The Salesforce Admin Certification Exam: What I Wish I Knew

Kirby Corbey |
 Roycon | Salesforce Careers |
 Jun 3, 2020

How to Pass the Salesforce Admin Certification Exam

Getting your Salesforce Admin Certification is the first step in your Salesforce career. It will open the door to other Salesforce Certifications available and provides you with a basic and broad understanding of the Salesforce solutions and how they work. I hope this post will help you to concentrate your studying efforts prior to your first exam, so you can pass it confidently the first time around! I passed it on my second time, and after the first test, I could see some similarities to study resources available, which is why I am writing this post, in hopes, it will help you! This knowledge helped me determine where to concentrate my efforts prior to the second test. 

First of all, you’ll need a 65% to pass. There are 12 sections and each section is weighted differently. It’s important to note which sections are weighted higher so you know where to spend more of your time. Here is the breakdown of the exam:

  • Organizational setup 3%
  • User setup 7%
  • Security and access 13%
  • Standard and custom objects 14%
  • Sales and marketing applications 14%
  • Service and support applications 13%
  • Activity management and collaboration 3%
  • Data management 10%
  • Analytics: reports and dashboards 10%
  • Workflow/process automation 8%
  • Desktop and mobile administration 3%
  • AppExchange 2%

Salesforce Admin Certification Exam Resources

Free Instructor-led Webinars

First thing you should do is register for an online all day, instructor lead webinar. While I don’t think it did the best job in fully preparing me for the exam, it did provide a 50% off coupon code to use towards your $200 test fee. It’s free and if you’re new to Salesforce it will provide you with the conceptual framework to the topics on the exam. You can find a free webinar on the Salesforce Certification Days calendar here

Salesforce Trailhead

Salesforce Trailhead also has some helpful sections/modules to study with small quizzes and playground activities to practice what you are learning. If you’re more of a hands-on learner this might be the best option for you, as you can create your own instance of Salesforce and use it while you study and test out the features rather than just reading about them. 

Additionally, there is a specific trail dedicated to those Trailblazers who are looking to get their Salesforce Admin Certification, and with that there are some great practice questions available.

Practice Exams

There are multiple practice test options available to you. The 2 I heard of most were Webassessor and Focus on Force.

1) Webassessor: pros and cons

  • Pros: They look and feel just like the real deal.
  • Cons: They are $20 per test and they don’t tell you what questions you got right or wrong. You just see your final score.

You can check out the Salesforce practice exams here.

2) Focus on Force: I can only think of pros and this is where I focused most of my attention.

  • Pros: Shows you what questions you got right and wrong, what the correct answers were and supporting documentation as to why the answer was wrong. This helped me study in itself. Not only was I able to see what questions I got wrong, and the correct answers, but there was an explanation, so I wasn’t just memorizing questions, but actually learning in the process.

Each study course (Admin, Sales Cloud, etc) can be purchased for $20 each and are good for one year. This is much better in my opinion, especially since you aren’t limited to how many times you can take each practice test within that year, unlike with Webassessor, which is only good for the one time you take them!

Not only does Focus on Force provide you practice exams, but they also provide a high-level overview on each section of the exam followed by flashcards for each section. So it gives you a few different ways to learn.

I found the question bank exam most helpful, rather than the multiple practice exams offered for each course. While both exam types allow you to see what questions you got wrong and what the correct answers were (along with supporting documentation), this exam breaks it down for each section so you know where you need to concentrate your efforts:

Salesforce Certification Exam: Focus on Force

Salesforce Admin Certification Exam (ADMIN 201): Focus on Force

I realized that the question bank exam practice test was more beneficial for me after I failed my first exam. I concentrated on the multiple practice exams for the first test. While I didn’t fail by much, I realized I was memorizing the practice questions and answers rather than understanding the concept as a whole. The question bank exam was broken down into sections, so it worked better for me as a preparation and study tool. 

Exam Question Flashcards

It was also after my first test, that I discovered Quizlet. When searching this site, it may be helpful to filter by the decks posted most recently, as those were probably created shortly after the user took the exam, so there may be some similar, if not exact, questions from the exam in those slide decks.

*One word of caution: you have to be careful with those, as they are not regulated and answers can be wrong. I found a few different sets that had conflicting answers. So shop around!

Depending on your preference, there are a few different layouts of the flashcards that users have created. I preferred the ones where there is a question and 4 multiple choice answers are on one side, and the correct answer is on the other. This is more reminiscent of what the actual test will be like.

Here’s a great Salesforce Admin Certification Prep Quizlet deck example.

I also concentrated on decks that had around 60-90 questions, since the actual test had 65 questions. That way, I could concentrate on the questions and answers- just in case they were on the real exam!

Everyone learns differently. What worked for me may not work for someone else. The good news is, the Trailhead modules provide a few different learning activities and Quizlet offers different layouts of flashcards- so hopefully everyone will be able to find a method that works best for them! I just hope some of these insights will help you know where to concentrate your study efforts and pass your Salesforce Admin Certification Exam confidently!  

You can learn more about us, we’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. For more resources to help you tackle your certification goals, check out our Ultimate Guide to Salesforce Certification Resources. Thanks for stopping by the Roycon Salesforce blog, be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading and as always, happy building!

Kirby Corbey

Kirby Corbey

Client Success Manager

Kirby is one of our Account Executives at Roycon. She has over 5 years of experience in a client success role within the software industry. She was born and raised in Montana and will continue to live there even though the winters can be pretty tough.

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