Preface: this post is part of the Study Guide: How to Earn 15 Salesforce Certifications series.
I’ve failed certifications. You’ve failed certifications. We’ve all failed certifications!
Failing is normal. Don’t let it get to you too much. See failure as an opportunity to learn!
Here are common failures people experience while getting certified, and how to overcome them:
#1. Getting less than 40% correct on your first attempt
First off, don’t feel bad. A bad score doesn’t mean you’re incapable of passing a certain certification – it’s more a sign that you’re not following a good studying strategy.
Basically, you’re focusing too much on memorization, instead of understanding.
Because there are so many possible questions a certification can ask – attempting to memorize all the material is impossible and futile. You’ll run out of memory. Studying for understanding, on the other hand, will let you answer the widest variety of questions using the least amount of memory.
Recommendation: focus on understand the certification material using the eight question template!
#2. Failing the same exam more than twice in a row
This is a mistake that can happen to you, though it is generally avoidable!
There are many reasons why this might happen, including:
Recommendation: Read test-taking tips #6, #7, and #8!
#3. Running out of time during the test
Two hours is a generous amount of time for a 60 question multiple choice exam!
If you’re running out of time, you’re spending way too much time waffling back and forth on answers!
#4. You’re afraid to take certification exams!
I believe The Great One said it best:
This can be scary, especially because every time you open up LinkedIn or Twitter, someone is talking about how they passed a certification. You start to worry that everyone will pass except you, and maybe, you’re just a big Salesforce fraud!
Don’t worry, the failures are there, people just have a way of talking about their successes instead =) You’ll be surprised at how many people, including Salesforce employees, fail the standard Administrator certification… multiple times!
Recommendation: Celebrate your failures and successes, life is too short!
#5. You have no motivation to study
I get a lot of emails from people telling me they don’t have motivation to learn!
Whenever I have a big task ahead, I too have a tendency to freeze!
When this happens, I turn to the trusty magic formula. It has saved me many times:
In a nutshell, the magic formula tells you not to worry about learning everything quickly. Take things slow and one step at a time. Even just learning 15 minutes a day, everyday, is better than learning nothing at all. Your knowledge will increase exponentially!
Oh ya, you can’t afford not to get certified nowadays too. I estimate each cert increases your market value by $3,000 – $5,000. Cha-ching!
Recommendation: Learn just a little each day, your knowledge will compound on itself!
…and with that, we conclude the Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide!
I’ve had a ton of fun writing this, and honestly, I’m sad that it’s coming to an end.
But the conversation doesn’t have to end here! Please do share your stories, successes or failures, with me or in the comments below! We can always continue learning, from each other, together.
Good luck students!
Your post is very helpful for me. I am a housewife and starting my career in Salesforce. I have a non IT background and don’t know how to proceed further. Please guide me.
Check out a few of the posts I have no on the front page, they talk about how to get started!
A-MAZING! Thanks for taking the time to do this, I reassured most of the good practices I used to passed some certs but having it all in one place is invaluable, I’ll make sure to keep using your material to study for future certs and to help others on getting aligned, thanks again!!
Very good idea. I couldn’t clear in second time also and was very disappointed but after reading your article my self think to go for third time.
Just one question? Can I apply for job?
What a wonderful formula!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and tips David!
These guides have been amazing. Thank you.
That’s it? I wanted to thank you sincerely for your efforts in spreading the knowledge and hope to be able to also help out one day.
Thank you PJ!!!