We know that taking a Salesforce Certification exam can be stressful, so we have put together some useful tips for before, during, and after the exam that you should keep in mind.
If it is your first time working on a Salesforce certification, we recommend you start with one of these three certifications as they do not have prerequisites. Regardless of which one you begin with, here are some useful tips to help you pass the exam and things you should consider when preparing.
- Salesforce Certified Administrator
- Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I
Before the exam
What should I consider before setting a date and time to take my first Salesforce certification exam?
Choose the right space
- Pick a quiet environment where there won’t be any loud noises or sounds to distract you when you’re trying to answer complex questions. Because the exams are proctored, make sure you’re the only person in the room. Keep the space where you will take the exam clean. It is best to only have your computer connected. Remember, remove any distractions.
- Schedule your exam on a weekend or another day where there are no other activities planned besides taking your exam. (No job, no projects, only the exam).
- Take the exam at a time where the internet is stable (don’t take the exam during peak hours when your internet connection is likely to be slow).
- Prepare the software and hardware in advance. In general, you will need:
- A stable internet connection. Using a cable is usually better than wifi.
- A computer. Check that your CPU is working properly and if it’s a laptop, don’t forget to connect your charger.
- Microphone and camera. Make sure they’re configured and fully functional in advance.
- A recent version of Windows / macOS with a system administrator account.
- Install and configure the required software that they use for the exam.
- Verify all software is working properly a day before taking the test.
- Read up on how the exam is structured. Every certification has a different exam, but the structure is published for each of them.
- Create a study plan. There are many ways to develop your study plan. How you approach it depends on your time, your studying technique, and other factors. Personally, I found that Jose Gomera has some really interesting articles on how to create a study plan.
- Speak with people who have already obtained the certification so they can tell you about their experience. This is one of the best things you can do!
- Rest and concentrate before the exam. Don’t stay up late the day before. Just review, eat well, and be as relaxed as possible when you take the exam.
- Postpone the exam date only if there is a major problem or think you should review or study more. It is possible to cancel the exam or change the date, any restrictions would depend on the type of exam you are taking.
- We recommend taking a look at these resources for practice exams, past exams, free courses, and much more:
During the exam
Keep calm and be patient. Once the exam has started, time will start running. However, the exam supervisor or proctor can interrupt you at any time to verify everything is going smoothly and to ask you to show specific things, like:
- Your ID
- Your surroundings
- Your eyeglasses
- That you don’t have any devices in your ears (such as earphones)
- That you don’t have any jackets or pockets. Wear something simple with no pockets or places where you could hide information.
Before starting the exam the proctors may take some time to answer any questions that you have regarding the test. Verify the evaluation criteria, such as the number of questions, duration of the exam, and the time you will have available to answer each question. Once everything is ready you will be able to continue with the exam. Keep in mind that the proctor may interrupt you if you make any “suspicious” movement. Try to avoid this, as you will not enjoy being interrupted during the test.
Organize your time and prioritize
Start by reading the questions carefully. If you don’t fully understand a specific question, read it again. There is no need to rush. If you don’t know the answer, try not to waste time on that question as that will leave you with less time to answer the ones that you do know!
How to organize yourself:
- Read the questions carefully and analyze them. These questions are designed to confuse you and may have keywords that can change the meaning of the question completely.
- Answer the “easy” questions first. Start by answering the questions you are sure you know or that may seem easier to you first. But be careful, some questions may seem simple but were designed to be tricky.
- Skip (or leave for later) any questions that you do not understand, or that require extra time for calculations. By answering the easier questions at the beginning you leave yourself extra time for the questions that require more analysis.
- If a question is too long, save it for the end. They are designed to take extra time and confuse you. It would be better to answer them at the end.
Once you have answered all the questions, try not to change too many of your answers. Be confident in your work.
After the exam
I passed the exam, what should I do?
Verify the result. Salesforce sends your certification by email.
Check your certification expiration date. We recommend knowing the expiration date of your certifications so you can make plans to renew them on time.
What should I do if I failed my exam?
Salesforce will send you the results. After you have finished your certification exam, Salesforce will send you an email with the percentage you have achieved for each of the exam topics. This will help you know which areas in you will need more training on before you take the exam again.
Take it easy. Everyone wants to pass their exam on their first try, and not passing makes us feel frustrated. Don’t give up! Review the topics you have failed, study them again, practice, and remember that you already have experience.