my main training material.
Worth to mention a free to join Microsoft program: Visual Studio Dev Essentials. It unlocks temporary access to free azure services and training resources like a Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning, which can also be helpful during the training phase.
And of course, there is also an option of paid instructor-led courses via the network of learning partners:
This answer is going to be very subjective, but I have to say – “No, the two required exams are not something that you can go and pass blindly, without a preparation”. Even if you work with all involved technologies and Azure services during the last couple of years there is still a chance that some annoying questions will appear about services that are not yet in your toolbox.
Just to recall, 700 is a passing score. After months of training, I was attending exams full of confidence. To my surprise, I received 712 points on one of the exams. Of course, I was glad to receive a congratulations message on a Prometric screen, but my failure was a very close call.
I hope that answers on those three questions and the referenced content gives an understanding of the certification and will help to prepare for exams and pass them from a first try.
Many thanks for reading.