I have been working with Marketing Cloud (aka ExactTarget) for about 5 years and decided it was finally time to take my Marketing Cloud Email Specialist exam, but had no idea where to start. While Salesforce provides great materials for those who choose to take the exam, most people find that combining those materials with other techniques gives the best possible outcome.
I take certification tests pretty seriously. I wanted to take the time to really prepare for the exam, so I decided to create a solid foundation to study from. At the end of my journey, I successfully passed the exam so, I thought I would help others by giving an overview of my successful techniques.
It’s important to start by saying, the purpose of this article is not to provide a crash course for people that want to cram, pass, and purge. Anyone wanting to get their Marketing Cloud Email Specialist certification should have some good exposure to the tool.
So, let’s get into it. What did I do?
First, I made sure that I set aside the necessary time for the exam. I gave myself one week. To ensure I stayed committed, I actually booked the Certification Exam for Friday at 1:30 pm. I then blocked a full-day and then two half days for study prep.
On my full-day, I compiled my study notes! It was pretty simple:
Step 1: Review the materials Salesforce provides on the Salesforce Certification website.
Step 2: I know it sounds silly, but I actually copy and pasted Section 5. Exam Outline into a Google Doc of my own. I included the section heading and weight for each topic. It was actually really painful to get all the formatting out of the PDF so that the Google Doc was usable, but it was helpful.
Step 3: I searched every topic in the Exam Outline in the Marketing Cloud Documentation site. I then copy/pasted the actual documentation into my Google Sheet. It was super time-consuming. The Marketing Cloud Documentation site is not easily searched, so it took me literally the entire day to find each Exam Guide topic, an example of a topic is the right.
At the end of my full-day, I had 14 pages of Marketing Cloud documentation that was specific to the exam. Now you are probably asking: “why in the world didn’t she share THAT masterpiece?” Well, I believe that taking the time to actually do the research was what helped me actually learn. Remember, this is not the guide to cram, pass, and purge.
On my two half days, I reviewed my 14-page study guide. I read it, and read it, and read it. There was a ton of detail that I knew, but I’m not sure I would have known in enough detail. For example, I knew A/B Testing functionality, but I could not have told you off the top of my head the six test types.
On exam day, I reviewed my study guide one more time, but I was super nervous. I needed a brain break, so I went for a run. I knew I had studied and I was as prepared as I felt I could be — I needed a mental break. I arrived for the exam about 30 minutes early and was quickly at the computer, pencil and paper, and ready to nail it!
Simple Test Strategy Tips
- Take your time! I was ready to spend the entire 90 minutes if needed.
- Read every question carefully. Salesforce likes to write tricky questions that can often trip you up, so I made myself read slowly and carefully.
- And my best test tip: Use the “Mark For Review” checkbox for those questions you absolutely answered correctly. The pass rate is 60%, so I wanted to make sure that I was 100% confident on at least 36 questions.
It took me about 45 minutes to complete my first pass of the exam. I had marked 48 questions as “Mark For Review,” so I was feeling pretty confident. I did take my time to review the 12 questions I was unsure of, but ultimately, I only ended up with 48 questions I was 100% sure of so, I pushed the submit button!
I’ve never been so happy to see the word “Passed.”
With the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist exam under my belt, I am off to tackle the Marketing Cloud Consultant Exam. Wish me luck! Do you have any tips for passing the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Exam? If so, I’d love to hear them below!