Salesforce.com Certified Administrator Study Guide

Study Guide Table of Contents

What is a CertifiedOnDemand.com Study Guide?

A CoD study guide is a structured set of objectives, resources (articles, videos, blog posts, etc.), and key facts (takeaways from each objective) designed to prepare you to pass a Salesforce Certification exam.

Watch the video overview:

One of the biggest challenges with learning Salesforce is one of information:  there’s simply too much of it.  The Salesforce User Guide is 3500+ pages, there are thousands of videos on the  Salesforce YouTube channel alone, and hundreds of blogs.

Processing the abundance of information is time-consuming, and it is often difficult to understand what’s truly important to know when preparing for a certification exam.

Another common challenge is identifying knowledge gaps (you don’t know what you don’t know).  For example, when I took the Salesforce.com Certified Administrator exam, I didn’t know that account teams existed (much less what they did), and I spent a lot of time preparing for the exam.

CoD study guides greatly mitigate the above challenges, and are designed with several specific goals in mind:

  1. To dramatically reduce the time required to prepare for a certification exam.
  2. To dramatically increase the likelihood of passing a certification exam.
  3. To present real-world challenges in safe learning environment.
  4. To serve as a reference guide after you’ve passed your certification exam.

Why CertifiedOnDemand.com?

The study guide provided by Salesforce.com is very high level.  Contrast that with the amount of information available, it’s very difficult to quickly identify what you need to learn and study.  Let’s look at an example: the Salesforce.com study guide has 2 objectives for User Setup, while the User Setup & Login Process – Free section on CertifiedOnDemand.com has 18 objectives, exercises, and a practice quiz.

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Target Audience

If you are preparing for admin certification, this guide is for you.  I’ve gotten feedback from users that have taken Salesforce.com training, used Salesforce.com premiere training, study groups, books, and more.  Regardless of your prior training and experience, CertifiedOnDemand.com will help you prepare for certification.

Feedback on CertifiedOnDemand.com

Hi John – thanks for your reply above! Also wanted to report back that I also passed my certified admin exam last week at Dreamforce and absolutely credit your site for helping me get there! With the sheer volume of data out there the structure REALLY helped put my mind at ease and make sure I covered the requirements well. Hoping to add a few more badges in the next couple of years. Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! Advanced Admin and perhaps the developer certifications are my next quests :) - See the comment

I wanted to send you a quick thank you for putting together this amazing site! I passed the Salesforce Certified Admin exam last week and this site was such a great resource as I prepared for the exam. More than the passing the exam, I learned a ton over the last couple weeks and I know I’ll be a better admin because of your site. Thank you!See the comment

I passed my Admin 201 and Dev 401 in back to back months. Going for the Sales cloud in December. Thanks for putting this site together! It’s the best resource I have found!!See the comment

Hello John…Thank you so much for putting this site together.  I took the exam this morning and passedSee the comment

Hi John: I passed the admin exam today, thanks to your wonderful site!!  Thank you so much for creating it and making it available to us. Now on to studying for the advanced certificate! - See the comment

Thank you so much for this site!  I was struggling to find a comprehensive study plan until I found this guild.  The information you have put together is not only extremely helpful, it is organized in a logical way to help you better absorb the material.  I passed my 201 exam this morning, thanks so much! - See the comment

I passed the Certified Administrator exam today. I couldn’t have done it without this site – what a great resource! Thanks!!See the comment

I wanted to thank you for putting this fantastic website together. Thanks to you, I passed my Admin 201 certification exam this morning!See the comment

Getting Started

Get started for free.  Simply Sign Up, then visit Getting Started – Free.  All sections within this guide are complete, and it has been updated to reflect the Winter 14 Release.

102 Responses to “Salesforce.com Certified Administrator Study Guide”

  1. Isaac August 17, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    This study guide has been a huge help. Very high quality. I was wondering if you have an ETA for the final sections of this guide? I’m hoping to take the ADM 201 exam soon and could use some quality materials regarding Data Validation and Workflow Automation.

  2. JohnCoppedge August 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks Isaac,

    I don’t have an exact date – the only large missing section at this point is workflow & approvals. Hopefully within the next few weeks I will have this up. I may consider posting this in incomplete form if that helps? Data validation (validation rules) are included in the data management section.

    Cheers,

    John

    • Isaac August 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Thank you for your help, John. I actually took the test this week and passed! Thank you for developing such an excellent study guide.

