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The Essential Study Guide for Salesforce Certifications

By 09.29.22
Reading time: 4 minutes

A Salesforce certification is a demonstration and verification that you have expertise in a given area of Salesforce. But there’s a vast divide between wanting a Salesforce certification and actually obtaining one. Getting certified takes tremendous dedication and discipline to prepare for and pass the certification exam. 

But those who achieve mastery with a Salesforce certificate will be rewarded with attractable skill sets on their resume and a competitive edge for job opportunities. The in-demand skills you’ll gain from a Salesforce certification will position you to take advantage of the 9 million jobs the Salesforce ecosystem is set to create by 2026.

Role-based Salesforce credentials are available for administrator, architect, consultant, designer, developer, and marketer. Here we focus on the Salesforce Administrator Certification and Platform App Builder Certification, but most of this guidance applies to other exams.

Salesforce Administrators usually work with stakeholders to define requirements, customize the platform, and enable users to get the most out of Salesforce. Salesforce App Builders develop custom applications on the Lightning Platform, enhancing the Salesforce Platform experience and extending Salesforce functionality through development and enablement on the Lightning Platform.

What are some helpful resources to prepare for the Salesforce certification exam?

It can seem overwhelming to know where to begin preparing for the certification exam. Luckily, many resources are available via Salesforce and other channels to help prepare you to take the exam. 

Your first step is to sign up for a Trailhead account. Trailhead is Salesforce’s gamified online learning platform where you can create your Trailhead Playground, a free online testing environment to learn Salesforce. 

Take your time reviewing the Administrator trails on Trailhead and allow yourself to absorb the information as you go through the modules and collect badges. Familiarize yourself with the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide. This guide is your official and up-to-date information resource for content about the exam.

Use our comprehensive Salesforce Admin Pacing Guide and Salesforce App Builder Pacing Guide to better organize your study time, keep track of your progress, and take notes as you gain hands-on experience.

These are some helpful resources beyond Salesforce that we recommend checking out:

  • Talent Stacker’s 5-Day Challenge will give you a taste of what the Salesforce platform is capable of and understand what potential career growth it offers.
  • Mike Wheeler’s Administrator Certification course on Udemy lets you build along with him in your Trailhead Playground.
  • Focus on Force provides several resources. The Administrator Certification Study Guide is your best source of truth when it comes to being informed about the nuances of Salesforce. Also, watch the recorded Admin Study Group Videos where instructor Charly Prinsloo does a superb job explaining and demonstrating the platform fundamentals. Take the Focus on Force Topic Exams for each section once you’ve completed the guide and videos.

What Salesforce certification practice exams are recommended?

It would be best if you started taking practice exams about one to two weeks before the actual Salesforce certification exam. Try to complete at least one full practice exam per day. Mark the questions that stump you and go back to them later to clarify the correct answers.

One of our best tips for taking practice exams is to hide the answers. Try opening each question and only show the question by hiding the answers. This method forces you to think more about what the question is asking and what types of Salesforce concepts may apply rather than letting the answers lead you.

These are examples of the concepts you should thoroughly understand to pass the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam:

  • Managing users, data, and security.
  • Maintaining and customizing the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud apps.
  • Building reports, dashboards, and workflows.

Attend the Trailhead Administrator Certification Day webinar. The live webinar from Trailhead Academy helps connect the dots of everything you have studied. The instructor will review each exam section and cover the topics you must grasp to pass the exam on the first attempt. As a bonus, you’ll receive a coupon code to use when registering for the exam.

Here’s a comprehensive list of other practice exam resources: 

Finally, set a deadline by scheduling your exam. Having the end in sight will encourage you to stay on track and adhere to consistency with your practice exam plan. 

Any tips on balancing Salesforce certification exam prep with work and life?

Salesforce estimates that it will take a person between 115 and 125 hours to prepare for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam. That is a lot of time, and balancing exam prep with other areas of your life can be difficult. Try these tips for finding time in your day to dedicate to studying for the exam:

  • Adjust your sleep schedule: Depending on if you’re a night owl or a morning person, either stay up late or rise early to get in a few extra hours of studying. 
  • Learn while you listen: Multi-task on your commute or while exercising by listening to Bradley Rice on Salesforce for Everyone or Mike Wheeler on Urelevant.
  • Leverage non-working hours: Join Mike Wheeler’s Live Class, which is offered multiple times a year and usually during the evening hours when most people are not working.

Take your Salesforce career to the next level at Silverline

Once you’ve passed your Salesforce certification exam, remember that you must stay on top of completing your Trailhead maintenance modules. All certifications require the completion of one maintenance module per year, and if you don’t finish your maintenance requirements by your assigned deadline, your certification will expire.

Now it’s time to put your new Salesforce certification to use. At Silverline, we have a variety of open positions and encourage you to take a look and apply today.

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