Study Tips and Resources for Passing Your Salesforce Exams

What is your #1 certification study tip or resource and why does it work for you?


We want to help spread the word! So we polled the Talent Stacker Community. Here is what they said: 


When I study, I practice the 56 min on 17 min off rule which was found by researchers to be most’s not always to the exact minute so I do 1 hour on..15 off. Helps me to retain more information and my brain not get as fatigued! {Monique Mull}


The #1 resource for me has been Focus on Force. The practice exams are great for testing your knowledge to see what you need to study more. The study guides make all relevant information for the certification easily accessible in one place. {Trenton Elliott}


Apart from practicing on Trailhead, I followed YouTube videos regarding Certification Preparation, Listen to podcasts for motivation, engage with the community for knowledge exchange. Above all, it’s important to stay calm and focused on what you want and sort out how you are going to do it. {Sindhuja N}


Honestly, I keep coming back to the Talent Stacker’s courses. I purchased a FoF course for the Platform App Builder, but I find the study sessions that Alex Warneke led on the Talent Stacker platform to be more helpful to my particular study process. So… I guess my tip is join Talent Stackers?? LOL {Emily Stephens}


Network. Don’t do this alone. {Christopher Lassiter}


For the Admin cert I used David Massey Udemy course and Focus on Force course and practice exams. Similarly for the Platform App Builder I used Mike Wheeler Udemy course and Focus on Force. These were both in addition to the trailhead and all the Superbadges. {Jackie Mohnkern}


Focus on Force practice exams, but as a study tool not necessarily just for testing your knowledge. Choose check after each question, answer question, check answer, learn why it was right or wrong! {Geren Woodbridge}


When I encounter a topic or functionality that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around (which is rather often in Salesforce), I look for other means or delivery methods to try and better understand the information. For instance, if the trailhead article or trail mix just isn’t making sense to me, I will look for a blog or maybe even a video example somewhere else. Sometimes when I hear a person talking their way through the example, I pick up on other details that finally pulls the concept together for me. {Jacob Black}


Study from multiple sources, use different practice tests. Take one at the beginning to identify what areas need the most improvement and focus on those areas. Retest and re-evaluate where you need the most work. You cannot be over prepared. {Hunter Clifton}


My best study tip is to find a study group. Having some people who are cheering you on and can share advice gives access to an endless supply of tips and collaboration! {Ania Dudziuk}


Using multiple study sources and finding what works for you. Talent Stacker | Salesforce Career Development Program – Anthony Scrima’s deep dive sessions are SO helpful. His style is much different from other sources but I learn by his way of breaking things down. {Reina Barbieri}


My tip is to study for understanding, not memorization. I know that a lot of people take notes, but I don’t. Instead, I seek first to understand the big picture – the why/how. Once that makes sense for each exam topic area, I can drill down into the details and retain them better. {Becca Davis}


I loved David Massey’s Udemy course as a resource. Best tip though is to UNDERSTAND the concepts. Don’t just memorize practice test answers. When I take practice exams I make myself explain WHY the wrong answers are wrong and the right answer is right. {Jessica Wallace}


You have to identify the momentum in your studying and creating a good habit of remaining consistent & keeping your momentum going to feel confident in taking the exam & passing! 🙌🏼 (Also sign up for the exam & setup timeline/goal ASAP).⏳ {David Jacquez}


My recommendation at least so far, would simply be to push yourself to look over and study the material a little each day. This really turbo charges the length of time that would normally be needed to absorb the material. {Devon Burris}


Using Focus on Force is a must. But, for me, the key to actually understand what I’m studying, is understanding WHY the other answers on the practice tests are wrong. Reasoning for each brings more information, that eventually comes back to explain why the answer chosen was the correct one.  {Alejandra Franco Lemus}


⏰️ Schedule study time. 

✏️plan the topics you will focus on.

🎵Don’t forget the solid study tunes 

{Scarlett Anderson}


Nancy Kolodziej, Ed.D. has some wonderful Quizlet flashcards! Search under her name on Quizlet, and then be sure to leave her an endorsement on her Linked In page! 🥳 Or rate the flashcards on the app itself! 

😻 the Quizlet app is perfect to use when you’re stuck in line somewhere and think you don’t have time to study! Thanks, Nancy!