  3. Larry Deckel September 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Any ETA on when you’ll have the section on Approvals? I’m pretty strong on workflows, but have no experience with Approval Processes and will be taking the exam at Dreamforce in November.

  4. ERIN RYAN December 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi has the format changed. I can’t seem to find where I left off.

  5. ERIN RYAN December 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    topic list is not showing.

    • JohnCoppedge December 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Erin,

      The topics can be expanded at the top of this page – under table of contents.

  6. Owen Cooper-Ingram December 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi John,

    Just to let you know I think that this is a great resource – have used it with great effect to recently pass my certification – thanks so much!

    Kindest regards,

    Owen Cooper-Ingram

  7. Alex Delgado December 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi John,

    I wanted to thank you for putting this fantastic website together. Thanks to you, I passed my Admin 201 certification exam this morning!

    Keep up the awesome work!

    Thanks!
    Alex

  8. JUDE ELUMEZE January 8, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    Hi John,
    I’m having a hard time expanding the ‘study Guide Table of Content’ by clicking on the ‘+’ sign. It says opens with errors but still remains on the same page. Is there anything that I’m not doing right? I find navigating on this site quite problematic. How do I overcome this hurdle?

    • JohnCoppedge January 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Jude,

      What error are you getting? You can also expand the menu from the top of the screen (above the title). Thanks,

      John

  9. Taurean Sutton January 8, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    John,

    Very useful study guide, helped me pass the exam on the first try. For all of you that might be wondering whether or not to get this study guide, I would say it is definitely worth it.

  10. Rachel Peacock January 8, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    Thank you so much for this site! I was struggling to find a comprehensive study plan until I found this guild. The information you have put together is not only extremely helpful, it is organized in a logical way to help you better absorb the material.

    I passed my 201 exam this morning, thanks so much!

  11. Thomas George January 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    John – will this guide help me study for my Sales & Service Cloud certifications?

    Thanks -

  12. kevin carothers January 9, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi,

    Does your site cover PKB, or communities?

    Thanks!

    • JohnCoppedge January 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Yes – communities is discussed in the Sales and Service cloud sections. Knowledge is discussed in the Service Cloud section.

  13. Srikrishnadevaraya SM January 23, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Hi John,
    I would like to know if i get the whole content for the Sales and Service cloud if i purchase the guide.
    Can i go to Advance ADM, Sales and Service Cloud Consultants with the same material as well?
    Also, i’m curious to know if it is a eBook that i get if i purchase?

    Thanks,

    • JohnCoppedge January 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi Sri,

      The site is delivered online via this website; it is not a downloadable PDF. The content is focused on the admin certification exam (ADM201), which includes some service and sales cloud content. This guide is not designed to prep for Sales/Service Cloud consultant exams.

      Cheers,

      John

  14. Mohsin Nisar January 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    do you plan to have dev401 exam content?

  15. Nikhil More January 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Hey John,

    The content is very helpful for ADM 201.
    Are you planning to have content for other exams and courses such as Sales, Service cloud and also for DEV501, we are waiting.

    Regards,
    Nikhil.

    • JohnCoppedge January 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Hi Nikhil,

      I’m not planning to release guides for new exams in the near future… thanks for the input though!

      Cheers,

      John

  16. Srikrishnadevaraya SM January 28, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    Hi John,

    Have you covered “Visual Workflow” topic on this site? If not, can you please include this topic maybe under Workflows.

    Also, suggest you to add some material relevant for preparation of Advanced Admin too. I think it be just a bit of addition in content and tougher Quiz sections but that will help all of us in a BIG way.

    Regards,
    Krishna

    • JohnCoppedge March 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      If I will add if not listed. It is not really covered in the admin study guide, although I think it is definitely relevant.

  17. Shwetha Ram January 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Hi John,

    I am new to Certified on Demand. I went through the onsite training for Salesforce for System Admin. Can you please let me know how is your study guide different from the one they have provided. Can i review the guide and then purchase it? Also do you have a full length test that mocks up the actual test? I have my Adm exam in 3 weeks,
    Kindly let me know such that it will be easier for me to make the decision.

    • JohnCoppedge January 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

      Hi Shwetha,

      As you have an account, you have access to preview the guide sections marked free (getting started through data model).

      There is a half-length (30 question) exam. This guide is much more detailed than the standard salesforce study guide. I have not taken ADM201 training, so I cannot compare to the guide provided in that training.

