How to get certified
Salesforce Administrator 201 Certification
Salesforce is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand skills in IT right now, and to add that knowledge to your resume can have a payoff almost immediately. The Salesforce ecosystem extends far past its original cloud-based CRM platform, so Salesforce technical skills prove extremely useful and necessary in a wide range of areas, from system administrators, to product managers, developers, integration architects and beyond.
Becoming Salesforce Certi fied is not only a highly effective way to prove your skills are current and at the expected baseline level but more often than not a prerequisite for companies who seek Salesforce experts. Most Salesforce-related jobs will require a minimum of one certi cation, and the entry-level – but no less challenging – is the Salesforce Certi ed Administrator certi cation.
One thing I hear a lot from people with multiple Salesforce certifications is that passing the Certi ed Administrator exam was one of the hardest. Why? Well, because it’s the rst one and the material covered is very comprehensive. So although this is a prerequisite exam to several other certi cation paths, it’s not one you can simply show up and take the test without preparation, even if you’ve worked with Salesforce for years.
Don’t let the dif culty level of the test put you off, though. The good news is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re already an experienced system administrator who wants to take the next step and get certi ed, or if you come from a completely different background and decided to learn a new set of skills from scratch. Getting that rst certi cation can be achieved in a few months, even if this is the rst time you’re reading the word “Salesforce”. You just need to devise a plan, prepare and practice.
I passed the Salesforce Certi ed Administrator exam exactly 3 months after I started studying for it. Before that, my Salesforce knowledge was very limited, to say the least. But with that goal in mind, I also wanted to pass the rst time I took the test. Ambitious? Maybe, but very feasible as I later found out.
There are different ways you can prepare for the exam. Salesforce University runs courses onsite or online, one of them being the Administration Essentials for New Admins (Admin201), which can run you about $4500 for the 3-day course. You read that gure correctly. So if you or the company you work for are not willing to make that investment on your certi cation goals, there are many self-study resources online that can help you prepare for the exam. I took the second option which proved to be highly rewarding and I plan on using those same resources for my future certi cation exams.
What to expect from the exam?
Understanding the format of this test will help you structure the way you study for it.
There are 60 multiple-choice questions (plus 5 unscored questions) and 105 minutes to complete.
65% is the passing score, which means you need 39 correct answers.
You may take the test at a test centre, or remotely on your own computer. The second option is monitored through a webcam and you must submit your biometrics and follow strict guidelines beforehand, but may be worth it if you don’t have a test centre near
you or need more exibility in terms of scheduling. You can nd the information about scheduling your exam and the guidelines here.
The fee to take the test is $200 and the retake fee is $100.
Every question is worth 1 mark on the test. Some questions will ask you to pick more than one correct answer but you either get the whole point or nothing. There’s no partial marks for a multi-select question.
The questions on the exam are scenario based. Some questions are longer than others.
You can mark questions for review on your screen during the test, and that’s a tool I highly recommend using so you can maximize your ef ciency during the test.
When taking the test, if you know the answer to a question right away, don’t dwell on it or second-guess yourself. Pick your answer and move on. Likewise, if you don’t know the answer, mark for review and come back to it later so you have time to answer the ones you know.
Use all the allotted time given on the test and read each question carefully, while always being mindful of the clock. I recommend spending 70 minutes on the 60 questions, allowing yourself the remaining 20 minutes for questions marked for review. So if you see yourself spending over 1 minute per question, it may be time to move quicker.
Some of the multiple choice options will have made-up names for things such as a “List” Report Format, which doesn’t exist or is not one of the report formats in Salesforce. You can eliminate those options easily right off the bat.
None of the exams are open-book so you may not bring any notes, hardcopy material or take notes with you during the exam. Before 2017, Salesforce would only give you “Pass” or “Fail” results at the end of your exam. Now, they are including Section-Level Feedback Results, shown as a percentage of correct answers from each topic on the exam, as outlined on the exam guide. It’s great feedback because it shows you exactly what your strong points are or areas you could practice more, in case you fail.
Once you pass, you’ll receive an email with your test results, a link to your certifi cate as well as a link to the of cial “Salesforce Certi ed” badge that you can add to your pro le photos on LinkedIn, social media, or pretty much anywhere you would like to brag about! You’ll also be invited to the exclusive Salesforce Certifi ed Success Community.
Some very important topics to focus on:
Standard & Custom Objects 15%
Sales & Marketing Applications 15%
Security & Access 14%