How does someone successfully pass the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Exam?
Does it require the luck of the Irish?
Do you need to kiss the Blarney Stone?
How about chasing the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow?
The Answer is NO! All it takes is a deeper understanding of Salesforce and a solid study plan. Right off, I’ll say that I did not pass the exam the first time.
I changed my approach the second time with better results. Here’s how I passed. Hopefully it will help you also.
First let’s go over what the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam covers.
Salesforce provides a great outline for all of their exams and the Salesforce Advanced Admin Exam Guide is no exception. I organized the exam objectives below starting with the heaviest weight at the top of my list:
- Security and Access (20%) – 12 Questions
- Process Automation (13%) – 8 Questions
- Sales Cloud Applications (10%) – 6 Questions
- Service Cloud Applications (10%) – 6 Questions
- Data Management (10%) – 6 Questions
- Change Management (10%) – 6 Questions
- Analytics, Reporting, and Dashboards (10%) – 6 Questions
- Extending Custom Objects and Applications (8%) – 5 Questions
- Auditing and Monitoring (6%) – 4 Questions
- Content Management (3%) – 2 Questions
Each objective on the exam guide contains bulleted items you must fully understand in order to pass. This is no different then the Certified Administrator Exam, except the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam tests your depth of Salesforce knowledge compared to the breadth of knowledge from your first exam.
OK! So what’s on the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam already?!
The exam contains 60 multiple choice and multiple-select questions similar to the Basic Administrator exam. You have 90 minutes to complete the exam and must score a 65% or better to pass. Simply put, you must answer at least 39 questions correctly.
Here are some of the topics you will encournter on the exam, starting with the heaviest weighted objective items since you’ll see more of them:
- More administrator basic knowledge related to OWD, profile settings, sharing rules, and field level settings given a specific scenario
- Delegated administration and actions that can be performed given a specific scenario
- What combination of process automation tools (workflow rules, approval process, validation rules, etc.) work best given a specific scenario
- Know the difference between Customizable and Collaborative Forecasts
- Know the difference between Quantity and Revenue Schedules
- Configuring Salesforce Knowledge
- Salesforce Entitlement Process
- Advanced reporting features (Bucketing, Custom Report Types, Exception reports)
- Advanced dashboard features (Dashboard filters)
- Relationships (Lookup, Master Detail, Junction) between both standard and custom objects
- The best tool to audit or monitor your org given a specific scenario
To understand all of this material, my approach was to complete an outline of the study using a combination of resources. Use Google searches, the Salesforce User Guide, and Admin Trailhead modules. I recommend a few Quizlet flashcards referenced by other Salesforce bloggers that came in handy to reinforce the material:
Additionally, I really liked the mock exams found on the Salesforce Ben blog site since they follow the actual multiple choice/multiple-select exam format. And, they contain questions that most resemble the study material.
Feedback, At Last!
Saleforce now publishes your section score as a percentage on your exam results page. This is in addition to the dreaded FAIL or jubilated PASS result you currently see. You will not receive a numeric exam score. However, it’s not too difficult to estimate it knowing your newfound section percentage.
For example, the Security and Access section is weighted 20% of the exam or 12 questions. Let’s say you scored 75% for that section. This means you answered 9 of the 12 questions correctly. So, repeat the same calculations for each section and then sum the totals for a good indicator of your actual exam score. Your score may be off by a point or two, but it’s better than not knowing at all as we’ve all experienced prior to January 2017.
Let’s wrap this up
There are many ways to prepare for the Advanced Administrator exam and each person has a method that works best for them. I mentioned my success structured around a thorough study guide and believe it will work for you too. Finally, you may not see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but the letters P-A-S-S on the results screen are just as good if not better at that moment!
Best wishes on your certification journey!
Sean Lee US Army Veteran Certified Salesforce Consultant Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Shamrock image: (https://cdn2.iconfinder.com/data/icons/st-patrick-s-day/120/shamrock-512.png)
Blarney Stone image (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/nv/NVRENblarney_beck.jpg)
Pot of Gold image: (http://res.freestockphotos.biz/pictures/4/4622-illustration-of-a-pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-a-rainbow-pv.png)