How Long Does It Take to Learn For Your Salesforce Certification Exam?

That depends! Not the answer you wanted? Bear with me. There are a number of factors contributed to your experience, study materials, career goal and more. You are going to make this work using the guidelines we’ll discuss in this article.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” 

Dwayne Johnson | actor and former pro-wrestler

One of the most popular questions around Salesforce Certifications is how long or how much time it takes to get ready for the Salesforce Certification Exam. And this is indeed a very important question to ask yourself. Understanding the timing will help you prepare accordingly and avoid the frustration.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, we can certainly apply a rule of thumb to give you some direction. Therefore, in this article we will break down the most relevant factors that will contribute to the date you’ll register your Salesforce Certification Exam for. These factors include:

  1. Your Salesforce experience
  2. Your available study time per week
  3. Study materials at your disposal
  4. Your Salesforce career plans
  5. Your desired Salesforce Certification exam date

Your Salesforce Experience

Have you had any experience with Salesforce yet? If yes, then we need to look at the type of experience.

This includes the type of Salesforce User, the type of Salesforce Org, type of involvement, and time spent in the system. Here are a few examples of what this may look like:

Type of Salesforce User:

  • Trailhead Learner completing Trailhead Modules and Projects
  • Salesforce Business User like a sales person using the User Interface, not the Setup
  • Salesforce Administrator working in the system setup

Type of Salesforce Org:

  • Trailhead Playground/Developer Org
  • Production Org such as Enterprise Edition, Essential Edition etc.
  • Robust org setup or disorganized org

Type of involvement:

  • Trailhead Learner completing step-by-step projects or completing complex SuperBadges
  • Business User working in the User Interface only, no Salesforce Setup
  • System Administrator configuring the Salesforce Setup, differentiating between simple setup items (e.g. setting up Users) or complex customizations (creating Custom Objects/Apps, Workflows, Flows etc.)

Time spent in the system:

  • Daily usage
  • A few hours per week
  • Irregular login

Where do you think you fit in? How confident do you feel about your experience with Salesforce?

Based on your previous experience, you may consider the following time frames:

0 Experience: 3-6 months

6 months+ Experience: 6-8 weeks

12 months+ Experience: 3-4 weeks

However, you need to consider how much time you can afford to study. Therefore, let’s look at the weekly study time and how this can affect your timeline.

Hours Per Week You Have Time to Study for your Salesforce Certification Exam

What does your daily life look like? Are you currently working a full-time job? Do you have kids or other people to care for? Do you have any leisure activities/hobbies to attend to?

This will help you determine how much time you can free up to focus on your Salesforce studies. You have various options, such as studying full-time or part-time or casually.

If we take the number of hours per day or week into consideration, the time frame may look like this:

And that’s not all, yet. We also need to look at the study materials you’re learning with as well as your learning pace to work through the materials.

Salesforce Study Materials at Your Disposal

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from in regards to how you are learning all the Salesforce Certification knowledge topics. These include Trailhead Modules/Project, video tutorials, study workbooks, practice exams, quizzes, and others.

If you are a Salesforce Newbie, you will certainly have more knowledge topics, or more material, to work through than someone with prior experience. And even if you are experienced, you may need to work through topics you thought you are confident in to make sure you’re not missing something you may not have been exposed to yet. At least, that’s what I’d suggest you should do. 🤓

What’s the best way to learn all that Salesforce knowledge to prepare for your certification exam?

With so much content out there, we’ve collated the essential details into a comprehensive Salesforce Certification Guide. It’s an 8-step guide telling you exactly what you should do in order to reach your exam day and pass at the first attempt. It also includes important information about what happens after you got certified. Because this is where your career really starts off. 👔

Your exam day will only be as successful as the Salesforce knowledge and skills you are bringing with you. The key to a successful exam day, therefore, is HOW you prepare yourself.

This means learning the right content in an effective way for your brain to absorb all that knowledge and retain it. It’s not just about “learning” it’s about “understanding”. There is science behind this, combined with real-life experience from other Salesforce learners.

Here are the recommended study materials that will help you prepare and give you the confidence for your exam day YOU want to have:

Salesforce’s Trailhead Modules and Projects – Each Salesforce Certification requires a different set of knowledge and tools. You will learn these through Trailhead Modules and Projects. The ones relevant for the Salesforce Certification you are preparing for are collated into so-called Trailmixes.

