How to study for your Admin Certification

Knowing where to start for your Admin Exam can be tricky. It's not the lack of information out there - the internet is saturated with Salesforce Admin content. Almost past the point of being useful! It's having some sort of structure to your study that's difficult. Here's our tried and tested recipe for success in studying for your Admin Cert. We've seen this work for hundreds of students, and encourage you to follow it as well.
Our base assumptions:
  1. You're starting as a complete beginner in Salesforce. No prior experience is required.
  2. You have around 7 hours a week to study and learn Salesforce.
  3. You have access to a PC or laptop, internet, and a quiet place to work.

STEP 1: Understand the Basics

Step 1: Learn the Basics of Salesforce

✅ Understand Salesforce from an End-User's perspective

If you've used Salesforce before as an end-user, you have a massive advantage when it comes to studying for the exam. You already have an intuitive idea of what a Lead, Account, Contact, and Opportunity is. If you haven't used Salesforce as an end-user, it's best to spend the first part of your Salesforce journey playing pretend "sales rep" (yes, even you developers out there. We can pretend for a little bit).
Here are some great links to get you started:

✅  Cover the basics of being an Admin

Once you understand the usefulness of Salesforce from an end-user point of view, it's time to get started on the Salesforce Admin side of things. This involves a lot more information than an end-user needs to know - and plenty of it is going to be very confusing! But the goal here isn't to understand everything 100%. There's plenty of time for that later. It's just to keep going through the content. There are concepts that you'll only understand when you do them. But at some stage, you've got to be introduced to them first.
Here's what you should complete in this step:
  • 100 badges in Trailhead. I recommend this trail here, which is specifically designed for people starting out in Salesforce and studying for their Admin Cert.
  • 3 Superbadges. Go for the Admin Superbadges here. Best to spread these out over several rainy weekends.

STEP 2: Put those basic skills to work

Step 2: Real World Salesforce Admin Project

✅  Complete a Real-World Project

You've done a once over of the basics, and you'll probably be thinking - "Holy moly, that is way too much for me to ever remember!". Don't stress. Don't worry. All you need is a real-world project. A real-world project at this stage is vital to cementing the concepts you've just learnt and really putting those basic skills to work. It will be much more challenging than Trailhead, but for good reason. It needs to be more challenging for you to learn and get better. So embrace it!
Here are some places to find a real-world project:

STEP 3: Use Practice Exam Questions as Launchpads 🚀

Step 3: Getting the most out of Salesforce Practice Exams

✅  USE practice exams. Don't just complete them.

One of the biggest traps we see students fall into when studying for their Admin Cert is to focus all their attention on the theory and practice exams. This method alone often leads students to believe that they "understand Salesforce" based on practice exam scores alone. In the real exam, these students typically have a really difficult time applying their ultra-specific, memorised answers to broader more scenario-based questions, and so fail the overall exam.
The best solution to this is instead of using practice exams as the main source of your study, use them as a launchpad for what to try out in a Trailhead Playground. For each practice exam question, you should spend 10% of your time reading it,  85% implementing the question yourself in a Trailhead Playground org, and 5% answering it. The students who do this rarely, if at all, fail their final exam. 
Here is how you can get the most out of your practice exams:
  • Set up your computer or laptop to have one screen with the practice questions, and one screen with your playground opinion. Remember, 85% of your time should be spent in the playground searching and trying out what the practice question is talking about.
  • The best place to buy practice exams is from Focus On Force or Webassessor. You can find some questions for free on Trailhead, but these aren't often a very accurate representation of the final exam.


Our courses follow this structure and include new Real-World projects constantly. If you would like to find out more and join a course, please visit our course offerings on our website.