Nailing the “Gotcha” Questions

Many exam takers have expressed frustration with Salesforce certification exams.  The most common complaint that I hear is that “there was more than one correct answer” to an exam question.

And you’d be right to make that statement, because – there often is more than one “correct” answer… and that’s the point.  That’s how you test knowledge versus application of knowledge – you test if someone knows which answer is best.

When you look at an exam question, ask yourself the following for each potential answer:

  • Does the feature referenced in the answer actually exist in Salesforce?  If not, it could be a “trick” answer.
  • Can you think of any way that the answer meets the goal(s) stipulated by the question?
  • Can you think of any way that the answer would not meet the goal(s) stipulated by the question?
  • Is this feature aligned to meet the goal(s) as stipulated by the question?

Example

The following question is pulled from the Spring ’12 Salesforce Certified Administrator Study Guide:

Sales representatives at Universal Containers need assistance from product managers when selling certain products. Product managers do not have access to opportunities, but need to gain access when they are assisting with a specific deal. How can a system administrator accomplish this?

A. Notify the product manager using opportunity update reminders.

B. Enable sales teams and allow users to add the product manager.

C. Use similar opportunities to show opportunities related to the product manager.

D. Enable account teams and allow users to add the product manager.

Here is my thought process when reading this question:

“Product managers do not have access to opportunities, but need to gain access” – this is a security question.  Probably either object-level or record-level.

“gain access when they are assisting with a specific deal” – record-level security.  I now know that answers related to object-level security are last-resort (regardless, there aren’t any).

Click on each answer above for an analysis of each.

“Notify the product manager using opportunity update reminders“.

Can you think of any way that the answer meets the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-No, opportunity update reminders will not impact security.  This answer is out.

Enable sales teams and allow users to add the product manager.”

Can you think of any way that the answer meets the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-Yes, sales teams grant record-level security to users when added to an opportunity.  This would solve the problem.

Can you think of any way that the answer would not meet the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-No.

Is this feature aligned to meet the goal(s) as stipulated by the question?

-Yes.  Sales teams are directly aligned with the goals of the question (ability to share individual opportunity records).

(This is the correct answer.)

“Use similar opportunities to show opportunities related to the product manager.”

Can you think of any way that the answer meets the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-No, similar opportunities will not impact security.  This answer is out.

“Enable account teams and allow users to add the product manager.”

Can you think of any way that the answer meets the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-Yes, account teams could grant access to all opportunities related to an account.  This could solve the problem.

Can you think of any way that the answer would not meet the goal(s) stipulated by the question?

-Yes.  If an account has more than one opportunity, then account teams would provide access to all opportunities on the account.  The clause “assisting with a specific deal” implies a single opportunity – this answer is out.

71 Responses to “Nailing the “Gotcha” Questions”

  1. catchjana May 16, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I have a doubt in the following scenario.Can you help me John?
    [‎5/‎16/‎2017 4:41 PM] N, Pramod:
    no it was a standard field
    I have made it mandatory at the page layout
    ok here is teh quiz
    On Account object, a field has been made mandatory
    a starndard field has been madatory
    But still some users are able to create the record with giving the value for the mandatory field
    what could be the possible reasons?

    select 2 ansers

    1) Verify user has edit permission on Account object in his profile
    2) Verify FLS for that field is not set to readonly
    3) verify that field is set as mandatory on all the page layouts
    4) verify users have modify all data permission

    I think 3 is for sure an option.
    Wat would be the other one? Thoughts??

    Tried doing it in trailhead. Though FLS is set to read only, we can make it mandatory at page layout level and hence appears in edit page and does not take NULL values.
    Need your help..

    • JohnCoppedge May 16, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

      You can double check this by testing configuration but I believe here’s what will happen:

      If the user doesn’t have access to the field via FLS, then page layout required will not get enforced. I suspect you could also get an error if the FLS is read only, as there is no value (as you said you tested).

