Updated: Jul 6
We’ve been having a bit of a drive here lately at oe:gen, a Salesforce Certification drive! We’ve all been pushing ourselves in the last few months (with a bit of friendly internal competition) to up our cert game and try to gain credentials in all the different areas we specialise! People have been attaining certs left and right, bells are ringing, and cake is being eaten, but what happens when the unfortunate happens and… you… fail.
Take a guess who this happened to…
That’s right, I can admit it! I’m Alex, a Salesforce Consultant and just last week I failed a Salesforce Certification. But you know what? It happens, and there’s a few things I learned from the experience that I’d like to share with you.
Be proud of yourself
The first thing most of us do when we fail is begin to question our own ability, which sometimes isn’t even related to the test/exam/inflatable obstacle course we just fell off… we internalise these thoughts and start believing that we’re frauds for daring to try and not succeed (see Imposter syndrome). We forget that the pursuit of knowledge and ability is something we should be hugely proud of and failing is just a small bump in the road. So, go you for trying!
Certs are hard for a reason
Having attained a few certs previously, I wholly began underestimating and underappreciating how much experience is needed to pass these exams. Failing one has given me a new appreciation for them and realisation:
CERTS. ARE. HARD. AS. NAILS.
It’s easy to forget this simple fact, but look back at the recommended pre-requisites of one the next time you’re thinking of taking a cert. Most of them have a number of Trailhead Trails you should complete beforehand and at least 6 months to 1 years’ experience hands on using the platform. If these exams were easy, then the accomplishment of attaining them would be far less rewarding.
Get back on that horse and start studying
The immediate gut reaction to failing anything is usually the want to give up and throw in the towel. It might be only a small thought, but I personally get this niggle in my head for a couple of hours… but then I try to get myself reinvigorated with the material.
Firstly, I try to look back on why I failed, and how the Salesforce Cert gives you a percentage based on each section is really helpful here. Looking at where I was strong and where I completely dropped the ball (I’m looking at you Salesforce Engage section!) gives me great guidance on where I need to go do some extra studying and focus my attention. This leads into my last point…
Get that exam rebooked!
Yeah! You heard me! Use your scores from each section to figure out how far off you were from passing. There’s even a handy calculator someone made here that will work out your overall percentage score if you want to get specific. Then, set yourself a new target date to get the exam booked again. Think about it, you have the knowledge from before, you’re going to study up on the parts you weren’t so great at and you now know a little more about how the questions are structured; you got this!