Salesforce Video Tutorials – Video tutorials are a great way to learn in a well-structured and coordinated way. Especially if you are a visual learner who prefers some guidance. Our video tutorials will not only help you “learn” but will offer plenty of opportunities for self-guided practice to help you “understand” what you’ve been learning about.

Salesforce Study Workbook – If you enjoy reading, taking notes, and even like to print out pages to pin at your desk, then our Study Workbooks are perfect for you. They give you a summary of all exam knowledge topics for review, and also include links to the Trailmixes mentioned earlier, so you can deepen your hands-on practice.

Salesforce Practice Exams – I believe these are a must-have for everyone. Because they do two things. One, get you familiar with the exam format and complexity of questions and answers. Two, they help you determine whether you are actually ready to take the exam. They are used to identify your strength and weaknesses, including detailed explanations and additional learning resources to strengthen your weaker knowledge areas.

NOTE: If you are a Salesforce Newbie, I would not recommend to start learning with Practice Exams, rather use them at a later point in time. They are meant to check in on your existing knowledge of the Salesforce features and functionalities.

And again, it depends on your prior experience. Salesforce Newbies may need all of the study materials, Salesforce Experienced may only need the Study Workbook and/or Practice Exams. Choose for yourself, it’s YOUR Salesforce Career!

And this brings us to the next factor.

Your Salesforce Career Plans

Now, we need to look at your Salesforce Career plans. This means, how important is the Salesforce Certification to you and how fast are you looking to use it to make a career move.

A Salesforce Certification is not a must-have to move into a Salesforce job, however, it will likely open more doors if you have at least one. You may even be in a current Salesforce job, maybe as an accidental Administrator, and you’re considering adding that Salesforce Certification to your CV but you’re not in a rush.

The urgency to gain the Salesforce Certification will also determine your exam deadline. And this takes us to the last but certainly not least factor.

Your Desired Salesforce Certification Exam Date

If you already have a date in mind, you can take the table from above and count backward to determine how many hours per week you would potentially have to study.

For example:

You’re desired exam date is 4 weeks from today. Two scenarios:

  • As a Salesforce Newbie, you’d have to study almost 240 hours per week. 🤯 I guess this is not very realistic. You may need to consider moving out that exam date.
  • As a Salesforce Experienced, you’d have to study 40-120 hours per week based on the type of experience. You may or may not be able to make it in 4 weeks.

🌶 Keep it realistic, and use the table above to determine your potential exam date. Yes, you can book your exam date already. This may help to push you forwards. However, if it’s an unrealistic date, you may get super stressed out and even fail while you could have prevented that by setting a realistic date.

If you are not sure whether you should book your exam date already or not, I’d suggest you get started with your learning curriculum. As you progress over the next few days or weeks, you get a feel on how well you are managing the complexity of the knowledge topics and your learning pace. Remember to make use of the Practice Exams to determine your exam readiness. Once you have a better idea, you can certainly go ahead and book that exam date.

We provide a Study Checklist to track your learning progress in combination with a traffic light system. This will give you a good idea of whether you are leaning more towards the sooner or later exam date.

What Else

Extended Hands-on Practice

Hands-on practice is included in any of the above-mentioned study materials. However, if you are a Salesforce Newbie or even if it’s just a few new topics you are studying, you should double-up your hands-on practice. The more you get your hands on the system, the better you’re learning success will be. And learning success means “understanding” your knowledge topic, which in turn will help you pass the exam. PLUS, retain the knowledge for your upcoming job interview.

This means you can either retake the Trailhead Modules/Projects in a new Trailhead Playground, or try on your own in a Developer Org. Alternatively, go and complete Trailhead Superbadges. They are based on real-life business scenarios and requirements which you need to set up in a Trailhead Playground all by yourself without any guidance. They are pretty tough and therefore the perfect way to really deepen your Salesforce skills. Yes, they do require a bit more time and patience. You can skip them, however, I’d really recommend you complete the ones listed in your Trailmixes. Superbadges can even be linked to your LinkedIn profile page, just like you can with your Salesforce Certification. That should tell you something. 💡

Here’s one which is part of the Salesforce Administrator Credential Trailmix:

Salesforce Documentation

Provides an extensive library of product features, knowledge articles, how-to documentation and so much more. While you are studying through your knowledge topics, you may want to read through some of the provided references on help.salesforce.com. They often contain additional or contributing information you should at least have a browse through. This also helps you get familiar with Salesforce Help and how to use it, because you’re going to need it, not only to prepare for your exam but also as an on-the-job reference. 🤓

Salesforce Release Notes

Contain important updates to the Salesforce platform. Each Salesforce Certification Exam is based on a release cycle. Which release cycle it is, is provided to you on the exam guide. Therefore, before you sit the exam, it helps to have a look at the exam relevant topics.

