Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter 13 Certification - Experience

If you are reading this, you are either looking to get certified in ADM 201 or a similar exam. A little background about my profile. I have been in the software development industry for over 18 years and I have had experience with many verticals. While software is not new to me, cloud computing is and it didn't take much time to realize how accessible Salesforce is. I am going to assume familiarity of the reader around setting up your account and all the basic steps.

With a number of sample videos and a wealth of documentation/presentation from Salesforce, Youtube, iTunes etc., it could be overwhelming. At first, anything I read or watched seemed important but I quickly realized that I need to stick to the study guide. This was a good first step, get the most recent study guide and pay attention to the % allocation for the topics. I targeted the ones with 10% or higher first, but eventually I covered every single line item in the study guide. By that, I would have either watched a video, read about it from SFDC help documentation or have done that myself from the test account. I took the test on 11/21/2012.

Here is my experience summarized:

1. Complete all the exercises from's presentation, unless you understood the concept 100%
2. Answer all the knowledge check questions.
3. As much as possible, create example scenarios and complete it. This is where I learned the most, and the more you are stuck the better it is to orient yourself around Salesforce.
4. There are a plenty of sample questions and other blogs about it in linked in. I tried the ones that are situation based and skipped the ones with limits and true or false.
5. I used chrome tools like Diigo and flashcardstash. I also made a lot of hand written notes as well. All these helped  on the day of and the day before the real exam.
6. Understand the data model thoroughly and the concepts around security. Actually, I'd rate this as the #1 item for success.
7. If you have a local Salesforce user group, try and attend. You may find someone who is already certified and willing to answer questions. Ain't nothing like live help!

Apart from the above I may have watched a few minutes of video from Youtube and iTunes but it didn't do any for the certification. I hope this helps anyone taking the test.

Please know that your experience may be different based on the type of the learner you are. You may need fewer or more resources for you to be successful. Check all the topics in linked in about ADM 201 and pay attention to others comments about how useful they are.

Good luck!

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