Welcome back, let's grab a brew and cover our final topic in this series - what to do immediately after your Salesforce exam.
Once you have finished your exam you have a golden window of opportunity to deconstruct your performance, whether you pass or fail now is the time to carry out an honest, no-holds-barred review of your performance to speed up your development.
But before we get into that, the first thing you should do is to be kind to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. If you passed your exam then congratulations, do a little dance, and celebrate! If you didn’t pass then don’t worry about it, you’ve gained invaluable experience of the exam and will be prepared better for next time. Salesforce exams are hard and very few people pass the exam the first time around so don’t beat yourself up about it or get deflated, use this feeling as fuel to turbocharge your study in preparation for your next exam when you will pass.
Here are the steps that I follow and would recommend you follow along with;
This is a key step to help improve your knowledge and skills, it's incredibly unlikely that you would’ve scored 100% on the exam even if you did pass. Make a note of any questions that stuck in your mind, these can be the ones that you found difficult, the ones that didn’t make any sense, or the ones that contained terminology that you have never heard before. You’ll be amazed at how much of the exam you will forget in the next couple of hours so getting this information down immediately is key to understanding where your knowledge is lacking and where you need to improve. Even if you passed there will still have been questions that you wasn't 100% confident on, use these to become a better Salesforce professional.
Calculate Your Overall Score
Now comes the time to start building for the future, after your exam you will receive an email containing your scores. A quick Google search for 'Salesforce Certification Score Checker' will take you to a website where you can input your scores for each section and it will calculate your overall score. This is important as it will indicate how well you have performed, if you have passed you can see by how much, and if you didn’t pass you can see how far you were off passing. If you only a couple of questions away from passing you may want to resit your exam sooner whereas if you were a good 15% plus off you may want to give yourself more time to study and build that knowledge. This will provide a holistic view of your knowledge for that certification.
Analyse Your Score
Your results will give you a great indication of your strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly where you need to focus your study to improve. If you passed your exam here is where you will find what to concentrate on to help become a more well-rounded consultant, if you scored low on one section then spend some time becoming more familiar with that section. If you didn’t pass, your results will form the basis of your exam study preparation v2.0, you will be able to see the areas that you struggled on and scored low and now know where to focus. When creating your next study plan don’t forget to take into account the weighting of those areas, for example, if you score low on two separate secionts, one worth 3% and one worth 17%, make sure that you focus more time studying on the 17% area as that will give you the biggest improvement in your overall score. You will often find that the larger sections feed into the smaller sections in one way or another.
Concepts to Focus On
By making a note of the questions immediately when you finished the exam you now have a list of specific concepts to target, it could be that there were questions around multi-currency that you struggled with, or perhaps it was quotes or chatter, you can now target those concepts purposefully to build your knowledge. This is useful whether you passed the exam or not, if you did pass you can use this to become more effective, if you didn’t pass then this will help with your next attempt.
Put That Knowledge Into Practice
There is a saying “Knowledge is Power”, well I’m afraid that isn’t quite true. Knowledge without action is pretty much useless. Make sure that you put what you have learned during your study into practice, this could be condensing multiple Process Builders into one, tidying up your Org, or even suggesting some business process changes to use Salesforce to its fullest potential. Also, a lot of what you have learned will be muscle memory, if you stop using it that knowledge will fade. The last thing you want is to be that guy with the certification who can’t do anything, what you want to be, is the guy who brings their A Game, day in day out and helps elevate others by not only being able to do what you said you can do but by passing that knowledge on.
If you didn’t pass then I would suggest booking your resit immediately, strike while the iron is hot and while that motivation is there. What your overall score was and how much preparation you feel you need will dictate when you book your resit however I would always do it sooner rather than later. Just to clarify Im not saying to book your resist for the next day, make a judgement call as to when you feel you will ready to resit and pass.
And there we have it, a comprehensive guide on how to approach and pass any Salesforce certification exam, from preparation to post exam. I hope that this series of blog posts has been useful to you and if you have found them useful and know someone who you feel would benefit from this content please share it. I’ll be preparing more blogs in the future on how to approach each of the certification exams that I have passed so don’t forget to subscribe https://www.davejmassey.com/subscribe.
Thank you for reading, I can’t wait until we tackle our next topic...