Preface: this post is part of the Study Guide: How to Earn 15 Salesforce Certifications series.
This post has some of my best certification advice, and the reasoning is simple!
There are plenty of certification study guides, but there are zero test-taking strategy guides! I’m talking about specific strategies you should use while this is counting down:
Time Remaining: 29:08… 29:07… 29:06…
You can immediately increase your score at least 10% using these strategies. Even better, you can ensure you pass the exam next time, if you fail.
Note: each sample question below was taken directly from the sample question pool Salesforce provides in their official exam guides. I didn’t make any of them up to conveniently make any points!
How can this requirement be met?
A. Create a workflow rule on accounts.
B. Create a workflow rule on contacts.
C. Create a Force.com trigger on accounts.
D. Create a Force.com trigger on contacts.
Eliminating two wrong answers gives you a 50% chance of getting the question right. If you had a 50% chance of getting every question you were unsure of right, you’re going to pass the exam!
That’s just how the math works out. You only need a score of 65% to pass, which is seriously low for a multiple choice test. If you can make it a coin flip for as many questions as possible, you’re good!
So – consider it a small victory every time you’re guessing between two answers!
Which data should the new parent company review?
A. Dashboard of user login history
B. Count of new lead records created
C. Number of activities tied to opportunities
D. Opportunity pipeline report grouped by month
Many times, a single word can change the entire way you answer the question.
This comes especially in handy on questions where you’ve eliminated answers, and the remaining answers look equally correct to you. Just one word can be the hint you need choose the right one.
It becomes extremely tempting to speed read questions when you’re sitting through a two-hour exam. Don’t let this happen to you – every word is important!
How might a System Administrator assist in troubleshooting this issue?
A. VPN to the User’s location and establish a remote desktop session.
B. Have the User send the List View link URL via email and investigate.
C. Use the Login As feature to see what the User is seeing in her login.
D. Temporarily make the user a System Administrator so she can fix the issue.
If you were a Salesforce employee, would you write a question that made Salesforce look bad?
…NOPE! Not worth getting fired over!
So if you have no idea what the right answer is, choose the answer that makes Salesforce look good!
How can the system administrator ensure that the manufacturer selected influences the values available for the model?
A. Create the manufacturer field as a dependent picklist and the model as a controlling picklist.
B. Create a lookup field from the manufacturer object to the model object.
C. Create the manufacturer field as a controlling picklist and the model as a dependent picklist.
D. Create a multi-select picklist field that includes both manufacturers and models.
Sometimes, you’re sure the first answer you read is the right one.
It’s tempting to choose it and move on, but you should never do so!
Often, there are multiple answers that can be interpreted as the right one, however, one answer is more correct than the other. You could miss this if you commit too early.
Also, if you’re trying to move too quickly, you might accidentally skip over important details. In the example above, you might know that a dependent picklist is the correct feature and immediately choose A, not knowing that C is the better dependent picklist answer.
Choose two answers.
A. Customer Community Plus
B. Customer Community
C. Customer Community Plus Login
D. Partner Community Plus Login
Sometimes you’ll get annoying questions like these and have no idea what the answer is.
To eliminate wrong answers, you might ask yourself:
What’s a “Login” license type? Is it real, or just a fake license type?
If it’s real, you might choose A and C. If not, you might choose A and B.
Lucky for you, you gain knowledge as the test progresses. That’s because a future question might reference “Login” license types, so you later discover that they exist! If you didn’t re-answer this question after going through the full exam, you might have missed it!
Also of course, it’s good to double / triple check your answers.
B. Sharing rules
C. Web tabs
D. Page layouts
▢ Mark this item for later review.
This checkbox is SO important! Use it to keep of track questions you’re not completely sure of.
…and DO NOT uncheck the box, because those questions contain valuable information. They let you know EXACTLY what you need to study in case you fail. No study guide can tell you that!
Other tips in this post rely on you using this checkbox, so use it and use it generously! If you think there’s even just a 5% chance you’re wrong, check the box!
Remember those questions we weren’t sure about and “marked for later review” via the previous tip?
Use this time to memorize each and every one of those questions!
This is absolutely a fundamental part of the SFDC99 method, because it ensures you pass next time.
I know it sounds tedious, and almost torture-like. But I promise you it’s not as tedious and painful as failing a test multiple times. Endure the pain now so you can taste success sooner!
You better have planned ahead and gone to the restroom before taking the test. If you didn’t, you might use that as an excuse to submit your exam early! NO!
By the way, never assume you’re going to pass. I made that mistake and I have nightmares about it.
Have a paper and pencil nearby ready in advance. Waste no time and just dump everything out.
This is why you need to take the test online. Nothing should get in the way of this. In fact, make sure you don’t have anything scheduled for the next few hours, because you’re going to keep remembering things and need to write them down.
Combine this with your section-level scores, and now you have the perfect study guide for round 2!
Hope you enjoyed these tips!
Next post: Five common certification mistakes, and how to fix them!
I noticed a few different spelling typos in both the Admin and Consultant exams. Do you think that’s proof these are “experimental” questions still being revised and not part of the scoring? What else would explain typos that would clearly be identified and fixed over time?
Great eye! I think you’re right!
I noticed a typo on the Admin exam and wondered that as well, though part of me wanted to blame their janky online testing setup :)
Any tips for the Sales Cloud Certified Consultant, in case you have that one too?
I failed miserably…twice!
Lol im in the same boat, the sales cloud exam is absolutely terrible especially that it has a 68% pass rate. I wrote down about 30 of the questions. Why dont you hit me uo at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can collaborate
Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the pass rate 62% on Sales cloud?
What I liked most about your tips was when you mentioned that a single word can change the entire way one answers the question. I’m planning to take an exam in Salesforce and I don’t want to ruin my chances because of mistakes that could’ve been avoided if I read the question right. For now, I’ll take the Salesforce training seriously so that I can learn what I can before the exam date.
I drilled this particular part of the guide into my brain and took my first certification test this last Friday (Admin cert). Passed the first time through. I know the tips helped me to at least three or four correct answers where I was not sure, and I passed the test on the first attempt.
Thanks for the tips. Invaluable. Three more certs to go this year….
Glad to hear it!! Great job!!
Congrats! If you used the Quizlet practice questions / cards, were they the same questions from the actual cert exam? Thanks
Will follow these tips ..!
I passed my Sales Cloud Consultant exam today so I wanted to reach out and thank you for your posts, tips, wisdom and encouragement to our SFDC community.
Awesome!! Congrats Chris!!
If you have any good references on the Sales Cloud Cert could you please post it to this string. I am planning on taking that before years end, but have app builder and adv admin to crush first. Congrats again Chris! Keep up the momentum.
I Passed my test today,I used your strategy to answer some of questions like, focus on words and eliminate 2 completely wrong options.
I ready that blog two times and same work flow one.
You are start next target it Service cloud,Bring it on.
Mant thanks for your blogs and taking time to write all this.
Awesome!! Congrats Swati!! Great!!
Go dominate Service Cloud now!!
Swati, I visited you website and I am very impressed with the layout and what you have done with it. Keep up the great work and passionate approach!
I find these tips very helpful.
BTW could you please confirm the answers for the following
Q4, Q5 & Q6?
For question 4I thought option C is the correct answer but since you mentioned go with your first choice I am little confused. Please advice! THanks
ha ha ha, going to add answers to this post shortly just for you!
Certainly good tips David thank you.