      The correct approach to this scenario would be to configure the field settings as required, which would systematically enforce this for all records. I suspect the answer is 2,3

      • catchjana May 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

        I did the following.
        1. Made a standard field in Account (Account Number) as required in the page layout for my profile.
        2. Set the FLS to ‘Read only’ for Account number from Security Controls -> Field accessibility.
        3. Tried editing an account record without giving Account number.
        Result: There was an error to enter the account number before saving the record.

  2. catchjana May 5, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    What can be modified on standard object fields?(Choose 3)
    Label
    Help text
    Default text
    Picklist values
    Field type

    Can someone help me with this?

  3. catchjana May 2, 2017 at 5:46 am #

    When working on opportunities, sales representatives at Universal Containers need to understand how their peers have successfully managed other opportunities with comparable products, competing against the same competitors.Which feature should a system administrator use to facilitate them? Choose 2 answers

    1. Big deal alerts
    2. Chatter groups
    3. Similar opportunities
    4. Opportunity update reminders

    • catchjana May 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      I think 2 and 3….Thoughts??

    • JohnCoppedge May 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

      This looks striking similar to an actual exam question, where did this one come from?

      I think 2 and 3 as well, although it could be possible that #1 is correct. That’s a tricky one and subject to interpretation.

  4. catchjana May 2, 2017 at 5:44 am #

    The following standard object can be synced with Lightning SYnc.

    a) Contacts
    b) Events
    c) Accounts
    d) Opportnities

    What is the answer for this?

  5. ayseinli December 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    Hi John,

    ı am confused about the question below

    What is transferred in “My unresolved items” after syncing salesforce for outlook
    a. Contacts not assigned to account
    b. Cases not assigned to contact
    c. Emails not assigned to a record
    d. Notes not assigned to a record

    i think the answer is a&c but other resources say a&b. what do u think?

  6. Forsmat06 June 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    I’m joining the ranks of people singing your praises. I just passed my Admin 201 exam, first try! Appreciate you putting this guide together. To those still studying stay focused, learn the material and don’t doubt your choice of study guide.

  7. MKlobe March 28, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    Is there some cohesive strategy to passing this exam? I’m fresh out of college (about a year) and my company sent me to SF training to become an admin. While the training was good, it was more of basic-level hands on using Trailhead…they even stressed at the end that this week long course barely covered material seen on the admin exam.

    While I’ve purchased the full COD guide, as of right now I’m simply going piece by piece from the 201 admin exam drop down menu and writing down information, as it helps me retain…but this exam seems like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m worried as hell.

    • JohnCoppedge April 10, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

      Hey there,

      First off – don’t panick. Learn, practice, repeat. You’ll be certified before you know it.

      CoD provides the structure for you to get there. The really important thing is that you spend the time to understand how salesforce works. That takes time spent watching and reading, then practicing those concepts in the org. Once you really get the concepts you need to know how to relate those to exam questions. The critical thinking part will make infinitely more sense the stronger your grasp of salesforce.

      Take one section at a time and really dig into it – then take the quiz at the end. Rework the section until you fully understand the answers the quizzes. The hard part about the large volume of information. Approach this piece by piece, section by section. It’s doable, I promise. Good luck!

      Drop a line if you have any questions.

  8. g.levy@mamacash.org February 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    Answer D:
    ” Yes. If an account has more than one opportunity, then account teams would provide access to all opportunities on the account. The clause “assisting with a specific deal” implies a single opportunity – this answer is out.”

    Where can I find reading on this that when an account is shared all related Opportunities are shared as well?! – I missed that:(

    Thank you,
    Gil

    • JohnCoppedge February 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      You would need to know the features well enough to infer that…

      • g.levy@mamacash.org February 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

        What do you mean?
        Is it something I missed so far from my study (on security at the moment)?

        • JohnCoppedge February 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

          Possibly. You would need to know that account teams can provide access to related opportunities, but when that feature is used it provides access to ALL related opportunities.

          Opportunity teams provide access to a single opportunity record. If you have used and understand the nuances of both of the these features, this question should make sense. If you haven’t configured both, I would recommend that you do to get a better understanding.

