prepare for salesforce certification

How to Prepare for Salesforce Certification Exams

Attesting your Salesforce knowledge with the corresponding certification is an eventual step to finalize lingering hours of training and learning the platform. In this article, we will go through the types of certificates, clarify why investing money and resources in obtaining one is beneficial, and answer lots of frequently asked questions regarding this issue. Moreover, we will provide you with preparation tips and specific examples of materials that can be of help to prepare for Salesforce certification exams.

Salesforce Certification Is Beneficial & Here’s Why

There are divergent views regarding the actual value of having Salesforce certification. At the end of the day, the platform has a steep learning curve, thus, so are the certification standards. So one of the most common questions people who are just setting about the platform ask is “Is it really worth getting Salesforce certified?”.

This question was posed in an interview with certified Salesforce professionals, and overall, the masterminds presume that having certificates is important. Almost all agree that having the certification is especially profitable for specialists searching for a job since this document is considered to be a huge argument that verifies both Salesforce knowledge and expertise. Besides, since the platform requires intense studying, the learners already have all the needed knowledge under their belt and it wouldn’t hurt to prove it by obtaining a certificate that’ll back up the mental energy they have invested in the process.

Among other reasons for getting certified is the ability to be kept up to date with the latest Salesforce releases and updates thanks to the mandatory certificate maintenance. 

On the other end of the spectrum, some respondents also believe that certification is not a compulsory requirement for those with rich practical experience and a great number of work cases.

Types of Salesforce Certificates & Which One to Get First

In total, there are 32 types of Salesforce certifications that can be obtained. Some of them are built upon previous certifications, others are not.

  • Salesforce Certified Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
  • Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist
  • Salesforce Certified B2C Commerce Architect
  • Salesforce Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Heroku Architecture Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Identity and Access Management Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Integration Architecture Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Application Architect
  • Salesforce Certified System Architect
  • Salesforce Certified Technical Architect
  • Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Community Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Field Service Lightning Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Nonprofit Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Education Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I
  • Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II
  • Salesforce Certified B2C Commerce Developer
  • Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist
  • Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer
  • Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist
  • Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant
  • Salesforce Accredited B2B Commerce Administrator
  • Salesforce Accredited B2B Commerce Developer

The answer to the question “Which Salesforce certificate to get first?” greatly depends on the individual’s level of technical expertise, as well as previous experience and education. Generally speaking, if you’re a newbie, it is recommended to begin with the first certificate from the above-mentioned list since it covers all the rudiments and is perfect for starting out with the platform.

The next step and the path you choose to follow will significantly depend on the requirements and your considerations. As such, if your goal is, say, having the Salesforce Application Architect certificate, you will have to pass the exams to get the four prerequisites: Platform App Builder, Sharing and Visibility Designer, Data Architecture and Management Designer, Platform Developer I.

Taking Salesforce Certification Exams For Free: Is It Possible?

No. There are some fees for getting certified. The cost ranges from $200 all the way up to $6,000. The highest price is for the only one certification: Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. Other ones are less expensive. As such, the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator exam costs $200 and a retake exam for those who fail is offered at half-price. It includes about 65 questions that take approximately 1 h 40 min to complete.

Which Materials Can Be of Help to Prepare for Salesforce Certification

Trailhead Trails & Modules

Your way to Salesforce mastering should begin with getting familiar with the open-source materials provided by Trailheads. It is interesting to note that the courses were created by the Salesforce platform itself for free learning. All information is logically split into small units – modules and trails and the website provides users with everything they need to know. Every module is a short, easy-to-use, and self-paced tutorial that covers specific topics a user wants to tackle right away. Once a module is completed, you earn badges and points that serve as evidence of the fact that you’ve studied the material well and now have the needed skills.

In the screenshot below you may see how the Platform App Builder Exam preparation trail looks like.

Prepare for Salesforce certification exams

Salesforce Trailblazer Community & Official Documentation

Of course, reading the Salesforce official documentation is essential for your exam preparation. There you can find a lot of how-to’s, release notes, tutorials, product announcements, and other useful information. Topical listing and cross-linking make the pages easy to navigate.

Similarly, in the Salesforce Trailblazer community, there are tons of Q&A, posts, case studies, guides available, as well as discussions where actual Salesforce specialists are involved. Hence, the Trailblazer Community is definitely a treasure-house of in-depth insights and handy information.

Prepare for Salesforce certification exams

Focus on Force

Focus on Force is the courses, study guides, and video exams tailored to be of help for your Salesforce career. Moreover, there you’ll find useful recommendations from those professionals who can share their experience of passing the certification. The materials and exams are offered on a paid basis but they give, by all accounts, a pretty good foundation for assisting people in learning the platform.

Specialized Blogs

On the web, there are many specialized blogs highlighting Salesforce exam preparation. For instance, the blog you are reading right now has a lot of information in regards to passing exams and provides some tutorials along with handy tips and tricks.

Quizlet and Flashcards

The famous platform Quizlet can assist people in getting certified in many ways. First, it offers flashcards that will help a learner to prepare with Salesforce certification terms and commit them to memory. Apart from that, you may try to pass a test in order to check out how well you know the platform. 

Prepare for Salesforce certification exams

Final Word

All in all, there is no better way to prepare for Salesforce certification exams than intense field-working. By trying to set up and implement various things in Salesforce, you can sharpen your skills and back up your knowledge. Salesforce provides its users with the ability to create an account for free for learning purposes. As such, you can play around with settings and configurations to learn the platform at a faster pace.

Alex Husar
Alex Husar, a CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento and Salesforce. He graduated from Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.
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