How I Passed my Admin Cert on the First Try
One of the most asked questions that I get is how I did it. How did I pass my certification? What should I study? How should I study?
Well, I'm going to address all of those questions today.
- I Signed Up on Trailhead
If you are new to the Salesforce Ecosystem, you might not know about the best training resource that SF offers: Trailhead. It has over 1,000 modules to help teach you about Salesforce and all of the products that they own. You can also find great modules on career development, project management, sales, customer service, and even on the culture of Salesforce.
If you are new, go here and become a trailblazer. I suggest taking the Trailhead Basics module first, so you can get the lay of the land.
- I completed the 'Prepare for your Salesforce Admin 201 Certification' trailmix.
Now, this may be tricky to find as a newbie, so I'm going to give you a link.
Now, I know that this says that it takes about forty-four hours and change to complete and I feel like this is pretty accurate for the first go-round. I suggest tacking one to two badges a day. I would usually do a bunch of these on the weekends in the mornings and give myself Monday and Tuesday off since they were super busy in CS and my brain was basically melted from work by the time I got home.
3.Scheduled a Time to Focus on Studying
I made sure to dedicate a certain time of day to studying and I made sure everyone knew about it. I put my phone on silent ad chose a time when my partner wasn't home, so I would have the house to myself. I did this an hour after I came home from work almost every day and on Saturday mornings.
I suggest choosing a time of day when you know the house will be empty or quiet. I learned this from my Mom, who went to nursing school while working full-time and having four children. She would wake up super early before the rest of the house got up to get her homework done and she was able to pass her classes and have time for all of us crazy kids.
- Practice At Work If You Can
I was very lucky that I had a Salesforce Org at work that I could practice certain skills in. When I started studying for my test, I was already working as a mini-admin for Customer Service, so I was able to practice building reports and dashboards. My boss also was a great mentor and made me the point of contact for our Dev team, so I was able to start learning how to solve problems with them.
If you have access to your org at work, try to practice the things that you have access to and if you know the people in your Dev department, reach out to them and see if they are willing to help you. The Salesforce community is one of the most supportive I've ever been a part of and I think you'll find that most admins would be delighted to teach someone.
If you don't have this option, I would suggest playing around in your Trailhead Playgrounds. I created a fake company called 'Assasin's 'R Us' where my accounts were John Wick, Black Widow, etc. My products were their favorite weapons. If you create a fake company based on something you really like (I love Action Movies) then you are more likely to want to work on it. This will teach you how to build things on your own and how to solve your own problems.
5.Understand the Vocabulary
When I first started learning, I found myself getting super confused by some of the jargon, I mean there are flows, workflows, and a flow builder. It can be easy to get things mixed up or to not understand them right away.
One method of test-taking that has always worked for me was to focus on what the words mean. If I understand what the questions are asking and what the answers mean, it's easier to pass a question even If I'm not 100% sure about the answer.
Now, most of you might not know this, but Salesforce has a glossary in their help section. I wrote down most of the words twice to help me learn them. I have to write them down to remember and usually color-coat them but you can learn in whatever way suits you best.
6.Utilize The Practice Test
The Salesforce Admin 201 is the only Salesforce Exam with an official practice test and you should make sure to take this at least once before you take the real test.
When I was done with my trail mix, I took the $20 practice test and I failed. I was bummed, but when I got my results via email, it tells you the percentage of questions you got right in each category. I used this information and then went back through my trail and redid the subjects that I scored less than 80% in.
I then retook the practice test again and failed by one point. I did the same thing this time and redid all of the trails I scored low on.
I feel like taking the practice test was extremely helpful because it got me used to how they ask their questions and it showed me what areas I was weak in. I would much rather take a $20 test as many times as I need to versus failing a $200 one.
After I completed all of these things, it was time to take the test. I would suggest not taking too much time between your studying and taking the test. You want to make sure that you have everything fresh in your brain when you take the test. Also, make sure you are in a quiet space and that you have limited distractions.
After all of this work, I was able to pass my Salesforce Admin 201 exam. I ran around the house cheering and jumping up down because I was so excited that I had passed my first time. I even called my parents and my boyfriend to brag as well.
How did you get your Admin 201? Do you do any of these study methods, yes or no? If you have any questions about the exam, please drop them down below or ask me on Twitter.