For example, if you are studying for the Salesforce Administrator, you should have a look at Analytics, Configuration, Einstein Automate, Sales, Marketing and Service.

This should give you plenty to contemplate. I hope you’ve been finding this helpful to determine your realistic exam date. Let me know in the comments when you are planning to take your Salesforce Certification Exam. We’re here to support you and help you keep going!

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks, and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Plan Your Salesforce Certification Studies – Use a Traffic Light System

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for you Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

Nicolaus Copernicus

Prepare Your Salesforce Certification Exam Studies For Success

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for your Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article, you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Track Your Salesforce Learning Progress

The first question everyone, who is preparing for a Salesforce Certification Exam, is asking themselves is “What do I actually need to learn?”.

Therefore, BEFORE you get started with your learning efforts, the first thing you need to do is understand which Salesforce knowledge topics you need to be proficient about.

This is where the Salesforce Certification Exam Guide comes in. It contains an overview of the exam topics you need to know about. Now, the thing with the exam guide is that it’s more of a high-level overview. It doesn’t quite provide you with a list of sub-topics. Because it’s often the sup-topics which will be asked about in the exam.

Plus, the exam guide does not allow you to tick anything off let alone highlight any topics with our traffic light system we’ll get to shortly.

Here comes our Salesforce Study Checklist to the rescue. The Study Checklist will help you stay on track with your studies. And in combination with the traffic light system, it will organize your study schedule so that you spend more time doing things and less time wasting time.

There are two approaches to incorporate the Traffic Light System.

Approach #1 is for Salesforce Newbies:

If you are totally new to Salesforce and you are starting from scratch, you’ll work your way through the topics in the given order. The order follows a logical structure allowing you to learn each topic step-by-step and build up your knowledge as you progress. Why? Because a lot of the subsequent topics often require the knowledge of the preceding topics. As you progress you’ll tick off each topic and see how you are moving towards the end.

Here’s an excerpt from the Study Checklist of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course:

Once, you’ve gone through each topic, you’re not done. I don’t want to punish you, not at all. BUT, as a new Salesforce learner, the next step is to deepen what you have learned. Because…by the time you’ve reached the end you will have forgotten at least 50% of what you thought you had learned. This is perfectly normal.

It’s all about repetition and practice. Therefore, you’ll now go back to the top and go through each topic again. For each topic, however, you will now use the traffic light system to classify them. Here is what this may look like:

🟢 Green = **too easy** Topics you know well and you would be able to set up in Salesforce in your dreams.

🟡 Yellow = **uuuhm** Topics you feel like you know but you’re not 100% confident with.

🔴 Red = **never heard of** Well, you probably have but you don’t recall. That’s what I mentioned earlier in regards to the 50% you’ve already forgotten.

Here’s what this may look like:

Approach #2 is for the somewhat-experienced Salesforce learner:

If you’ve already been exposed to Salesforce either through your current job or through the Trailhead platform or else, you probably don’t need to work through all the knowledge topics in chronological order. You can take the approach backward and start with the part where you go through each topic and classify them using the traffic light system.

You’ll then go over to work through each unit in the order of the colors. You’ll begin with the red ones, followed by the yellow ones, followed by the green ones. Then, tick off as you go through each.

Like in this example:

By using the Study Checklist in combination with the Traffic Light System, you can create a schedule that prioritizes the red learning topics while also leaving room for deepening your skills in the yellow topics as well as reviewing your expertise in the green topics.

Setting Realistic Salesforce Certification Exam Study Time Slots

Prioritizing and tracking your study progress is one side of the medal, the other side is your timing. Here are a few tips on how to manage your study time:

  • Set up your learning environment. This includes setting up your Trailhead Account and creating Trailhead Playgrounds.
  • Keep it quite. Turn off your mobile phone. If you live with family members or room mates, tell them not to disturb you.
  • Learn in bite-size chunks. Break down your study goals into smaller buckets, maybe 2-3 learning topics a day. Each knowledge topic is different in length and complexity. Some require 5 minutes, other may need 2 hours. Don’t worry if you don’t tick off more than one, the next day you might tick off 3 at once.
  • Take regular breaks. You can study 0.5-2 hours each day or schedule 3-4 hours on your weekend days. Don’t try to study for hours on end if you know you won’t be able to focus.