My tip would be read those exam questions again and again even if you think that you know the answer and eliminate the wrong options first 😊 {Nagma Khan}


Get Force Certified, hands down! I’m a visual learner. The videos do a great job of explaining the topics you need to learn for the Admin exam, provides scenarios and are broken down so the videos are long to sit through.

This was the best presentation for me to help me under record types as well as junction objects.

I couldn’t wrap my head around these topics for awhile.

Also, they have what they call “cheat sheets.” I like that the are separated with each topic, as well, so I don’t have to go digging for the information, I want to look up.

{Elizabeth Bochanski}


After you’re done studying a section, test yourself by doing practice questions on that topic. Move on to the next section and repeat, but also review the last section. I found I needed to review previous sections a few times for things to stick, but I always kept **moving forward!!!** {Lalita Pukyama}


Utilize the Focus on Force study guides. Don’t just read through them or print them out. Watch the videos. Get some colorful pens, and write down every slide! If you don’t remember how to do something when you’re going through the study guide, open up a playground and figure it out. {Stephanie Ballenger}


I recommend using multiple sources for studying. I used Trailhead, Mike Wheeler videos, Focus on Force and watched a ton of YouTube. {Amanda Carbonell}


For the Admin cert, I would say simply follow the steps outlined in the Talent Stacker | Salesforce Career Development Program and trust the process! I studied Salesforce for months prior to joining TS, even got all the way through the “prepare for your salesforce administrator credential” trail, and was still confused as to what I was learning. Once I joined the program, I had guidance as to what to focus on and passed the admin exam within 2 months! The recommended  hashtag#trailhead  live videos helped me to understand basic admin concepts and Focus on Force really drove it home for me. With FOF specifically, I would go through every practice test question with the intent to UNDERSTAND why each answer was correct or incorrect. {Leah Stanley Brandner}


For the admin cert, I am finding tha David Massey’s Udemy prep course really helped connect some dots that were missing after completing trailhead. Taking the time to do the hands on challenges is really important for working through the processes and helps reinforce the learning. Taking practice exams from a variety of sources is helping to expose me to material that was not in the trailheads as well as watching for words and phrases that can influence how questions should be answered. {Jessica Berryhill}


Get your hands in your dev org! Play with settings, permissions, page layouts. Go and find objects and fields. Change things, delete things (or try) and see what errors come up, build an app (or 2 or 3). Look at your schema builder and see how things are connected. There is amazing content out there but just watching videos is not enough. {Hillary Fenton}


Reach out for support when you feel stuck – all the resources (including people with suggestions and kind words) are in this program. {Rayna Yvars}


Once you take practice tests, make sure you understand the concepts by creating them in a developer org. It will help you see things in action. {Trent Bacon}


My study tip is to invest in the Focus on Force tests! They’re what helped me get familiar with the way the questions would be asked, and they give lots of insight into the correct/incorrect answers. I paired this with a study group and as of last month all three of us are CERTIFIED! You’ve got this, Talent Stackers! {Stephanie Metal}


For me it’s participating in a study group. We’re all in it as a group to study exam topics together and pass that cert! If one of us is stuck, another would jump in to help explain the topic better. It’s also a great way to build camaraderie within the group to support each other through wins and losses. {Larry Lee}


For me, the key is repetition. Listening and building along with various experienced members – from Alex Warneke to Get Force Certified (David Massey ) and Mike Wheeler – each has a different style and a different level of material they cover. Also the free practice tests on Trailhead that can be taken over and over so I could understand why one answer would not be the correct one for that question even though multiple answers seemed possibly right. {Wendy Miller}


Hand written flash cards!! Hands down (pun intended) the thing that helped me the most to pass the admin exam. {Adam Crotts}


Listen each week to the Salesforce For Everyone podcast to keep motivated and to remember your “why”! {Danielle Kimball}


Learn by doing! But how to pick only one resource? I think the wide variety of materials available is key- Trailhead/ playing in your own dev org combined with Focus on Force plus Udemy videos (by the instructor of your choice) and a study group or study buddy make for a powerful mix. {Heidi Schaefer}


My #1 tip is do the 5 day challenge. I was lost in trailhead until I did the challenge. After watching the videos I had a clear path. I also have a LinkedIn I am becoming proud of. If I could include a #2 the pod cast Salesforce for everyone. I am not sure of the episode, but it’s the one that included the project about the superheroes. It inspired me to take some of the people in my company that have lost their jobs and create a study group, and create a project of our own. {David Stewart} >> Shoutout for the 5 Day Challenge!


