With Salesforce being perhaps one of the most useful elements of an organisation’s IT structure, it’s no surprise that the certifications available are highly-prized. Being certified will bring both you and your organisation immense benefit.
However, as with all certifications and exams, preparation is critical. You’re not going to succeed if you aren’t ready, so we’ve put together this handy guide to preparing for the certifications.
Knowledge Is Power
There is a lot you can do before you sit the certification. The first step you need to take is to study the exam guide for the particular certification you are taking. For example, for the Administrator certification, there is a very detailed exam guide that takes you through the assessment step by step.
The guide covers everything you need to know about the certification assessment. It lets you know what the passing grade is, for example, so you can gain a complete understanding of where you need to be in your revision and preparation beforehand. You can focus on other aspects like the question format. It pays to know how much of certification involves multiple-choice questions, for example.
Once you have wrapped your head around the actual exam guide for certification, you will feel a lot more prepared for the process ahead.
Get It Set Up
One thing that you can with a Salesforce certification is to schedule the exam yourself. Not ‘usual’ in the industry, and at first, it may feel a little strange to be setting a date for the exam before you have even started working on the preparation. But it makes perfect sense.
Having a date set and ‘in stone’ is a tremendous motivator. Knowing that the time is there and you now have something to work towards will ensure that you focus on preparing and revising for it.
While this is an initially strange way of going about your preparation, having the flexibility to choose your certification exam date means that you make yourself accountable. Of course, you don’t have to set the date at the start of the process. But it seems sensible to have a deadline with such a certification. Having it there in front of you is a great way to focus the mind.
To offer an even clearer perspective, having a set date will put you back in the mindset you had at school. At school, the exam timetable was rigid and published early. And you know how that particular process helped to focus your mind back then.
If you’re in any way involved with Salesforce, you will have heard something about Trailblazer. It’s a community for people who are learning new skills with Salesforce, and it has been helping new users and admins for years now. It’s also a pretty cool community to be part of, with helpful members and plenty of encouragement and advice.
And that’s the thing. If you get yourself settled into the Trailblazer community and get to know the place, pretty soon, you’ll be in a position where you start making some real friends. And having friends and contacts on Trailblazer is another way to ensure your prepared for a certification exam.
Within the Trailblazer community, there are several special groups you can join that will offer you support and help. Get involved, and find a group that is focused on sharing studying for a certification. Soon, you’ll be part of a group that can share tips and advice, and even just moan about how tough the whole thing is.
The best thing about study groups on Trailblazer is the sense of support. You are sure to find someone who is going through the same challenges you are, and this can only help with the preparation process for the certification.
There is no substitute for it. While you’re preparing and waiting to take your certification exam, push all out for staying on top of the whole thing. Create apps, use the platform (s), and generally focus on digging deep into Salesforce so that you’re totally on top of how it works. This way, you can ensure that you know your stuff when you sit the exam. You will also feel less nervous because you’re so knee-deep in Salesforce, nothing the exam offers will cause anxiety.
Essentially, we’re saying dig deep into Salesforce so that by the time the exam comes, you’re an expert in all but name.
Want to learn more about ‘Salesforce Qualifications,’ then you’re in luck. Salesforce has a range of certifications all available now for you to tackle.
There are so many webinars out there about Salesforce; it’s virtually impossible not to find one that covers areas you need to know. Search out webinars and sign up for them. Salesforce offers many of them, and you have the added advantage here of sitting a webinar that is run by the platform that you’re seeking certification towards and learning more.
Again, the Trailblazer community will be able to point you in the right direction around webinars. Find one that fits your needs for certification, and add that extra level of preparation to the mix.
One effective way of managing your preparation is to plan by objective, as opposed to time. Not a new way of preparing, but it does mean that you will most likely learn more effectively. So while it may not seem immediately to be a way in which you can manage time better, it does help in the long term.
Necessarily, you should plan your revision and preparation around the topics and units you are looking at, not the time you intend to spend. This way, you ‘chunk’ the development down into highly-focused areas. By focusing on one topic or area at a time, you get that opportunity to dig deep into it, and therefore learn more effectively.
Let’s say your upcoming certification has four distinct areas that you need to show competency in to get that certification. If you focus on those four areas, one at a time, your revision will be complete. And by sticking to one area and knowing that you have to realize it fully, your brain will be more focused.
To illustrate this better, consider two options. Firstly, you set aside 10 hours for preparation, and you work that 10 hours. During that time, you’ve been moving from topic to topic. Your making notes. You are trying to cram all the information into your brain. It kind of works and you end up knowing most of the stuff.
The second option involves breaking down the syllabus into three or four distinct areas. You take an area at a time, and you don’t even think about anything else. You still, however, spend 10 hours doing this.
By focusing on individual areas and moving on only when you feel expert in those areas, you will learn more, and consolidate that learning more. Even if you do not cover everything, you will be an expert in much of what you need. It’s all about immersion.
In fact, of all the pointers we have put forward in this post, this one is possibly one of the most valuable. With technical content like this, staying super-focused on topics rather than time makes a tremendous amount of sense.
Start Thinking In Scenarios
It is no big secret that much of the Salesforce accreditation process revolves around scenarios. The content may be technical, but Salesforce is interested in people who can apply the knowledge to real-world situations.
So whatever you are learning and preparing for, start thinking in actual scenarios where you would use that knowledge. Imagine how you would take the ideas and concepts you have learned and place them into a real-world context. How would it look, and how would you manage it?
Finally, Be Good To Yourself
The one thing you do not want to do is burn out. If you can plan far ahead, and ensure you have a work schedule that does not involve you collapsing due to fatigue, you will do well.
Take your time, make sure that you are thinking well ahead, so you can prepare with a rested mind and plenty of energy. It’s essential to study advice, but don’t burn out. Your chances of succeeding are limited if you are too tired to keep your eyes open.