Are you preparing to become a Salesforce Certified Administrator? If that’s the case, the exam might make you anxious and take you back to school, when everything stopped before a big exam. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here we offer some tips that will help you.
To be clear, this article does not intend to be a comprehensive how-to guide or a set of instructions that guarantee your approval as a Salesforce Certified Administrator the first time. Instead, it is the story of how I passed my Salesforce Certified Administrator exam on my first attempt, within only two months, and without spending more than $50 (excluding the examination fee). My hope is that someone benefits from my journey and the tips I picked up along the way.
As a global consultant and Sage Business Cloud Implementor, Salesforce experience was essential. I didn’t have much experience with the Salesforce platform before being hired, so I knew I had to make great strides before I would be considered for the job. I decided to call a friend in the IT industry.
Tip 1: Ask for help. Call a friend. Ask people who are familiar with Salesforce about your journey. They can offer invaluable advice, insights, and resources.
The response I got was not reassuring. My friend said, “The Salesforce Admin Certification exam? That’s tough. Even people who are familiar with the platform fail that exam.” That wasn’t great news for me – not only was I unfamiliar with Salesforce, but I also didn’t have much time to get acquainted with it either. I had only 2 months to get certified. The recommended amount of experience as a Salesforce Administrator before attempting the exam is at least 6 months.
Tip 2: A great place to start is http://certification.salesforce.com/administrator. Read the “About the Exam” section and download the exam guide. After I saw the exam scope in the guide, an old African saying came to mind: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
As hard as it may be to imagine eating an elephant, I like the idea of bite-sized chunks, and that is what The Complete Salesforce Administrator Certification Course found on www.udemy.com offered. For only $10, I got lifetime access to the course. It contains 75 lectures and 11 hours of videos that cover each section of the Salesforce Administrator Certification exam. This course offered a good introduction to, and a great overview of, the Salesforce platform. In conjunction with the course, it was crucial to register for my own Org on the Salesforce platform, exploring and experimenting with what I was learning in the lectures.
Tip 3: Get started with your own Salesforce Org immediately.
Another useful and fun resource comes from Salesforce itself. Salesforce Trailhead is absolutely free. Trailhead guides you through the Salesforce platform using modules, guided learning paths, called trails, and projects. One of the best things about Trailhead is that you get cool badges to show off as you complete units of learning. This motivates you to keep moving forward with your learning.
Tip 4: Change your tactic. Six days before taking my exam, I tried a mock test and failed terribly. So I went back to Google, where I made a valuable discovery: Certified on Demand. The Certified on Demand (CoD) study guide is a collection of articles, videos, and blog posts designed to help the user pass a Salesforce Certification exam. The first 6 sections of the study guide are free. Access to the full study guide must be purchased for $40. These are some of the advantages of the CoD study guide:
- Each section indicates whether it “could”, “should”, or “must” be studied. This aspect is excellent if you are running short on time because you can focus on what matters right now.
- The study guide contains references to Salesforce articles related to the topics under discussion.
- Each section ends with a quiz and many sections contain scenario questions. These questions and quizzes provide excellent practice for answering test questions.
Tip 5: Exam technique. The following worked for me when I sat my exam:
- When I came across a question that I definitely knew the answer to, I filled out my choice straight away.
- When I came across a question for which I definitely did not know the answers I guessed and moved on. Time is limited in this exam, so don’t waste it! You will not spontaneously come up with the correct answer by staring at the question.
- When I came across a question that I wasn’t sure about I eliminated the answers that I definitely knew were wrong, filled out a choice that I thought could be correct, marked the question for later review, and moved on.
- Once I had completed or marked for review all 60 questions, I went back to the questions that I had marked for review, analyzed them some more, and made my final choices.
- Read the questions carefully!
Tip 6: Don’t give up. Not everyone will pass the first time, but actually doing the exam serves as excellent training to get an idea of which areas you need to improve on and how it is structured.
Preparing for your Salesforce Certified Administrator exam requires sacrifice, dedication, and determination. What you don’t need is exhaustive Salesforce experience, several months of time, or a great deal of money. Use the inexpensive resources available online, use your time wisely, and invest less than $100, and you can meet your goals.