My number 1 study resource is David Massey’s cert prep courses and mock exams because the courses are concise and clear, and the mock exams are pretty close to the real exam. {Martina Maven}


Way to go Talent Stackers!! One of my most valuable assets has been the Udemy course by Mike Wheeler! It breaks down the content into very manageable pieces which allows easier comprehension. {Darius Tracy}


For those who already have a job, and aren’t focused solely on getting their first cert: study 30 minutes every day. No more, no less. Nothing beats consistency! {Kieran Campbell}


My hand written notes and acronyms helped me the most to remember the details. {Sulakshana Chavar}


My number one tip is to use several resources together. I like watching Mike Wheeler’s videos, then doing the corresponding Trailhead modules, then watching the recorded study groups/deep dives/build alongs. I plot out my week to match the pacing guide and divide up these resources between my work days to all track along with the pacing guide for that week. {Annie Donahue}


My biggest tips for studying:

-Rote memorization of documentation doesn’t work, Salesforce has lots of quirks. The best way to learn those quirks is by building something, whether a work project, a personal project, or through Trailhead.

-There’s always two answers that are DEFINITELY wrong on the exam questions. If you can pick out which two answers are definitely wrong out of four, your chances of getting the right answer are now 50:50. If you can pick out which two answers are definitely wrong out of five, you’ve got your answer. {Evelyn G.}


My best certification study tip: always have a dev org open and practice, practice, practice. Working on a practice exam and get something wrong? Go learn in your dev org. Get a question right? Go confirm it and commit it to memory in your Dev org? Not sure how something works or relates to something in Salesforce? Go in your Dev org and find out. It’s the hands-on learning and doing it consistently that makes all the difference. Now get in your Dev org and break stuff! {Holly LaRocque}


I call the Focus on Force Study Guide my “Salesforce Bible.” The guide has visuals to help you study concepts. As you read the guide, you MUST move your mouse into the org and practice what you just read. The instructional videos whether from FOF or other instructors can help with the application and practice. {Van Nguyen}


Definitely have a study buddy. I achieved in 6 weeks with a study group what l failed to achieve by myself in 3 months. It takes a village for sure! ++++ David Massey, FOF and Trailhead 👊 {Lilian Mkandla}


Everyone has already given so many great tips, but I would have to say my #1 tip is to go easy on yourself when a concept doesn’t make sense. Walk away and clear your head, then come back with a fresh mind and go back over the material as many times as needed until you truly understand what you are learning. Second tip, don’t overlook the value of Salesforce Help docs! {Calvin Hansard}


Make a daily goal for yourself and stick to it. Make yourself a space where distractions are minimized. If you are someone that gets out of their chair a million times try the pomodoro timer. Really helped me get through studying for the admin Cert and improved my focus once I used it consistently! {Jessica Estrada}


Get with a mentor. I will say, the best experience I had with studying for my Admin Cert exam was getting together with a mentor, namely Hugh, we went through all the Focus on Force questions, he literally worked with me DAILY for at least 2 weeks straight, honestly I think it was closer to a month! When we went through each question, he had me talk out the questions and answers to eliminate the answers that just were not right, or not the “best”… anything I did not 100% comprehend, we would open up a dev org, go straight to the objects, fields, process, whatever it was, and visually see exactly what that question meant and what the answer was, I had a visual in my brain after that… He would not “give up” on me ever, honestly, I think, well I know, he had more confidence in me than I did in myself. He was amazing and I am forever grateful. {Deb Shaw}


Looking back, I think working along with the Trailhead module examples was a huge help to me in really ingraining some of the concepts into my head. You might be tempted to just read through and then skip to the challenges, but taking the time to work through with the module pays out! {Vera Chaudhri}


My #1 tip is Keep Moving Forward! I’ve had days where I’m unable to figure the problem out at all and days where I’m able to get multiple things done. One of the few things that helped me get passed the days I was stuck was to login and try something else. Just as Bradley says in the podcast; working on Salesforce everyday will help you progress faster than one or two days out of the week.  {Lexi Reeves}


You shouldn’t study alone! Start a study group or join one. The group keeps you accountable. {Raymond Gutierrez}


#1 resource is your brain 🙂 There are tons of amazing resources (Dave Masseys udemy course being my fave.) And understanding my own learning style means that I get to self-direct the learning process! {Rachel Shumway}

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