      Cheers,

      John

  18. Elizabeth Shephard February 10, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Hi John, I used the guide and all its contents to make my own detailed study notes. I’m pleased to share that I passed the exam my first try and am very pleased. I definitely think that it was worth the cost.

    • JohnCoppedge February 10, 2014 at 2:08 am #

      Congrats Elizabeth! Do you think there is anything in your notes that would be valuable to incorporate into the site? I’m glad the site helped you pass!

  19. Kevin Desai February 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    A big big thank you to John Coppedge for putting up this website. Perhaps the best $20 I’ve ever spent. When I started my Administration exam preparations a couple of months back, all the material that I had was the study guide Salesforce has created. However, the help & support portal was not that helpful at that moment as what content is useful and what content can be omitted was not clear. And that’s where CertifiedOnDemand came in to picture. Everything here is just up to the need.

    I cleared the exam today and a major if not all credit goes to you, John. Thanks mate. Cheers!

  20. Robert Rollar February 20, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Really useful site John…Passed my Certified Admin test today on my first try…

  21. Ann Gately March 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Is there a limit on the number of times you can take the exam?

    • JohnCoppedge March 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      I don’t think so but I would check Salesforce.com’s website to verify. The exam is $200 the first go around and $100 for retakes. If you are already certified you need to take maintenance exams for every Salesforce release – you get 3 tries on the maintenance exams.

    • JohnCoppedge March 7, 2014 at 3:43 am #

      On this website, no (although excessive use will be flagged and account treated accordingly. In short so long as you aren’t sharing your account take any of the tests on this site as many times as you’d like.

  22. scott krause March 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Nailed it. Thanks John.

    http://certification.salesforce.com/verification?&fullname=scott%20krause

  23. Kirsten Sherwin March 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Thank you, John. This site was extraordinarily helpful — I passed my exam yesterday! I used this site to consolidate my studying and create a “narrative” for configuration. It was great having the content in a specific order, videos, and notes to pull together concepts that don’t really exist otherwise. Also, having some of the 2014 release updates was also imperative. Do you have other sites built for Advanced Admin, Cloud Consulting, etc?

    • JohnCoppedge March 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Winter 14 is in – Spring update is on its way. No plans for other certs right now :( Stayed tuned… and congrats!!

  24. KIRAN KHANDERAO March 8, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    If you go on the website http://www.webassessor.com you will only see SF administrator WI14 and not ADM201. Can someone clarify?
    thanks

    • JohnCoppedge March 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      SFDC probably has not updated the exam for the spring 14 release – WI14 stands for winter 14. FYI – ADM201 is the classroom training course offered by salesforce to help you prepare for the certified administrator exam, not the name of the exam itself.

  25. Ron Koppelmann March 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Great resource that helped me pass the certified admin exam.

  26. Sreedurga Prabhala March 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi John,

    I took my exam yesterday and passed in my first attempt. COD was my primary study guide and I am super glad I invested in this site that was recommended to me by one of my colleagues. I will definitely suggest this site to any one who is looking to take the exam.

    Having said that, I wanted to know if I would receive alerts when you add new content to this site? I am planning to take my Dev 401 and Sales Cloud Consultant certifications and would keep coming back to this site to refresh basics.

    Thanks again and Best,
    Sree

    • JohnCoppedge March 13, 2014 at 4:56 am #

      Yeah! Congrats Sree!!

      No plans to release any further guides at this point, but will keep everyone posted via email if that changes in the future.

  27. Pavitra Arora March 13, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Hi John
    I am preparing for the ADM 201 exam and will possibly be appearing in the next quarter for the certification. Can you please advice on the below:
    - Cost for the COD Guide not sure if its $20 or $40
    - Since its an online material , Is there any Time Limit /constraint post which the content will no longer be available.

    Thanks
    Pavi

  28. Jono Schneider March 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Hey John,

    Thanks for this site. It’s an invaluable resource. I passed on the first try. Any ideas for good Sales Cloud Cert resources?

    Best,

    Jono

    • JohnCoppedge March 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

      Hi Jono,

      Thanks for the feedback – no, unfortunately I don’t have any specific recommendations at this point for Sales Cloud certification.

  29. Noel O Riordan March 25, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Hi John,

    I passed ADM 201 yesterday.
    This website proved a valuable resource and good value for $40.
    Thanks for putting the resource together.

    I did struggle however finding sample exams papers containing some questions that actually appear in the exam.
    Thankfully my overall knowledge from this site proved enough to get me through.

