Salesforce experience is in high demand across the world. The company estimates an increase of 4.2 million jobs created in its software ecosystem by 2024.
A Salesforce Admin job is an excellent place to start or enrich your career. To stand out from the competition, consider becoming a Salesforce Certified Administrator. To do that, you have to pass a 60-question skill proficiency exam that can seem overwhelming and complex.
Here’s the good news:
With some effort, you can easily pass the exam and become a Salesforce Certified Administrator.
Leveraging your certification can lead to promotions and job offers, and it can help you become an asset in your company. If you use all the resources available, practice good study habits, and have a test-taking strategy, you can ace the exam.
Here’s what you’ll learn in our Salesforce Admin Certification study guide:
- What the Salesforce Administrator position entails
- The benefits of Salesforce Administrator Certification
- An overview of the exam and FAQs
- What the exam covers
- How to prepare for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam
- Maintaining your certification
A Salesforce Administrator acts as the backbone of the Salesforce software by connecting technology and business. They manage and maintain the platform and its users. Admins tailor the use of the software to fit the company’s needs and facilitate the technical use of Salesforce.
Some of the Salesforce Administrator responsibilities are to:
- Develop report metrics
- Manage user accounts, roles, and access
- Troubleshoot and debug
- Maintain records and workflow
- Monitor dashboards
- Stay up to date on new Salesforce releases
If you’re wondering how to become a Salesforce Admin, know that anyone can do it. But to become a Salesforce Certified Administrator, you have to pass the exam.
Why You Want to Be a Salesforce Certified Administrator
Salesforce jobs are in high demand and are projected to keep growing. According to its data, Salesforce Administrator jobs see a yearly growth rate of 400%, with a starting salary of $79,000. Indeed reports an average base salary of $91,671.
A Salesforce certification can lead to promotions and new job opportunities. It’s a resume booster that quantifies and qualifies your skill level on a platform used by 99 out of 100 of the Fortune 500 brands.
Businesses want to work efficiently. As a Salesforce Certified Administrator, you can show your company how to adopt Salesforce features and improve business operations. You can also learn how to integrate useful applications to get the most out of Salesforce.
An Overview of the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam
The exam is designed to showcase your proficiency as a Salesforce Administrator.
- Your ability to manage users
- Your ability to configure the platform
- Your knowledge of Salesforce’s tools and features
There are three release cycles for the exam (spring, summer, winter). These tests correspond to the changes with every Salesforce update.
Make sure you’re up to date on Salesforce’s latest features and changes. This also means if you have to retake the exam, you should do so in the same period to ensure you’re not asked different questions.
Passing the Salesforce Administrator certification test is the prerequisite for other Salesforce certifications like the Advanced Administrator.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam
Here are the answers to some common Salesforce Admin certification questions.
What’s the Salesforce Administrator Exam Format?
The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. There will also be an additional five non-scored questions for data gathering purposes. The time given for the exam is 105 minutes. It is a closed-book exam.
What’s a Passing Score?
You need 65% to pass, which means you need 39 correct answers out of 60.
How Much Does the Salesforce Administrator Exam Cost?
The registration is $200 plus tax, and it’s $100 plus tax to retake the exam.
Practice tests are $20 for each attempt.
How Is the Exam Given?
You can either do a proctored exam at a testing center or at home proctored online.
How Long Does It Take to Prepare for the Salesforce Administrator Exam?
This answer depends on you and your schedule.
It’s recommended to study for at least one month before the exam. But you can schedule your exam a few months out if you want extra time to prepare. Note that the Salesforce resource preparation alone is more than 45 hours.
What the Salesforce Admin Exam Covers
Salesforce is upfront about the topics covered and their weight on the Salesforce Administrator certification test.
The exam might change for each release cycle, but here’s an example with the topics weighted highest to lowest:
- Standard and Custom Objects 14%
- Sales and Marketing Applications 14%
- Security and Access 13%
- Service and Support Applications 13%
- Data Management 10%
- Analytics – Reports and Dashboards 10%
- Workflow/Process Automation 8%
- User Setup 7%
- Activity Management and Collaboration 3%
- Organizational Setup 3%
- Desktop and Mobile Administration 3%
- AppExchange 2%
Each section gets further broken down into topics covered. For example, the Security and Access portion will cover topics including:
- Permission settings for custom profiles
- How to organize folders for safe operations
- Control of security features like passwords and network settings
Getting Started Before the Exam
Make the commitment and decide if the Salesforce Administrator certification cost of time and money is the best fit for you at this time.
