The Certified Administrator Exam is the first step in your path to Salesforce knowledge and enlightment, as well as a prerequisite for other advanced certifications. There are many paid and professional boot camps available for helping you pass the test, but at CRMCulture, we're finding the following to be a quicker and less expensive way to get through this certification. As a consultant group focused solely on CRM and innovating in that space, having a solid foundation in CRM knowledge and concepts is critical to passing this and subsequent certification exams. So with that in mind, here's our recommendations for getting this certification under your belt quickly and affordably.
Review the Study Guide:
Visit http://certification.salesforce.com/Administrators and download the free study guide. Look at the test outline and review each topic. If you don't know answers then look up the answers in Salesforce Learning Center and you will find the answer.
Watch Video Tutorials:
We would also review all the video tutorials in the Salesforce Success Community. These are frequently updated and provide a great guide as to the type of questions that will be asked. We have found that many of the questions are pulled directly from these tutorials so pay close attention and take notes if needed.
Plan 4 Weeks Out.
Studying for the exam is not something you want to do in a short time frame. Many of the questions are specific to Salesforce terminology and platform concepts, and it takes time to absorb this. We recommend carving out one hour per day, following the Study Guide, watching the related video tutorials, and complimenting the academic portion with validation in your Salesforce sandbox. A solid month of this schedule will prepare you for the test, solidify Salesforce concepts and ensure you are best prepared.
On Test Day.
The test is 60 multiple-choice/multiple select questions and you get 90 minutes to take the exam. Our advice is to skip any questions that you don't know an immediate answer and review after you have answered all other questions. Often clues to earlier questions are revealed in later questions (rephrasing). Unlike most multiple choice tests, you will be challenged with not just a single correct answer, but a combination of correct (or incorrect) answers. This requires more mastery of the subject to answer these questions correctly.
After the Test.
You will get your results immediately after completing the exam. If you pass the first time, congratulations! It's common to fail the test the first time through, due to the challenging nature of the exam. Unfortunately, you don't get to see which answers you missed, but they're likely the ones you struggled with. Schedule to take the exam again IMMEDIATELY! This gives you a week to review the weaker areas, while retaining most of your Salesforce knowledge. More than likely, you'll nail it the second time around - but if you don't, schedule the retake immediately!
It's our position that this retake cycle better positions you to pass the exam, while solidifying your learning. We're all busy working people, and taking three or four days off of work to cram for the exam does little to guarantee exam passage or CRM knowledge. Even retaking the exam 4 times (at a $100 per retake) is still much cheaper than the cram course investment.