Updated: Jul 1
Is your new year’s resolution to finally get that Salesforce certification under your belt?
There are lots of study guides out there that’ll help you to prepare for the test, but not many provide tips on what to do whilst sitting the exam to help increase your chances of passing. Because, let’s be honest, we’ve all sat a test before where we’re only just about passing the practice tests and have doubts in our mind that today isn’t the day. So being able to get a few more marks by missing out on silly errors could be the difference you need to pass!
Read every answer
A lot of the time we read a question and confidently think it’s the first or second answer, moving on without reading the rest of the answers. This is a really common error that we all make! It can be very tempting to choose it and move on, even if you are 99% sure, you should always read the rest of the answers.
A lot of Salesforces answers in their certs can be interpreted as the right one, by committing too early, you might miss an answer that seems more logical.
Read every question twice, read every answer twice
There are lots of times where we skim over an answer, we might not have much time left, or just feel the pressure building up as we start to rush.
But by doing this, you could miss reading a word, and a single word in a question can sometimes mean the whole difference. Most of the times its words like Has or Hasn’t, Does or Doesn’t. Look out for words that your eyes might mistake when reading them fast, like the ones I just highlighted. That’s why we should read a question twice to make sure we didn’t mistake anything, because some questions will have answers that seem logical to a misinterpreted question but, upon closer inspection, are wrong.
Eliminate two wrong answers
In most of the questions where you have to select one answer out of four, there will be two that logically could be the right answer, and two that are less likely to be the right answer. Try to work downwards, by identifying the two that don’t seem correct. This will help you decide the right answer, as you’ll have less to compare, making the process easier.
By successfully removing two answers, you are giving yourself a 50% chance of getting the question right, and if you did that on every question, it would equate to a 50% chance of passing. With only needing a 65% to pass, this will get you within 15% of a pass, without even having to consider the right answer!
Big up Salesforce when in doubt
In a lot of Salesforce questions, they like to make themselves look good by highlighting their capabilities.
If something seems like common sense, for example Salesforce having a certain feature that you would expect as standard, then it’s probably right. But only use this technique when you are stuck on a question, as it might not be the right one.
Imagine you were a Salesforce employee writing the exam, would you want to make the company look bad? Salesforce always likes to show off what its capable of.
Once done, go back and read every single question again (including every possible answer)
There will be questions that you just have no idea what the answer is. You don’t know if Salesforce have made up fake names to make them look realistic, or they’re being genuine.
The good news is, along the course of the exam, you learn and gain knowledge from different questions and answers, which might help you with that question.
It’s also best to double-check your answers and iron out any little errors you might have made when reading them the first time. Which leads me on nicely to the next point…
Use the “Mark This Item For Later Review”
If you are ever the slightest bit unsure (I know for me it’s the majority of the questions as I start to flood with self-doubt), use this checkbox. By checking it, you’ll create a subconscious note in your brain to look out for information in later questions that might help you answer that one. Because this checkbox will basically add a level of importance to the question and put it on your radar.
When going back over your questions at the end of the exam, this will add extra precaution as you meet a question with this tick box marked, so you will spend more time reading and thinking about the answers.
Don’t finish the exam early.
You’re given a set amount of time, so use it all. There’s no need to show off to colleagues about how quick you managed to do it, the only thing anybody cares about is if you passed or not!
The more times you check a question, the more times you are diving into your bank of knowledge, and you never know when you might pull out a piece of knowledge that will answer the question. It might be the first time reading the question, or the fourth, but reading it will give you more certainty, and more chance of getting it right.
This being said, I know a lot of people will start to fill with doubt the more they look at a question, which leads onto my next point.
Follow your gut!
There will always be times when we look at a question and pick an answer, feeling quite confident about it, then we look at it a bit more, and think differently about it. And this crossroad frightens us all when we get there.
If you want to look at statistics and probabilities on which one will be right (you first answer or the second one), you should go with your gut. If your gut originally said the first answer, then choose that one. You will, more than likely, read an answer, and a certain word or number will pop up in an answer that will spark your memory back to your revision.
You should be going into the exam feeling fairly comfortable with the amount of revision you’ve done, so don’t be scared to follow what your gut is telling you is the right answer.
Use your time to memorise questions
This is a backup plan. If you fail, you will want to know where your weaknesses were. So, for all the questions that you are unsure of, take a mental note of them so you can search them after to find the answer for next time.
The good thing here is Salesforce will tell you straight away if you failed or not. I know as a kid in school, everybody would come out of an exam and start consulting answers. And there’s nothing worse than hearing somebody say “oh yeah I got 200 for that question” when you got “Abraham Lincoln”…
Because they give you your result straight away, you don’t have to worry about looking up a question to see if you got it wrong while waiting in suspense for your result.
Take your time (there is plenty) and good luck to anybody going for a cert in 2020!