** NOTE: This guide has been completely updated for 2017 **
Guide to passing all Salesforce certifications – 2017 Edition!
Please use the above guide instead!
Did you know that you can get five Salesforce certifications without knowing how to write code?
That’s right! Even the Developer Certification (DEV 401) requires zero knowledge of code!
…this means you can easily get five certifications in just three months, without taking any classes!
Step 1: Certified Salesforce Administrator (ADM 201)
This test is pure memorization, which means it’s 100% study-able. The ADM 201 class is a nice to have, but certainly not required to pass.
Step 2: Certified Salesforce Developer (DEV 401)
No knowledge of code required! In my opinion the easiest cert since it requires the least memorization. Most answers can be solved logically.
Step 3: Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator (ADM 301)
Extremely similar to the Salesforce Developer Certification, which means by now you’re nearly ready for this test. Don’t wait long after DEV 401 to take this one!
Step 4: Certified Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant (CON 201)
A lot of the material overlaps with the Developer and the Advanced Administrator certification. Take this one ASAP before you forget the material!
Step 5: Certified Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant
I recommend this certification last since it covers material that doesn’t overlap much with the others. Also, only a portion of Salesforce orgs use Service Cloud.
Need a little extra motivation to succeed?
How Mayank got 5 certifications in just 6 weeks!
How Adam ALSO got 5 certifications in just 6 weeks!
…and so many others!
Don’t forget to reward yourself after each certification you pass!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you recommend taking the official classes for the certifications?
If your only goal is to pass the certification, then skip the classes. $4,000 is a lot of money. You can fail and re-take each certification test 30 times and still spend less money than one class. The classes are awesome for teaching you general Salesforce knowledge, but for passing a certification, you’ll learn more from self-studying flashcards.
Note that if your company has Premier Support, you get access to the online video versions of all Salesforce classes, including the certification courses.
Should I take the tests online or at a testing center?
I took them all online, so convenient! I can’t think of a reason not to!
How does certification maintenance work?
There are only two maintenance tests every release: admin and developer. If you have Admin, Advanced Admin, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, and/or Technical Architect, you’ll have to pass the admin maintenance test every release. For Developer and Advanced Developer, you need to pass the developer maintenance test. No matter how many certifications you have, you only need to pass at most two maintenance tests each release.
How did you study for your certifications?
I used these exact methods and flashcards to pass all six of my certifications and I was fortunate enough to pass them all on my first try. For every test I crammed all my studying the night before. The method worked so well that I decided to write a post about it.
What about the Advanced Developer and Technical Architect certifications? How do you recommend we study for those?
Each of those certifications are significantly more difficult to pass than the five I listed. They deserve their own post(s) that I’ll be writing up later! For now, five certifications is more than enough to make your resume jump to the top of the pile!
Looking for more information on how to advance your Salesforce career? Check out the
Salesforce career guidebook!