(Credit and contributing material for this post goes to Adam Olshansky, Jayvin Arora and Nicole Alford – THANK YOU!)
My Dreamforce 2015 was focused entirely around VetForce and supporting that great organization, so I did not have time catch a lot of Dreamforce sessions. When Dreamforce 2015 wrapped up last September, I did my usual routine of reviewing sessions/keynotes I had missed. About the time, a fellow Salesforce employee and Salesforce MVP Nicole Alford told me about a Dreamforce session titled “Use Trailhead to Become Salesforce Certified “. Nicole mentioned how she was a part of it and I should check it out given my recent work with military veterans. The material shared today is not Salesforce official material, but has several parts of that Dreamforce session which I thought were really valuable for anyone wanting to attain their Salesforce admin certification. I will focus the blog on “How to Pass the Salesforce Admin Exam Using Trailhead” although the Dreamforce session did give insights into other trails to study for other Salesforce certifications.
Why Get Certified?
I get this question from customers, friends and veterans at least once a week. Below is a really cool graph seen at Dreamforce session which shows a correlation to certifications and annual salary. The info below is pretty compelling and speaks for itself.
As many of you know, Salesforce’s Trailhead is a fun, free, interactive way to learn about all about Salesforce There are many ways to approach learning Salesforce and with Trailhead it breaks down learning into “Trails”, “Modules” and “Units” as you navigate and choose your own path to learning. When you navigate the trails, challenges come your way and you acquire points and ultimately earn badges. I have seen the way Trailhead ‘gamify’s’ learning Salesforce and it can become addictive to get more and more badges. As you read this blog post, consider acquiring more badges beyond the ones recommended below.
Admin Exam Background
Before we get into which trails and modules to go after, let’s briefly discuss the exam and and some background behind the exam. The exam is 60 questions of which 39 you must answer correctly to pass and earn your certification. Additional details about the exam can be found on this blog post I wrote last year in the ‘Exam Strategy’ section. For a bit of context as to why certain badges are recommended in this blog, one must look at the break down of the exam and what areas are weighted more than others. In the table below, these are the percentages of questions related to objective area. This information below is from the study guide published by Salesforce.
Trailhead Badges/Modules to Secure
If you are first time user to Salesforce, I would recommend “CRM Basics” to get the baseline understand of what CRM is about and how to navigate the tool and get used to Salesforce. Here are the badges and modules recommended in the Dreamforce session as you begin your journey to secure your Salesforce admin certification.
Additional Resources For You
As you begin your journey through Trailhead, don’t forget there is a whole community of resources out there to help you further your career and education in Salesforce. Below are the recommendations from the Dreamforce session on this subject, plus a few others I have added.
- Salesforce Help and Training Catalog (Both in person and online)
- Follow Salesforce employees and MVPs on social media (a few below)
- Join local Salesforce User Groups & Success Communities
- Salesforce Blogs
- Salesforce Developer Blogs
- Be sure to check out the resources page for all things Trailhead and beyond
Best of luck in your studies!
Hector Perez Jr.
I think Trailhead is great but out there, there are resources more orientated to pass the exam but gathering all the necessary knowledge: udemy, salesforce.study, certifiedondemand.com, and few more.
I have ~6 months experience administering Salesforce for my organization. Based on your experience, is that, in combination with Trailhead enough for the first Admin certificate? Unfortunately I don’t have access to paid courses.