When my friend Pierre told me he had three Salesforce certifications, I was shocked. I thought there was no possible way I could ever accomplish such a feat. Well, it's been a few years, but here I am with three Salesforce certifications (Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant, and Salesforce Developer), studying for my fourth! I can't believe it. And I *hate* multiple choice tests with a passion. So here are some hints and resources to help you along the way. The most important thing I can say is: you can do it!
Tip 1: Use Salesforce materials! Salesforce creates the certification exams, so be sure to use Salesforce materials when you study. Your first stop should be the Salesforce certification website, where the first thing you should download and use for organizing your studying is the exam guide for the certification you're going after (e.g., the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide). If you're on a budget, Salesforce Help & Training and the various implementation guides Salesforce produces are your best bet - simply take the topics in the study guide, google them, then practice, understand, and memorize the definitions and concepts from Salesforce's own documentation.
Tip 2: Join a study group *and* get a study buddy. There are several free study groups forming regularly in the Success Community and Power of Us Hub, or you can always form your own. Keep in mind, though, that the exams are difficult and you'll need to spend many hours outside of the study group studying. I highly recommend finding a one on one study buddy to keep you on track and to divide and conquer some of the research and sifting through all of the various subject areas on each exam. It's also great to quiz each other and clarify concepts. You can post in a group like Girlforce that you want a study partner, or ask at your local user group meeting.
Tip 3: Does your Salesforce organization have Premier or Premier Success? Are you sure? Take a quick second to double check because online, on-demand certification prep courses are included with these support plans. Otherwise, it's worth asking your organization to send you to a Salesforce University live or live online class, or at the very least pay for your exam fees. If you're paying out of pocket, consider the reduced cost exam fees surrounding Dreamforce.
Tip 4: Use free technology and apps! While Salesforce Trailhead is not designed to help you get certified, it can certainly introduce you to the concepts on certification exams and get you hands on in applying them in a free developer org (or Trailhead playground). The most useful aspect of Trailhead when studying for certification is probably the 'Resources' section at the end of each section, since it has a ton of handy links to Salesforce documentation.
Using flashcard apps like Quizlet can also be great, as long as you make and study your own flashcards to ensure accuracy.
Want more tips? Be sure to attend or catch the replay of #AdminHour: Let's Talk Salesforce Certifications, which you can register for right here.
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!