  9. pjonnala December 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    John what would be the answer to the following question

    marketing team wants to send emails to web to lead. Can receive many different language leads and wants to send a email in the right language
    • single template which is translated with the translation work bench
    • different emails in different languages using an auto response rule
    • different emails in different languages using a workflow alert
    • different emails in different languages using an assignment rule

    I’m thinking the answer to this question is “different emails in different languages using an assignment rule”.. Is this correct

  10. guyg October 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi

    If we need to select more then one answer will we always be prompted (i.e. select 2 answers)?

    Thanks

    • Albert Kohlstock October 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      I’ve taken 3 different Salesforce exams and it always lets you know how many correct answers there should be.

  11. Lee Sauer September 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi John,

    Just passed my Dev 401 exam (on its last possible administration date in my area – WHEW!) after failing the first time I took it. I give a LOT of credit to time spend on this site. I really didn’t understand the SF Security model before working through the material you provided and I firmly believe that made the difference for me, so very great thanks for this wonderful (and economical) resource.

    I’m taking the ADM 201 exam Monday at Dreamforce and fully expect to pass it as well.

    Thank you most sincerely!

  12. Hikachu June 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    Just passed ADM 201 a week after failing my first try. This website is in many regards better than the actual salesforce training that is recommended by Salesforce.

    Also, don’t get cocky and skim thru seemingly trivial content such as: Chatter, Ideas, Salesforce for Outlook, Process Visualizer, etc. There ARE several questions about that stuff. Those few may decide wether you pass or fail.

    Thanks John and good luck to everyone.

    • JohnCoppedge June 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks Hikachu for the feedback, and congrats!

      • Viday September 8, 2015 at 10:20 am #

        Thank you, John for this resource, you are a very good and kind teacher; it is $40 well spent. I passed ADM 201 yesterday!
        If you’re preparing to take the exam shortly then please pay attention to what Hikachu said.
        My winning strategy was, I made the real exam part of the process. I passed the third time. The first one gave me the opportunity to gauge what kind of a beast I am dealing with. Found COD and started combing through it. Try to implement the correct answers in your own org, that way you know why it is correct and if you’re not sure check it out in salesforce help.
        After going through all the modules from top to bottom and doing all the quizzes, a week before my exam I did the practice test plus all the quizzes almost every day combined with study sets from Quizlet.
        I hope this helps someone.
        Thank you, John.

        • dpkeee September 9, 2015 at 5:54 am #

          Hi viday

          Congratulations for passing the ADM201 .
          I am also preparing for it. Could you please let me know which materials have you used for the preparation apart from COD.

          Thanks

          • Viday September 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            Thank you dpkee, my advice is, make sure to go through all the topics here and all the quizzes to get a feel the type of questions.
            Before I found COD, I used Salesforce Trailhead to get a lot of hands-on and earned eleven badges in the process.
            After exhausting COD, It takes a combination key. Study till when you close your eyes you see “Setup/Customize”! And your daily news should be ” Welcome to who sees what” This gentleman also gives good advice
            http://www.merivisblog.com/study-salesforce-admin-exam/
            You cannot fail if you follow this.
            Can you imagine, some quizzes give you the wrong answers! How can you know if you haven’t studied the topic! very dangerous.

            All the best

        • JohnCoppedge September 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

          Congrats Viday and thanks for sharing your strategy! I hear time and time again – spend the time in your org configuring everything you can.

  13. bizkor June 13, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Just passed the ADM201 !
    Failed last week, but a week later, and mostly due to your excellent work putting this guide together, I passed !
    I will definitely recommend your guide to others ! Worth more than its price.

    Thanks again and good luck everybody !
    Julien

  14. Albert Kohlstock May 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    Passed my ADM 201 Exam today!!! 😀

    Thanks so much John for this great site, I couldn’t have passed without it.

    A tip to all: be sure to review some of the Salesforce documentation John has linked, there are some tidbits of information that are on the exam which some may overlook.

    Good luck to all!

  15. Kevin Brown March 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Word missing. [that’s point] vs. [that’s the point]

    And you’d be right to make that statement, because – there often is more than one “correct” answer… and that’s point.

    …should read

    And you’d be right to make that statement, because – there often is more than one “correct” answer… and that’s the point.

