A Guide to the Salesforce Admin Certificate – Part 2
Hemant Bhatia – Salesforce Consultant at Bluewave, and fully certified Salesforce Administrator, shares his knowledge about the Salesforce Administrator Certificate, and most importantly – how to ace the exam and get the qualification yourself. Before getting started, if you haven’t read it already, check out part 1 for some background on the Salesforce Admin Certification itself. Now for Hemant’s tips – in his own words.
Part 2: Your Journey to Certification
Hi again! Now, I guess if you have reached this far, that means you’re well on your way to being a ‘Super’ Salesforce Admin. Part 2 of this article is designed to help you understand the starting point of your Salesforce journey, giving you tips and tricks to get your Salesforce Administrator certification.
First of all, if you haven’t already signed up for the Trailhead you can always do it now by clicking this link.
Why is Trailhead so important? It’s a platform created directly by Salesforce, for every individual to learn the ins and outs of Salesforce technology, completely for free. Trailhead offers Salesforce users and consultants a gamified learning experience, which can bring out your competitive side, but is ultimately a lot of fun. There are made-up characters, company movie references, and jokes w- all designed to make learning really enjoyable. The best part about Salesforce learning is that you may not need to purchase any course in order to understand all the basics.
Apart from the Trailhead, there are a few more core websites like help.salesforce and developer.salesforce. These sites are vital to all Salesforce admins, developers, and consultants. Without them, it’s quite hard to make the most out of the platform. Make sure you check these out too, and keep referring back to them as you go along with your Salesforce certification journey.
Blazing Your Trail
Signed up? Great, let’s start! Salesforce provides brief descriptions of the certifications, along with certification guides for each of the published certifications that they offer. Certainly for the Admin certifications, they have an exam guide (which I’ve linked up here) – this guide allows an individual to know what they must to understand before they can attempt the exam, similar to a course module you get when you register in a college or university.
The exam guide offers a lot of help, firstly in the form of a TrailMix (a series of modules accumulated together by users for covering topics), Trails (the same thing, but made by Salesforce), and Superbadges (another credible thing on the Trailhead – the good news is they’re free, the bad news is they’re really tough). Apart from this, it also helps you know what active free webinar courses are available in the upcoming month, for registration. These online Salesforce-led courses will give you a real-time overview of all the Salesforce Admin modules. You can use this as a refresher if you’ve taken a break from your Admin cert. Additionally, there are some paid online courses, hosted by Salesforce as well as Salesforce partners and consultants online.
You won’t need that though, because here I am helping you learn all the basics, step by step, of the Salesforce Admin certification. My personal experience and opinion have helped me formulate a certain series of trailheads which will allow you to develop your understanding, from the basics – like understanding what Salesforce is – to more detailed topics – like understanding the core modules within the admin cert.
Here’s a link to the Trailmix I have created especially for this blog – Link
Apart from the above trail mix, I recommend you go through practice tests available online for free. There’s a trail mix for this, created by the Trailhead. I also suggest you visit this link at least once, to get all the details from Salesforce about the certification.
Some Insider Knowledge
Here’s another tip: the core topics you should be focusing on are Object Management, including lightning app builders. It can seem pretty straightforward, but the questions that pop up during the test could be confusing. An admin must also be confident in configuration and setup, which involves competency with company settings, group settings, user management, and more. Automations are a core part of an admin’s role, so you’ll need a strong understanding of processes like workflows and process builders. I also suggest you get to grips with Flows, as that’s a really important aspect of it too. There are a lot of different topics that an admin needs to know, but these are the ones I’ve highlighted, to help you build a solid foundation of knowledge for the exam, and to take into the working world.
Getting Ready for the Exam
Once you’ve completed the Trailmix above, you should feel a lot more confident on the Salesforce platform. You should now be able to perform all of the admin duties, but are you ready for the exam? Ask yourself this question first, because lot of people I’ve met ended up rescheduling their exams multiple times due to time constraints, or a lack of preparation. Every individual grows in their own time and there’s really no rush or any harm in waiting before getting ready for the exam. So, before going ahead just relax and understand. Set a target date for your exam and allocate a little time for revision every day in the run up to the exam. This will boost your confidence and prepare you for the exam day.
To book your exam, register here: www.webassessor.com. This is the only website where you can register for the different certifications available in the Salesforce ecosystem. Registered exams can be taken in two modes: online (with a laptop and camera that has no antivirus software, if you’re using antivirus, please disable it for the duration of the exam) or on-site, which will require a visit to the exam centre. The benefits of the latter is that you’ll get the full examination experience and this may help you concentrate better, but obviously doing it online means you can do it in your own time, in your own space, where you may feel more comfortable. There’s no better option here, just pick whichever suits you best.
All the details for the examination are available on the webassessor website, read them way in advance to allow yourself enough time before the exam.
You’ve probably experienced many different exams in your whole life, so I know I don’t need to give you any basic exam tips. What I will provide, though, is some technical tips that are relevant to this exam specifically. If you’re sitting the online exam, my first bit of advice is to make sure your desk is tidy. If you’re using a monitor, just remove it or hide it from view, as they’re not allowed during the exam. Same for headphones and water bottles. You also won’t be allowed to take a bathroom break during the exam, so please be mindful of that too.
The exam itself consists of a series of multiple choice questions, where you’re often choosing one option out of 4, although there are some questions where you will need to choose multiple options. Don’t dwell a question you’re unsure of, instead, just mark it for review and move to the next question – you’ll save precious time that way. Once you’ve answered all the questions you’re confident about, come back to the ones that were marked for review.
The passing score required for the exam is 65%, so don’t worry about getting absolutely everything right. There are 60 questions in total, so you need around 40 correct answers in order to clear the exam.
Exam Hack: some of these questions are designed to be difficult, but take advantage of the multiple choice format – some answer options won’t even make sense with the question, so they’re easy to eliminate in favour of more likely options, giving you a better chance of choosing the correct answer. Obviously it’s better to know the right answer straight away, but if you’re struggling with one or two questions, take away the least likely options and select from what remains.
Once you’ve gone through the exam, many of the other Salesforce certs you attempt will seem easy in comparison. When I was on my own path to becoming a Salesforce expert, I felt that the Salesforce Admin exam was the toughest. This was mostly because it was my first, and as I became more confident with Salesforce solutions and increased my knowledge, everything started to seem simple. In other words – it will get easier, so don’t let the difficulty of this exam put you off doing others in the future. There are many more certifications to try and get, and will each cert, you’ll gain more credibility.
I’d personally recommend going for Salesforce certifications like App Builder, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Platform Developer 1 – as you increase your experience in Salesforce, these are some key certs to add to your arsenal. Please don’t attempt these exams without experience though – you want to back up the credibility gained with a certification with knowledge and experience. Allow yourself at least six months of experience with each solution/area of expertise before attempting the certification.
Finally, if you enjoyed this blog, please share it with others who are thinking about going for a Salesforce Admin Certification. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to me via LinkedIn. I look forward to writing more blogs and would like to accommodate any pointers into future articles. If you need more guidance, you can also reach out to my directly, via my TrailHead profile. Thank you so much for reading this, and stay tuned for future blogs from me!
If you’d like to know more about Bluewave’s Salesforce expertise and digital transformation projects, please contact a member of our team today.