Certification Study Techniques & Resources

Certification Study Techniques & Resources

10/28/2015 by Mariel Espinal
Techniques on how to study for Salesforce Certifications with the goal of truly understanding concepts and not just achieving a passing score.

If you are thinking about becoming a Salesforce Certified professional you are very much in luck. Salesforce offers an overwhelming number of resources for you to take advantage of to help you tackle certifications. Here are some resources that we have used to have our entire organization achieve the certifications. 

Study Guide 

It may seems obvious, but the official Salesforce Study Guide should be your number one source for studying. It helps to convert the Exam Outline into an editable document to add notes under each objective as you study. Prioritize study efforts based on the highest weighting percentage and make sure to really focus on those areas.  

Practice Exams and other Resources

Be careful when using non-Salesforce resources that provide “dumps” or exam questions which can be outdated or just plain wrong. By trying to take shortcuts you will not only be doing a disservice to yourself, but it is also not fair to others in the community who have earned their certifications. There are some trusted online tools that can be used to supplement what you have learned.

Practice exam quizzes are very useful because they help identify any weak areas where you should redirect your attention to. These exams also help you become familiar with the format and wording of the questions on the actual exam. They are also a great resource to gauge how overall prepared you are. If you are getting at least 90% of the answers correct that is a good indication that you are ready to take the real exam. 


To really make sure you have good understanding of concepts it helps to look at the material in a variety of ways. Try to read up on all the documentation available through Help and Training first and then look at all the videos regarding the subject on the official Salesforce Youtube Channel. Getting hands-on and playing around in a dedicated developer edition org is very beneficial. 

Trailhead is an amazing tool that can really help by testing your knowledge, and serves as a fun and interactive way of learning through modules and projects. Also, don’t forget the great Salesforce workbooks which serve as an excellent guide and provide very detailed directions. If you are more of a group learner, you can always sign up for Salesforce training or turn to the community and join a Study Group. It also does not hurt to take a look at the current release notes to make sure you are familiar with any new features.

To make sure you are retaining the material you have worked so hard studying for, it is important to put these skills into practice. Apply what you have learned to real life business use cases. Also make sure you give yourself enough time to study. Trying to cram will just stress you out and you will most likely forget much of what was studied if you even pass the exam. Another way to make sure you retain information could be by occasionally checking Trailhead for new modules to keep your skills fresh.  

On your mark, get set, go! 

Don’t just study without giving yourself a deadline or a goal to work up to. Once you are ready to become certified the first step is scheduling the exam! In the words of Jason Atwood, “the only way to to pass the exam is by taking it”. If you take the exam and just happen to fail do not be discouraged and do not wait too long to retake it. You can schedule a retake exam after 24 hours of receiving your results. Being a Salesforce Certified professional has it’s own benefits. Studying smarter will not only help you pass the exams, but it will also expand your knowledge as you explore features you have never used before. 

Hopefully this information helps you on your path to becoming certified. I would love to hear about other studying methods that have helped you pass the exams by understanding concepts and not just memorizing answers.

Feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @msespinal90.