    Regards,
    Noel

  30. Ivory Cox March 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    Hi John…

    I passed ADM 201 about three hours ago – on my first attempt!
    I used your site as my primary study guide after learning about it on the ButtonClickAdmin.com site. We are fortunate that there are so many in the Salesforce community willing to guide us on our Salesforce journey. I’ve already recommended your site to a few coworkers – but will spread the word now that I’ve passed!!

    Thank you for identifying the need – then working so hard to provide a solution!

    Thanks again…
    Ivory

  31. Allyson Clark April 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    John,

    Thank you so much for putting this site together! I passed my exam this morning on my second attempt. The first time I tried I had only taken ADM201 to prepare and it was not enough. I think anyone who devotes the time to go through all of the materials you’ve presented here will have a very good chance at getting certified. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if someone could pass the exam using just hands-on experience + CertifiedOnDemand and skipping the expensive ADM201 course altogether.

    Thanks again!
    Allyson

    • JohnCoppedge April 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      Congrats Allyson and thanks for the feedback! I in fact have never taken ADM201, so I can assure you it is quite possible :)

  32. Arindam Sutradhar April 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Hi John,

    I am visiting this website for a few days now. I have read about the good reviews and the help people received from using this website for their certification exams. I am planning to take the admin certification exam and would like to purchase the entire study guide for $40. Before I do that could you please advise as to what is the best way to take maximum advantage of this portal. Is it going through each of the links on the study guide –> watching all the videos and read the hyperlinks on each page –> take the quizzes ? I just want to make sure I know what I am doing.

    • JohnCoppedge April 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      Study each objective, play with it your DE org. Ensure that you really understand the content behind each key fact. Then take the quiz for the section. Take the final quiz after you’ve studied the rest of the content. Good luck on the exam!

  33. Roger Grilo April 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I took the Certified Administrator exam (WI14) in Spain and passed at first try. Can’t thank CertifiedOnDemand enough! It is by far THE BEST resource for passing ADM201, highly highly highly recommended.

    John, please also do the guides for the other courses – DEV401, ADM211… We need you!!! :)

  34. Ann Gately April 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Just passed, thanks John this site was a great help. :) Word of warning this is not an easy exam, you cannot over study.

  35. Engels Vargas April 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I want to thank you John for putting together this very comprehensive study guide. I took the exam on Thursday and nailed it. This study guide was very helpful.

    For those of you that are thinking about buying it, go ahead and buy it, besides being very well structured it also provides the information in an organized manner and you will not waste time researching topics on your own. You will learn a lot of core concepts and will understand well how Salesforce works. But as a word of caution. After you go through every Must link, quiz and scenario presented here, try to study the online quizzes and flashcards that are available out there. The questions in those quizzes will be very close in spirit to those that you will see on the Exam.

    A little feedback for you John to make this site even more helpful:

    1-It would be great if you create a section that groups all the quizzes and scenarios you give in every section. Having all of them organized in one place will make it easier for us to go over the quizzes for the final review.

    2-The section for ideas, content and Communities is a little thin. There were a ton of questions on those topics and if you expand on them the way you’ve done in the other sections people will do even better.

    Good luck to all of you taking the Exam, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to go over all the material found here and study the online quizzes.

    • JohnCoppedge April 26, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Hi Engles,

      Thanks for the feedback, and CONGRATS on the pass!

      I agree that referencing other materials is helpful – the only reason I have not linked to the flashcards and other practice exams is that I have found errors or inconsistencies (e.g. questionable wording) of some sort in every single one. It does help to get exposure to more types of questions. I will definitely consider adding something like this with a disclaimer. If you have a list of other materials that you found helpful please send them my way.

      #1 – Have thought about that, will definitely consider this addition.

      #2 – Thanks for the heads up. The site content is intentionally thin in those areas as the % of the exam is supposed to be very low (e.g. 2%). I think the overall weighting of questions has changed – with a lot more focus on mobile, communities, and other lightly weighted areas. I will address this with future content updates.

      Thanks again for the feedback! Cheers,

      John

  36. Amy Letcher April 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi, Can the current guide be used for the Spring ’14 Exam?
    Thanks,
    amy

  37. Amy Letcher April 29, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Thanks John!

  38. Korey Bailey May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    I have been a longtime user and worked as our admin with great success but never took the SFDC training course to become certified. Do I have to attend their class before taking the test or can I study and then take it. Do not want to drop $4250 for what I already know.