CONCLUSION

All of the above will help you stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Studying for your Salesforce Certification Exam takes time and patience. Having a plan and tracking your progress will keep you sane. 🤓

We offer a range of Study Checklists you can download for free. They are included in our Free Salesforce Certification Preview Courses. Go here to get access: https://www.welearnsalesforce.com/collections?category=free-salesforce-preview-courses

Let me know in the comments if you’ve been finding these tips helpful. Do you use any other learning methods that you have found useful? I’d love to hear about it!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

New Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide – June 2021

Official Salesforce News: After June 23, 2021 Trailhead has updated the content of the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide. We provide you with a mapping table of NEW vs. OLD Topics and their Weightings.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide has been Updated

After June 23, 2021 Trailhead has updated the content of the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide. We provide you with a mapping table of NEW vs. OLD Topics and their Weightings.

First up: NO NEED TO WORRY!

If you have booked your cert exam or you are planning to register, there is no reason to freak out! Because the exam objectives as such are not changing much. The knowledge topics and concepts you need to be proficient in are still the same.

What is changing is mostly the grouping and order of the exam outline. Meaning, Trailhead is taking the current exam objectives and groups them into more logical buckets.

There are just very few somewhat newer topics. HOWEVER, as with every release cycle, you need to be familiar with the relevant Release Notes anyways. Some of these topics are now considered baseline knowledge, that’s why they will be mentioned more officially in the exam outline. That’s about it!

What is changing? Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide Topics & Weighting

The previously 12 Exam Topics have been re-grouped into 7 Exam Topics.

The weighting has increased significantly on the following topics, which means you will get more Certification Exam Questions on these:

Object Manager & Lightning App Builder (20%) -> increased by 6%

Workflow/Process Automation (16%) -> will be twice as much, increased by 8%

These New Certified Administrator Exam Objectives have been added:

Most exam objectives from the original 12 exam topics are the same. There will be a few new topics to be added which you should already be familiar with from the Release Notes:

Einstein Lead Scoring

Einstein Opportunity Scoring

Forecast Impact

These Certified Administrator Exam Objectives have been removed:

Products & Price Books

Salesforce Content

Salesforce Knowledge

Salesforce Experience Cloud Site

Salesforce Lightning for Outlook

Mapping Table of New vs. Old Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide

Our Salesforce Administrator Certification Video Course, Study Workbook & Practice Exams have been be updated accordingly.

Here’s an overview of how our course curriculum (aka exam outline) will match with the New Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide:

NEW SALESFORCE CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDEOLD SALESFORCE CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDE
Configuration & Setup (20% )Organizational Setup (3%)
User Setup (7%)
Security & Access (13%)
Object Manager & Lightning App Builder (20%)
Standard & Custom Objects (14%)
Sales & Marketing Applications (12%)
Sales & Marketing Applications (14%)
Service & Support Applications (11%)
Service & Support Applications (13%)
Productivity & Collaboration (7%)
Activity Management & Collaboration (3%)
Desktop & Mobile Administration (3%)
AppExchange (2%)
Data & Analytics Management (14%)
Data Management (10%)
Analytics, Reports & Dashboards (10%)
Workflow / Process Automation (16%)Workflow / Process Automation (8%)

Our Salesforce Administrator Certification Video Course, Study Workbook & Practice Exams have been be updated accordingly.

WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course / Study Workbooks / Practice Exams

Is An Online Salesforce Video Training Worth It?

Have you been thinking about a career change into a Salesforce job? But you don’t have the time amongst all other obligations you already have on your plate? Finding your way through the maze of information and learning resources, make you feel overwhelmed? Let’s take a deep breath together and consider your options.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” Zig Ziglar

In this article, you will find:

  1. Benefits of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training
  2. Downsides of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training
WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Benefits of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training

Can an Online Salesforce Training which is video-based and on-demand be as effective as in-person training?

THE BENEFITS

Free resources are plenty, time is short, money is tight. Sounds familiar? Then maybe an online on-demand Salesforce Training would just be perfect for you … or would it?

Let’s look at the benefits one-by-one:

1. Save time and money

First up, online on-demand Salesforce Training is usually much more affordable than in-person training. How is this possible? Well, it’s simple, the teacher’s expenses are lower and the reach of students is much greater. This means the savings can be shared, leaving a much smaller amount with you, the individual Salesforce Learner.

Plus, you save on other costs like travel and accommodation. Neither do you have to get away from your job and potentially loose income or leave time.