  16. Patty Macdonald December 31, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Can I assume on the admin test that Sales=Opportunity? The question threw me, because, in my experience, a team on an Opportunity is called an Opportunity Team, not a Sales Team. I understand why it’s the correct answer, just wondering about the language the test will use.

  17. Matthew Straney October 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    Just failed the admin exam for the third time. Hoping to pass it next time but I think I’m stuck in a rutt of having seen the questions too many times and not being able to think of them differently. Here are a few ones similar to what I can remember from the test. I put a (*) next to anything I thought was the answer

    What field allows input text, image, links
    • Rich texts
    • Text + image
    • Input area
    • Text area
    When can a validation rule be used to prevent bad data – 3 answers

    How can an admin reset a users password

    What can you transfer with Mass transfer tools (2 answers)
    • Leads
    • Accounts
    • Quotas
    • Campaigns
    Web to case – subject contains “forgot password” auto send email with reset instructions
    • Auto response rule
    • Email to case
    • Support settings
    • Validation rule
    Where can multi lingual solution search be enabled (2 answers)
    • Public knowledge base
    • Solution tab search*
    • Self service portal*
    • Salesforce content
    Workflow fired update action? (2 answers)
    • Update value of a field on a child object
    • Apply a specified value to a vield
    • Change the record type of a record
    • Update the value of a formula field
    Create customer object capture survey data (2 answers) THEY WANT users select account from the survey record THEY WANTview related surveys on the account record
    • create lookup relationship field on account object
    • add survey related lists to account page layout
    • add account related lists to survey page layout
    • create a lookup relationship field on survey object
    sales executive notified high value Opp are created for a HOT account
    • escalation rule based on Opp amount
    • workflow rule on opp object
    • create valuid rule that elevates account rating
    • create auto response rule on opp object*
    sharing rules what records can be shared with (2 answers)
    • profiles
    • public groups
    • queues
    • roles and subordinates
    purpose of app exchange
    • Partners can colaberate on sales
    • Customers
    • Support service cloud and service console
    • Admin downloads premade dashboard and reports
    Dashboard component that can display summary rows information
    • Chart
    • Table*
    • Metric
    • Gauge*
    What is transferred in “My unresolved items” after syncing salesforce for outlook
    • Contacts not assigned to account
    • Cases not assigned to contact
    • Emails not assigned to a record
    • Notes not assigned to a record
    customization for activities (task and events) (3 answers)
    • assignment*
    • workflow*
    • validation
    • field tracking*
    • customer fields
    marketing team wants to send emails to web to lead. Can receive many different language leads and wants to send a email in the right language
    • single template which is translated with the translation work bench
    • different emails in different languages using an auto response rule
    • different emails in different languages using a workflow alert
    • different emails in different languages using an assignment rule*
    What is a feature of chatter (3 answers)
    • Events
    • Reccommendations*
    • Feeds*
    • Bookmarks
    • Notes*
    Method for adding content to Salesforce CRM content (2 answers)
    • Documents
    • Chatter files
    • Attachments*
    • Libraries*
    Which feature license can be assigned to a user record in salesforce (2 answers)
    • Service cloud user*
    • Console user*
    • Opportunity user
    • Knowledge user
    Permission is set in a users profile (3 answers)
    • Object permissions
    • Mass Email*
    • Marketing user*
    • Run reports*
    • Active
    Sales executive wants a new opportunity stage called “verbal agreement” added to the opportunity stage picklist. Users aren’t able to pick it. Why?(1 answer)
    • Limit of 10 opportunity stages exceeded
    • Is it not marked as active?
    • Add value to record type
    • Add value to sales process
    What can a admin configure for users on search results (3 answers)
    • # of records displayed per object
    • columns for each object*
    • filters
    • objects included in the search*
    • fields being searched on for each object*
    How can knowledge articles be used (2 answers)
    • Display for customer serlf service
    • To display salesforce solutions
    • To resolve customer cases
    • To display salesforce answers
    2 sales teams have a unique sales process. Have only access to unique stages related to sales process wheh working on opportunities (1 answer)
    • record type
    • page layout
    • multi select picklists
    • roles
    what is the capability of the service cloud (customer) portal (2 answers)
    • portal can be customers with corporate brand*
    • customers can log, view, edit, and clos their cases
    • customers can view and edit contacts related to their own account*
    • portal and its users can be created without additional licensing
    What level of access can be set when sharing a document folder w/ users (2 answers)
    • Read, write, create, delete
    • Read, write
    • Read only
    • Read, write, create
    What can be transferred from user to user during a mass transfer of account records (3 answers)
    • Closed cases
    • Open activities*
    • Related custom object records*
    • Closed activities
    • Open cases*
    Organization wide default on cases is private. When a case is escalated it goes to a tier 2 support agent. Sales operations needs read / write access to all escalated cases. How can this be accomplished (1 answer)
    • Create ownership sharing rule
    • Create case escalation rule
    • Create criteria based sharing rule
    • Create case assignment rule

