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7 tips for acing your next Salesforce certification

If you are reading this article, it means that you are already thinking about becoming a Salesforce certified professional. But do you know why? Here are the 3 main reasons why people seek this certification:

7 tips to ace your certification banner


Be better at your job
If your company uses Salesforce and you are an internal admin, or are willing to become one, earning Salesforce credentials will help you take full advantage of Salesforce products and assist your company with user engagement and adoption. If you are consulting clients on Salesforce implementations, you will be able to quickly navigate the application and more efficiently handle customer and prospect requests. 

Experience is important, but not always enough
Certifications are as desirable as experience to employers—sometimes even more so. Earning Salesforce credentials is the best way to prove your Salesforce expertise in a very competitive ecosystem.

Be up-to-date on each release
When you have Salesforce credentials, you are forced to maintain the credential from time to time, which ensures that you will stay up-to-date on new releases. This is great because it means you will never become a dinosaur when it comes to your Salesforce skills.
The preparation process
1.    Understand the exam
The best way to start preparing for a Salesforce exam is to understand the rules of the game. The best place to do this is the certification study guide.
For whatever test you are taking, there is an exam guide containing every topic that will come up during your certification exam. You will also find information about the format of the exam, such as the number of multiple-choice/multi-select questions your exam has, the maximum time available to complete the exam, the passing score, and the registration fee.
2.    Set an exam date as your goal
Register for your exam after you analyze where you stand from a preparation perspective. Setting a firm date helps you work toward a goal without allowing yourself to slack off or think that you can take your time in preparing for the exam (which just may result in procrastination).
It is good practice to break down your goal into smaller milestones. You can set milestones for each topic of the exam, or each Trail you will complete in Trailhead, for example.
My advice is to schedule your exams for a Monday morning so that you can reserve the Sunday before the exam for your final review (yes, if you are willing to become a Salesforce certified professional, you will need to invest some personal time into it).

When registering for the exam, you will have two options: 
  • Onsite Proctoring—Complete Your Exam at a Testing Center
  • Online Proctoring—Complete Your Exam Remotely
To choose the right exam type for you, I highly recommend that you read the test-taking policies available here:

3.    Deep dive into Trailhead
Trailhead is an incredibly fun way to learn. Topics are organized into Trails that contain a selection of Modules, which are broken up into Units. Every time you complete a Module, you earn a badge that can be used to boost your Linkedin profile. Cool!
If you are looking to ace the Salesforce Admin exam, you can follow specific Trails to prepare, such as Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential or Study for the Administrator Certification Exam
4.    Complete Trailhead Supersets/Superbadges
To help you feel confident about the exam, superbadges ensure that you are ready to apply the skills you have learned to complex, real-world business problems. With Supersets, you can prove your expertise in specific roles and take the next step toward getting certified.
Here, you can find the right superset for your next certification: Trailhead Supersets.
5.    Join Trailblazer community groups
Join online and local groups to connect, learn, and have fun. With Trailblazer community groups, you can get help, answers, and inspiration from peers and community leaders.
Salesforce has more than 1000 active community groups. You will find groups for a huge number of topics or local regions to get help or meet people.
You will be surprised at how useful it is and how active those communities are.
Become part of a community group here.
6.    Follow YouTube channels and podcasts
A great additional resource that I have been using for years is YouTube content and podcasts.
An awesome YouTube channel that helped me understand the basic concepts of Salesforce is from Shell Black. This specific channel helped me a lot when I was preparing for the Admin certification.  
Another channel I follow is the Salesforce Automation Hour. It contains a webinar series related to automation possibilities in Salesforce.


 7.    Take practice exams, but be careful
The internet is full of practice or mock exams for Salesforce certifications. Some are paid and some are free. This is a great way to get into the mood of the exam, as the questions are scenario-based and full of tricks.
Just be careful with 2 things:
  • A mock exam (especially a free one) does not always have the correct answers. This could be because the person who created it made a mistake, or because the mock exam is outdated. Be critical. When you are not sure, go back to the documentation to ensure that you have the right choice.
  • Memorizing answers does not help with the real test. Because the real test does not contain the same questions you are practicing, memorizing the answers will not help. Try to understand the concepts behind each scenario and why a specific choice is the right answer.
Salesforce certifications are not easy, so be sure to invest enough time in the preparation process. If you follow those 7 tips, I guarantee that your chances of celebrating when you click the “finish” button will increase a lot.
Be prepared for failure and, if it occurs, use it to your advantage, to prepare better for your second trial.


About the author
Daniel Darugna jumped into the Salesforce world a few years ago, when giving a new start to his career. With 12 certifications, he is also known as the Certs Machine Gun at Nexell. Recently, he obtained the Certified Application Architect credential.
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