And time is the next key factor. In-person training requires travel time and full-day’s attendance. Online training doesn’t require any travel time, and learning units can be attended to whenever they fit in during the day, after work or on weekends. This type of flexibility is unbeatable.

2. Practice in your own time and space

You have full control over your learning schedule. An online on-demand Salesforce video training can be accessed at any time that works best for you. Whether that’s before the kids get up, on your commute to work, during lunch, after dinner, after your sleep-in on Sunday, you choose.

A Salesforce video training can also be adjusted to your very personal pace. If the speed is too slow, you simply turn it up, and if it’s too fast, you can turn it down or pause to practice on your own. You can make it work to your personal preferences.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Practice in Your Own Time
3. Learn from anywhere on any device

Because online Salesforce Training is run through an internet browser, you can access your learning videos from any device that has an internet connection and a browser. Simply choose your preferred laptop, tablet or other mobile device and get started. And the best part is that you can take your device anywhere, as long as the battery lasts. Whether that’s your desk, couch, beach, pick your favorite.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Learn Anywhere on Any Device
4. Learn with Salesforce Experts

Choosing an online Salesforce Training also enables you to practice with Salesforce Instructors who would otherwise not be available because they may live on the other side of the planet. With online training, you have the chance to learn with experienced trainers like Peggy Schael, no matter where you live. 

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Meet Your Salesforce Trainer Peggy

5. Access to learning contents for review

Online on-demand Salesforce Training usually offers lifetime access to video content. This gives you the ability to re-watch videos as often as you like, whether you didn’t understand something or you want to refresh your memory. And in case you have attended an in-person Salesforce Training, you can use the video contents to review certain learning topics.

Our WeLearnSalesforce Courses even contain a Study Workbook you can print and use for notetaking as well as a Study Guide to tick off the learning topics you feel confident about. So you don’t forget anything that is required for your Certification Exam.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - PDF Workbook and Study Guide
6. Connect with Salesforce Learners from all over the world

Learning online doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions or share your own learning experiences, failures and successes. There are so many amazing Salesforce Community Groups with wider audiences or very specific audiences tailored to a certain topic.

Like our dedicated WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups. Not only will you reach other Salesforce Learners with your specific questions, but your WeLearnSalesforce instructor is also there for you too.

THE DOWNSIDES

While all of the above sounds great, let’s look at the potential downsides:

1. No face-to-face interaction

In-person training gives you face-to-face interaction with the Salesforce Trainer as well as fellow Salesforce Learners. Some people prefer real-life environments that make it easier for them to connect to other people. It’s a different kind of engagement using an online forum versus a real-life conversation.

Weigh in on your preferences of in-person interactions against a global community that you can contact at any time from anywhere, e.g. our WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Face-to-Face Interaction
2. Commitment and Motivation

If you are someone who works best under pressure of deadlines, continuous check-ins and due dates to stay on track, an in-person training may be better suited. Most online trainings do provide a recommended timeline as well as a structured agenda to follow, but it may be difficult to find the commitment without being surrounded by motivated fellow students.

There are however many online study groups (e.g. our WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups) you could join that may achieve something similar for you.

3. Guidance and Knowledge Checks

In an in-person classroom, the Salesforce Trainer would usually come around and check-in with you personally. You can show directly on screen what you are working on and where you might be stuck. Some people struggle with finding a solution to their problems by themselves.

In a classroom, the Salesforce Trainer can give you on-the-spot help and guidance to find the solution. While this is a great benefit of in-person training, you can use our WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams to check in on your knowledge and to get explanations and additional learning resources.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Knowledge Checks with Practice Exams

Now, is an Online Salesforce Video Training worth it?

This question can hardly be answered with a straight “Yes” or “No”. The answer entirely depends on your personal needs. Everyone has a different learning style, time and budget allowance, so only you know the answer.

We have put together a comprehensive comparison table of Salesforce Training Resources, so you can make an informed decision about the learning methods you would like to use.

We are comparing the official Trailhead Platform and Trailhead Academy Courses with our independent WeLearnSalesforce Video Courses. Each of them has its own advantages:

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Comparison Salesforce Training Resources

If you are still unsure whether an online on-demand Salesforce Training is right for you, try out our Free Salesforce Administrator Introduction Course and see for yourself. No strings attached.

WeLearnSalesforce - Salesforce Administrator Certification - FREE Introduction
Try out our Free Salesforce Administrator Introduction Course

We would love to hear your feedback. Please leave us a comment and let us know how you prefer to learn.

Happy Learning!