    • JohnCoppedge November 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Matthew, sorry to hear that and thanks for posting. Do you have any specific questions on any of these topics?

      I will review and ensure that each of these topics is covered in the guide.

      • kcurran87 November 17, 2016 at 1:00 am #

        Where is the latest copy of the guide? Did you include responses to the list above?

        • JohnCoppedge November 17, 2016 at 1:50 am #

          The guide is delivered online and continually updated, and does address these topics throughout.

    • JohnCoppedge November 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Also – I wonder if perhaps you have been answering some of the questions incorrectly (maybe not knowing that you were you wrong) on each attempt? If you have been reviewing questions to practice for the exam (instead of using the system), I’ve seen this happen before… also if you are reviewing materials from other websites, I would suggest that you fact check every practice question or flashcard you’ve seen. Many are wrong.

    • Synthia Beauvais March 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Matthew,

      I have a few study guides that I think will help you with passing the next time you take the exam. I was surprised to see some of the questions you listed are in my study guides. I really hope the guides help as they derive from Certified on Demand. I am apart of the GirlForce Study Group as well and I get a lot of study materials that are creditable. My study guides have helped 2 pass their exam. Please remember to use your developers account as you go to through the questions and answers. It will make a HUGE difference in understanding the test questions.

      1. http://quizlet.com/52852837/salesforce-admin-201-flash-cards/ (23 Study Guides)
      2. http://quizlet.com/sbeauvais34/folders/salesforce-study-guides-2014-2015 (174 Test Questions)
      3. http://quizlet.com/66275938/salesforce-adm-201-up-through-winter-15-release-flash-cards/ (350 Test Questions)

      Best of Luck,
      Synthia Beauvais

      • JohnCoppedge March 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

        Thanks for sharing Synthia

        • Rena Bennett-Dellwo April 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

          John, You’ve mentioned elsewhere that some other resources provide incorrect information. Based on your experience, do the resources suggested by Synthia (above) provide correct or incorrect information?

          • JohnCoppedge April 27, 2015 at 1:29 am #

            Haven’t had the time to review entirely – have noticed that they may not always be completely accurate or inaccurate, but may give an incomplete picture (e.g. one card says name the 7 objects that are standard in SFDC… well there are a lot more than 7; this could be pulled from documentation but a question would not be worded this way). Not bad to use to make sure you have good coverage but definitely fact check.

      • chiefadams September 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

        Hi Synthia,

        I tried to access these study sets but they are all private. Would it be possible for me to the password for these?

        Chris

  18. Nicole Lindenmayer October 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I have to agree with John that while no test is perfect, I have seen first hand what googling a solution can do to an org. Salesforce is so easy to customize that you can customize yourself into a corner and lose a lot of built in functionality and reporting features. The test just shows you where you stand in understanding the platform, nothing else. If you fail it doesn’t take away anything you’ve learned. And if you pass it encourages to start learning more complicated and customizable features. My only complaint is that it cost $100/year to stay certified.

    • JohnCoppedge October 19, 2014 at 2:14 am #

      Good points Nicole! That was my complaint initially as well, but the ROI on your career will more than make up for the $100 maintenance. Given the quality and breadth of the maintenance training and release notes, I personally think we are more than getting our money’s worth.

