After the last few weeks, I feel quite prepared to discuss “How To Study For The Salesforce Advanced Admin Exam” in that I have now taken the exam twice this month. Also, I was fortunate enough to attend the official Salesforce advance admin class in Denver as well about three weeks ago. This is not an easy exam, however if you already have a Salesforce admin certification, this will not be a big jump for you to pass the “Advanced Admin” exam. What does Salesforce consider an “advanced” exam? Well, this test does take alot of the basics of the Salesforce admin exam and applies real world scenario’s and how as an admin would you troubleshoot or resolve the issues at hand. In addition, you must understand the security, sharing and role hierarchy models to a whole new degree beyond what was learned for the basic admin exam. With this blog post, I will dissect the key elements needed to not only study for the Salesforce advanced admin exam, but also help you successfully pass it. Full disclosure here, I did not pass the exam the first time I took it earlier this month to my dismay. However, I doubled my efforts, studied very specific areas (which will be shared below) and 9 days later, passed this exam and so can you!
About the Advanced Admin Exam
Overall, the exam is 60 questions of which you must get 39 correct (65%) to successfully pass. First, ensure you have downloaded the Advanced Admin study guide as a starting point. Secondly and as I alluded to in this blog post under the “Exam Strategy” section, write out 1-20, 21-40 & 41-60 and gamify the exam to your advantage. This is not hard to do and has really helped me in taking all the Salesforce exams this far. So, what else about the exam itself? Well it relies heavily that you know the following subject areas:
- Change Management (Force.com migration tool, Force.com IDE tool and Change Sets and how this affect metadata)
- Territory Management (Account ownership implications and sharing)
- Collaborative and Custom forecasting
- Social Accounts (just know what you can do with LinkedIn contacts)
- Product pricing (know List, Standard and Sales prices)
- Salesforce Knowledge (not in the advanced admin class, but on the test)
- Joined and Custom reporting
- Many-to-Many relationships and when to use them
- Service Console and the basics and what you can do
- Communities and specifically what customers and partners related to them
- Workflows, Assignment Rules, Escalation Rules (know when to use them)
- Troubleshooting (email log, debug log, system audit trail)
- How to submit a service request via the web
- Salesforce Ideas
- OWD security model
If you have Salesforce premier training in your org, you can learn the above topics within one of may online classes.
Advanced Admin Study Materials
If you can take the official Salesforce advanced admin class in person, as this would best thing to do to ensure passing the exam. The class I attended in Denver was a mix of mostly admins, developers and a few Salesforce employees to make up about ten students for 4 days. As you can appreciate, classroom training allows you to ask questions, do the exercises in person and get a better understanding of what to expect on the exam. With that being said, there were a few key areas NOT in the classroom instruction that were on the advanced admin exam. These sections included, Salesforce Knowledge, Communities, Social Accounts and a few other odd ball questions you just have to think through and answer the best you can. After the taking the class (if you can), by far the next item of which helped me pass this exam was going over two specific set of flash cards on Quizlet. For this exam prep, I eliminated all other flash card sets, other websites and distractions except Quizlet and these two sets of cards. Before I share with you the set of flash cards, a few things about the Quizlet itself:
- I had to travel during my study time, so Quizlet has an audio component which reads the flash cards on your mobile device. The audio is not the best, but when you are driving or jogging (I did this one as well), you can actually get the flash cards read to you!
- Download Quizlet’s mobile application onto your smart phone. This was a life saver in many instances whether I was in a meeting or waiting in line at the store, I could go over a few flash cards to ensure maximum study time.
The two sets of flash cards from Quizlet I would recommend are set one to which there are 225 (*55 cards starred) flash cards and set two to which there are 77 (*39 cards starred) flash cards. I am not going to tell you which questions were actually on the exam, but what I will tell you is you should “star” (an option to favorite a card) the cards that begin with a number. These questions are the gold and should be studied to their full potential. Besides the flash cards with numbers in front of the questions, there are a few others and these ALL involve topics referenced in “About the Advanced Admin” section of this blog post. Why these two vs the others on the Quizlet (there are a few others)? Well, these two had the most relevant information as to what was on the actual exam. Below is a pic of the flash cards I studied on Quizlet.
When considering “How To Study For The Salesforce Advanced Admin Exam” ensure you know the basics of Salesforce administration. Once you know this and you follow the guidance above, you should be able to successfully pass the Salesforce Advanced Admin exam. One final piece of advice I learned this month while tackling this certification which came to me towards the end of the second attempt of the exam. When I was mostly finished with my second try at this exam, I reviewed all the questions I was not sure about one more time (there are always questions you should go back and review). What this revealed in the end, is eventually I found the right answer for two of ‘maybe’ questions based on going through the entire exam. What exactly does this mean? In some of the exam questions and they way they are asked, you can yield insights (and answers) to other questions previously or later asked in the course of the exam. Again, strategically take the exam on as one interconnected set of questions and this can get you closer to those 39 questions you must get correct to pass this exam.
Good luck and comment below if you have specific questions.
Hector Perez Jr.
UPDATED AMENDMENT: I received some good feedback from Nathan in the comments section and it seems the quizlet cards I recommended have changed a bit and the numbers were removed for some reason. If you notice now, there are links added to the *55 and *39 set of cards. These are word docs to the questions I used. Hope this clarifies it a bit more. Thanks for your feedback!