This article will cover how to pass the Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Exam.
I wrote about my general certification study process in the Salesforce Administrator Certification guide, but will cover it in-depth here as well.
A brief overview of the resources you’ll want to use:
- Focus On Force
- Plural Sight
I highly recommend completing the Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform App Builder Credential Trailmix available on Trailhead. Don’t be scared by the 63 hours time estimate. Many badges can be completed in half the time.
The reason for doing the Trailhead is to get hands on experience. Hands on experience is critical for exam prep because it’s the only way to get the absolutely essential Experiential Learning we need to pass the exam.
When we’re studying flashcards and going through exam courses, we need to be able to hang the material on a latticework of real life examples – and the best versions of those examples can be found in Trailhead.
I see at least five Superbages in this Trailmix. These overlap with numerous other certifications so it’s well worth it to complete them.
Quizlet is an excellent way to prep for the Exam. Look for exam-like questions and run through about 250 of them (roughly 4 sets of 60 questions) repeatedly.
I have a theory that people who take Exams from home sometimes record their screens and put the questions they saw in their Exam on the internet, which find their way to Quizlet.
Clearly, this is NOT what Salesforce intended and massively contributes to Certification Inflation. Salesforce combats this inflation by periodically reviewing the exams and making the questions more difficult. which I fully endorse (and if you value your Certifications, you should too). If you study only one set of Flashcards with the desire to memorize 60 questions and pass the test, you will definitely fail.
The approach I took was slightly more holistic, though it is intense. Go through the sets repeatedly until you know the answers to everything. You will find discrepancies in some of the answers to the questions between flash card sets – THAT’S OK. For many of the questions, the answers ARE the same across sets – so you know that material is solid. By noticing that certain questions across sets have different answers YOU ARE LEARNING. Take those discrepancies and look up the answers in the Salesforce Documentation to be sure you have the right info.
Now, even if Salesforce has changed the exam questions, the concepts will be pounded in better. Since you were hanging this theoretical knowledge on the the experience you got from the Trailmix, you’re guaranteed a deep, robust knowledge.
Here are links to a few examples Flashcard sets:
There are roughly 230 questions here and that is more than enough.
Focus on Force
By far and away the best “paid” resources available are on Focus on Force. The App Builder Certification Study Guide is a compilation of everything you need to know to pass the exam – complete with the most concise and well-documented (links included) text and images – broken down by Exam Section. Cost is $19.
The Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Practice Exams are a goldmine of exam-like questions, with the bonus of every answer being correct – AND they are 100% generated by the Focus on Force team, meaning no ethical gray lines to worry about. Be warned, the exams are TOUGH. Don’t be afraid though, that’s what you want. You want to study a TOUGH exam, that you can check the answers on, so when you sit for the actual exam you pass easily. Cost $19.
If you’re on the fence about getting both then just get the Practice Exams. Repeat them over and over until you know all the questions like the back of your hand and you will pass.
Plural Sight isn’t a requirement to passing the exam. If you already have the subscription, though, there are a few goodies worth checking out.
Formula Fundamentals in Salesforce by Dan Appleman. Anything by Dan Appleman is pure gold. I consider him to be best of the best and highly recommend his courses.
Salesforce Sharing and Security Fundamentals by Scott Lee. I took this course in preparation for my Sharing and Visibility Designer Certification but found the content to be highly relevant to a lot of admin material.
Building Your First Salesforce Application by Scott Allen. Great entry point for App Development.
Salesforce Workflow: Getting Started by Scott Lee. Solid foundation for understanding Workflow best practices and use cases.
Salesforce Process Builder: Getting Started by Scott Lee. Solid foundation for understanding Process Builder, which is one of the main workhorses of Declarative Development.
Salesforce Administration: The Big Picture by Scott Lee
I remember when taking the exam there were a few concepts that I could’ve used more practice on. Just throwing them out there for you.
- Sandbox type, memory size, and usage
- Change sets vs Force.com Migration Tool vs Salesforce Packages
- Which declarative automation tool to use (workflow vs process builder vs cloud flow designer)
- Formula types
You now have a plan and you’re ready to go! Let’s recap:
- Go through Trailhead to build the foundation of real world experience needed to grasp all the concepts.
- Run through Quizlet repeatedly to get a feel for exam-like questions.
- Purchase Focus on Force study guide or practice exams for extra help.
- Watch videos on Plural Sight.
If you’re still curious, feel free to check out my post about the Six Principles of Learning and work them into your study plan.
My final thought would be this: follow the study plan that works for you. You know best how you learn so do that!
Best of luck, and let me know in the comments if you pass!