    • Allyson Clark May 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

      I definitely believe you don’t need the SFDC course to pass the exam, especially if you have on-the-job experience. If I were you I’d pay $40 for CertifiedOnDemand and then $200 to take the exam. If you don’t pass, you’re only out $240 and you can always then go pay for the pricey SFDC course and then try to take the test again later.

  39. Catherine Lloyd May 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Just passed today! I did feel unsure on many questions. However, because think this review guide goes more in depth than a flash card stack, I felt I had enough conceptual knowledge to muster 60%. Thanks!

    • JohnCoppedge May 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

      Congrats Catherine! Was there anything on the exam that wasn’t covered in depth on the guide?

  40. Tasnim Tailor May 9, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi John,

    I’m targeting on ADM 201 exams by May end or June beginning. I’ve found your site quite useful and it bridges my knowledge gaps. I’m just concerned when would you updating it with Spring ’14 contents.

  41. anusha pudota May 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Hi John,

    I have found this site very useful for ADM 201 exam. I am planning to buy the full study guide from CoD. Please let me know if I will be able to access further updated material once I bought this study guide? And also how long can I access it, is it unlimited or is there any time limit? Thanks for your effort to bring the whole ADM 201 topics together.

    • JohnCoppedge May 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Hi Anush,

      Yes you will be able to access content as it is updated; access does not expire. Good luck! Cheers,

      John

  42. Jose Tejeda May 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Passed the exam! Thank you for your great guides!

  43. Toye Begbaaji May 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    John…nice work. I relied on your site as my primary prep to get my Admin certification en route to Service Cloud. Very helpful i.e. passed! Keep up the great work!

  44. Tarv Nijjar May 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi is there anywhere I can get a receipt for my purchase? Thanks Tarv

    • JohnCoppedge June 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      You should have recieved a copy via email – feel free to submit a support request if you did not receive it.

  45. Zachery Tapp May 30, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Hey John,

    Just passed my Salesforce Administrator Certification this morning. Your site and the resources you’ve created and compiled here played a large role in my success. Thank you.

    Zakk

  46. Richa Sharma June 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I am planning to take ADM-201 in July 2014. Is this guide updated with Spring 2014 release?

  47. Arindam Sutradhar June 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi John,

    I cleared the ADM-201 (SP-14) earlier this week. I used your portal as the primary source of preparation. This is a wonderfully organized portal with all the relevant information required to clear the ADM-201 certification. Thank you so much!

    Do you have anything similar for DEV-401 certification as well? If not do you know or recommend anything similar that could be used for preparing for the DEV-401 test? Thanks once again!

    • JohnCoppedge June 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      Excellent, congrats Arindam! No plans for Dev401 at this point, but I may in the future.

  48. Tasnim Tailor June 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi John,

    I cleared my ADM 201 (SP-14) today on the first attempt. Thanks for creating such a wonderful, organized and to-the-point guide. And above all thanks for clarifying all my doubts :).

    Thanks once again, Great work !!!

    -Tasnim

  49. Rob Hawthorn July 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi John,
    Thanks and congrats, this is greatly needed.

    Rob Hawthorn
    Salesforce Administrator – London
    http://uk.linkedin.com/in/robhawthorn
    http://cloudsocius.com/rob-hawthorn-salesforce-administrator/

  50. John Reed July 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Thank you JohnCoppedge for providing this great resource to the community! I passed my exam and now I am certified! I think the practice test questions could me made to be more like the wording and the complexity of the exam questions. Your test questions are too easy. :-) Thanks again!

    • JohnCoppedge July 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Awesome John, congrats! I’m actually somewhat surprised to hear that- the feedback I’ve gotten is that they were similar. If you can provide any context around the specifics of the questions/scenarios offered I will definitely take that into consideration!

  51. Aishwarya thilip July 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Hi John,
    Please clarify on this. I booked my exam last week when it was showing SP14 .I booked it for August 14th. Will I be writing Sp14 exam or Su14 exam since by august 14th, salesforce would surely update the exam to SU14 ? Btw when are you planning to update summer 14 contents. Thanks :)

  52. Ray Zhao July 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    John, this is a great site to not only prepare for the exam, but also for some real gain on knowledge. Do you plan to get one for developers certification as well?

    • JohnCoppedge July 28, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Once I have time, I would like to – no immediate plans. Thanks for the feedback Ray!

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