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Tips for Salesforce.com Administrator Certification (ADM 201)

I recently cleared my Salesforce.com Administrator Certification (ADM 201). Although I thought it was overdue by at least a year, better late than never :) ! Few of my colleagues, friends and some folks from Salesforce.com LinkedIn community have asked me for some tips for clearing the exam. I thought it might be beneficial for everyone if I posted this for anyone aspiring to clear this exam.

Some high level details of the exam:

  • 60 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes allotted to complete the exam
  • 60% is the passing score(you don't get to know how much you scored, just a PASS or FAIL)
  • Registration fee is USD 200
  • No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam
  • Exam does not test your ability memorize the governing limits of Salesforce.com or your ability mug up the training material. What the exam looks for is your understanding of the facilities made available by the platform and the best way to configure it for business cases.

Some Do's:

  • Salesforce.com offers you a free developer sandbox access. Make sure that you get one ASAP and start working on the exercises.
  • I found the Instructor-led course very helpful. If possible, try to attend one.
  • Make sure you go through the following online courses offered under the Help & Training section. There are exercises that you can download and practice and these are huge help in understand how to work with the platform.

DO NOT SKIP THESE EXERCISES AT ANY COST.
  • Administration Essentials
  • Configure Salesforce with Custom Fields
  • Profiles to Align with Your Business Needs
  • Getting a Head Start with Chatter
  • Managing Data for Administrators
  • Managing Users and Troubleshooting Login Issues
  • Salesforce CRM Content for Administrators
  • Analyze Your Data Your Way with Reports
  • Summarize Your Data with Highlights, Charts, and Dashboards
  • Automating Your Service Cloud

Some Don'ts:

  • Avoid taking any online exams that are offered free specifically Proprofs. All the exams are misleading as they rely on rote information rather than business cases.
  • Don't schedule the exam two months away. 20-30 days is a good time period to really concentrate, focus, study and clear the exam.
  • Don't try to memorize governing limits or any such information that you can easily search and find.
  • When you find a touch question, don't waste too much time trying to solve it. Just try eliminating the wrong answers first and if you are still stuck, mark it for review and come back later. You get only 1.5 minutes per question and there are much easier questions along the way. I finished my exam in 45 minutes at first go. I had marked around 16 questions for review. Within 10 minutes I had reviewed and finalized answers to ten of them. I took another five minutes to guess at the really hard ones.

Hope these tips help you! Best wishes and let me know once you clear the exam! Happy studying :)

About the Author: Giridhar B G, works as Program Manager and Operations Leader at GE Energy Commercial IT organization. He has more than 13 years experience in IT industry and has working knowledge of many technologies including Web Services, CRM technologies, BI and Mainframes.

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