If you have been considering getting a Salesforce certification but felt it was too daunting of a goal, now is the time to reach the top of that mountain. Here is an effective plan to get you started for studying for a Salesforce certification.
1. Take it Step by Step
Like climbing a mountain, or any challenge, you need to start by putting one foot in front of the other. Go at your own pace, have a plan, and incentives to help you on your way to the beautiful peak. There are many paths you can take in your Salesforce career. Some routes have prerequisites, so it is essential to have a plan and know the trail ahead of you. Here at Groundswell we know your plan might change. That’s why we account for different paths through our Growth and Development Journeys. For example, if you have a platform developer certification but feel consulting is more interesting, we offer support for our employee’s growth. Read more about how Groundswell supports you on your career path.
2. Trailheads and Trail mixes 🙏
Once you have your plan in place, the next step is trailheads and trail mixes. With trailheads, you learn in-demand skills that can lead to your satisfying goal and maybe even a career.
Don’t know where to start? There’s even an introductory trailhead to go over the basics. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can move along in your plan to study for the certification that you want.
Tip: If you start skimming and are no longer memorizing and understanding the Trailhead you are on, take notes on the information that you aren’t absorbing. Log into Trailhead and find more trail mixes about what you are not retaining.
Every certification has a link to an exam guide and at least one trail mix. Trail mixes are custom groups of trailheads from your favourite trails, modules, projects and super badges. Trail mixes are a great way to learn and feel accomplished.
3. Write It Out and Mark-It off
Even though there are lots of online resources, nothing beats pen and paper. Writing things out helps our ability to retain that information. However, it is better to study and understand the material rather than memorize it. Remember, the exam makes it so you can’t fake your way to the top.
Tip: Drawing a picture of how you understand concepts can help too! To relate a feature with a real-life business use case often helps test takers to solidify their concepts. By doing this, you will understand how a particular feature adds value when used.
If you don’t have the right equipment with you, you won’t be able to reach your goal and see the beautiful view at the top of the mountain. It is good to have a checklist of the topics and vocabulary words that can appear in your exam. Every mountain climber needs the right gear. By taking these steps and adequately equipping yourself you will be prepared for the twists and turns of the journey ahead. Go through your checklist and see if you can recall all the details. You can also test your skills with practice exams and get yourself familiar with the format of the questions. Some questions ask for 2 to 3 answers, and if you don’t answer the whole question correctly, you fail that question. Once you get 80 – 90% on the practice tests and fully understand it, you can mark it off your list and have the satisfaction of knowing you will ace the test!
4. Have A Study Group!
You don’t have to go alone; you can take this path with others, so study groups are great! Study groups are not for everyone, but having a support system can be helpful. Friends in a study group can hold you accountable for setting aside time to study, having a committed routine, and are just fun to have around. If you don’t have someone working towards the same certification as you are, don’t worry, there’s a whole Trailblazer Community online to help you. It’s a great way to share tips or learn from individuals who went through the same exam as you are about to take. You might even meet a future colleague through the Trailblazer Community. Either way, it is crucial to make these connections and have buddies to work with you along your way to reach the top.
5. Build a Contingency Plan for Failure
It is crucial to prepare for when things don’t go as planned, as tests can be difficult. It is okay to fail. If you fail a certification exam, you can retake it at 50% of the cost. Failure is a part of life, and it only means you are passionate about reaching your goals. If your path is blocked, you need to think differently about your approach to the problem and try a different route to getting to the top of that mountain, perhaps by acquiring more hands-on experience.
Certification can be the first step in your Salesforce journey. The path to getting certified can be a tricky one, but if you plan accordingly, take the right equipment, and mindset, you might find the air is a little bit sweeter at the top. Because with your head in the Cloud, you can go anywhere.