When you’re ready to go, schedule the exam and start studying.
Resources for Salesforce Admin Certification Preparation
Salesforce provides extensive study materials. It has multiple Salesforce Administrator certification courses to help you:
Each course has modules in the various areas on the test. Course attendance can help you study the Salesforce platform and familiarize yourself with the material from the exam.
You can earn badges and superbadges in areas like security and business administration that help motivate you while you study.
Salesforce also offers classes and workshops, in-person and online, on topics including:
Before your exam, you can join a free webinar about the test for more advice on how to pass.
You can learn from other Salesforce Certified Administrators who have shared their experience. There are other resources online from Salesforce experts like classes from Udemy and Simplilearn, or Salesforce-specific training websites like Salesforce Ben or SFDC99.
Take note to use your best judgment on outside resources. Since they’re not directly from Salesforce, make sure the information is correct and up to date.
Examples of Questions for the Exam
The Salesforce admin practice exam is one of the best ways to prepare for the exam. It’s always a good idea to practice directly with the company providing the test.
Taking a mock test will help give you a sense of the questions and how the exam is structured. The questions are multiple-choice, with some that will ask you to select more than one answer.
Some questions ask directly about features, while others are scenario-based.
Examples of the test questions include:
- Which tool to use when a specific type of user asks you to import data
- The different types of rules for features and when specific rules are enforced
- How to capture leads and map lead conversions
- How to correctly configure settings for specific reports
- How to establish parameters for account permissions
- What tool to use to upload files in one batch
Tips on Studying for the Salesforce Admin Test
You’ll need to study for the Salesforce Administrator certification. Arm yourself with resources and get started.
Plan Your Study Guide and Schedule
Create a Salesforce administrator certification study guide for yourself. Figure out your study time based on the weight of sections. You don’t want to devote too much time to an area that’s only 2% of the test.
Keep Calm and Study On
Studying might give you horrific flashbacks to your high school math class, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Remember, the goal of studying and certification is to get better acquainted with the Salesforce software. Keep that ultimate goal in mind.
Pay attention to what works for you, and avoid bad habits, like multitasking. Maybe you think those midnight cramming sessions were helpful in college, but they aren’t the most effective way to absorb information.
Work on Salesforce in the Real World
Try to get hands-on Salesforce training. It’ll be easier to remember processes based on experience than from study materials. Then you can understand the concepts, not just memorize them.
You can also sign up for a free Developer Edition of Salesforce to tinker with.
Find a Study Group
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice exams are critical to your success. Take the official Salesforce Administrator certification practice test and others online. Review your questions and answers from every mock exam.
Add any notes to your Salesforce admin study guide you’ll need to remember for the real exam.
Strategies for Taking the Salesforce Admin Certification Exam
Many common test-taking strategies will come into play on the Salesforce exam, like eliminating wrong answers and carefully reading the questions. Here are other tips to keep in mind.
Watch Your Time
Don’t divide the 60 questions evenly over your 105 minutes of allotted time. Have a plan for your time before the test. Maybe spend one minute on every question, and then leave half an hour to go back to the questions you marked for review. This brings us to another tactic.
Mark Questions for Review and Come Back Later
Don’t spend time on questions you don’t know the answer to or need to think about. You could run out of time to answer the questions you do know.
Remember, you don’t have to get every question right. Focus on the questions and answers you feel confident about, then return to the problems you have trouble with.
It’s OK if You Don’t Pass
Don’t be discouraged if you fail your first time. Lots of people do. Instead, learn from your mistakes and try again.
Maintaining Your Certification
Once you pass and become a Salesforce Certified Administrator, you need to maintain your credentials and stay up to date. To ensure your certification doesn’t expire, you must complete all Salesforce Administrator maintenance modules on Trailhead.
You can view your certification status on your Trailblazer.me profile once it’s linked to your Webassessor account. Check the schedule to monitor the modules available to keep your Salesforce Administrator certification valid.
Final Thoughts: How to Pass the Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam
An Admin serves as a bridge between the business and the Salesforce platform. Certification makes you a desirable hire and valuable to your company. Becoming a Salesforce Certified Administrator is a challenge, but it’s doable with hard work.
Review all the resource options and create a Salesforce Administrator study guide for yourself. Look at everything the exam covers and decide where to spend your time. Make sure to use the Salesforce resources and other Salesforce experts’ advice.
If you prepare thoroughly and follow our advice for taking the test, you’ll be a Salesforce Certified Administrator in no time.
Did you pass the Salesforce Administrator certification exam? Tweet us your helpful tips at @CirrusInsight.