I get the following question about once a month – through social media, at events, or through referrals from other peers, colleagues and friends:

“My goal this year is to get Salesforce Admin Certified, but I am not sure the exact path to take.   Can you help guide me”

First, I would say – your path is going to be different than mine.  If I were to poll the recipients of the Salesforce Admin Certification, we would find that they have different paths and each one has value.  So I must say that my path won’t be your path.  That being said, there are some things that I feel would bring a solid base on your way to being certified.  Congratulations on taking the path and good luck on your journey!

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1) Hands on work

If you are currently working as a Salesforce Admin that is great and will give you experience in Salesforce. I spent over 6 months administrating a Salesforce organization before studying for my Admin Cert, and I think that was valuable time spent. If you are not currently an admin it is OK, because we have Trailhead! With Trailhead, you can sign up for a developer Salesforce Account and use this as your hands-on playground to understand more about Salesforce and how Salesforce Works. Here is a Trailmix for Admins looking to get certified:
https://trailhead.salesforce.com/users/00550000006yDdKAAU/trailmixes/build-your-admin-career-on-salesforce

2) Study Groups

Through my local Salesforce user group, I found other people in the area who wanted to get certified and we started our own study group. We met weekly for 3 months and studied together, using the materials I will list below to work together on quizzing each other on topics and Salesforce functionality.

3) Certification Site and Exam Guide

Use the exam guide found on the certification page as a study template.  Make sure you know the information listed in the categories on this guide. http://certification.salesforce.com/administrator

4) Blogs and Admin training sites

I reviewed these on the way to my certification:

5) Reach out and Connect with others

You already have done this if you reached out to me with your question, so you are already networking with others.  Keep doing that.  Meet others at local user groups, connect with other community members via Twitter or through the Trailblazer Community.  For example, there is a Certification Study Group  https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/chatter/groups/GroupProfilePage?g=0F9300000001pLJ but there are many other groups you can join and participate in.  Asking questions to others is a great way to start a conversation.

6) Set a Date for your Exam

I set a specific date for my Exams – try to be realistic, but set the date.  For my Admin Cert, I set a date 3 months out and then strive to hit that date.  Having the deadline put pressure on me to continue to study every day knowing that I had to be done.

Oh, and then make sure to celebrate for yourself when you are done.  It is nice to have the certification and then reward yourself on a job well done.

 

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