      • Nicole Lindenmayer October 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

        Hi John! I meant to try to find you at Dreamforce. I passed my Administrator Certification Exam last Sunday! I went through your entire site and did all of the musts and most of the shoulds. Using your “Nailing the Gotcha Questions” tips I didn’t find any of the questions to be tricky, but there were 6 I didn’t know the answer to at all. They were on pieces of the software I don’t use on a normal basis. Again, thank you for all of your help!

        • JohnCoppedge October 23, 2014 at 12:54 am #

          Awesome congrats Nicole! Any idea what subjects those 6 questions were on?

          • Nicole Lindenmayer October 30, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

            I remember a couple of them.

            Price books using assets/products
            Syncing with Salesforce Classic.
            Using the Process Builder
            Sharing options available with Document folders
            Sharing options available with Report folders

            The last one I think was in regards to Outlook. I probably wouldn’t have missed these if I went through everything, but I really cut myself short on time so I skipped a lot of the “could”s and “should”s.

            Thanks again!

          • JohnCoppedge November 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

            These topics should all be covered by I will double check, thanks!

  19. Roger Bannister September 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    I see reference to “Account Team” and “Sales Team” in the above scenario, however my answer would have been to at the Product Manager to the “Opportunity Team”. Is Opportunity Team the same as Sales Team? If not what is “Sales Team”?

    • JohnCoppedge September 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Yes – sales team refers to opportunity teams. Seems there are several synonyms for the “teams”.

      • magonzalez July 16, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

        in the most recent iteration of SF, there is no “Sales Team” terminolgy within the Setup area per se, however there is “Opportunity Team” within the Setup area! Can you *please* update the question with this term? Also, in the most recent Study Guide, the question has also been updated:

        “3. Sales representatives at Universal Containers need assistance from product managers when selling certain products. Product managers do not have access to opportunities, but need to gain access when they are assisting with a specific deal. How can a system administrator accomplish this?
        A. Notify the product manager using opportunity update reminders.
        B. Enable opportunity teams and allow user to add the product manager.
        C. Use similar opportunities to show opportunities related to the product manager.
        D. Enable account teams and allow users to add the product manager.”

        Thank you!
        MG

  20. Jason Rivera June 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    I recently passed the Dev 401 exam (Spring ’14) and your analysis of the “gotcha” questions is spot on. Most, if not all of the scenario questions I encountered were formed this way and require detailed analysis of the question in order to understand the topic being asked about, in case anyone has any doubt that what John is saying will in fact help. I do not know John, but I can tell you that what he is saying here will help you get to the correct answers, but only if you know the objective (from the current study guide) being referred to by the questions.

    In this example, if you knew nothing about record-level security, you would most likely not get the correct answer and probably need to study security a lot more. Also, if you did not know anything about the Sales Teams feature and that adding a Product Manager is a way to allow record-level access to individual opportunities (which I know nothing about since I have taken the Developer path), you still had maybe a 50/50 chance of getting it right since you could single out the answers that you KNOW have no impact on security at all. You would then be left with answers A and D.

    I do intend to take the Admin courses after I pass the Dev 501 certification exam and would love to use this site. I am curious how much overlap there really is from Admin 201 to Dev 401? It seems that while they cover a lot of the same topics, the Admin topics appear to go into more detail about specific features of the built-in objects as opposed to how to build custom objects in the Dev track. VisualForce, while covered in 401 training did not show up on the test in any lowe level detail and is most likely covered extensively in a Dev 501 exam along with Apex programming.

    • JohnCoppedge June 11, 2014 at 12:14 am #

      Awesome feedback, thanks Jason.

      I am curious to hear your thoughts on the overlap between 401 and 201 when you take the exam – I’ve taken both but it has been years, and the guides still suggest a strong relationship between the two.

  21. Sue Monk February 3, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Hi John
    Many, many thanks for this section. The “light bulb” finally went off! Your analysis of the question was fantastic and has helped me to look at the questions in a different way to get closer to forming the correct solution. I will take this advice with me into the real world as I think it will also work well in creating solutions to real requests within Salesforce.
    Regards
    Sue

  22. Karen October 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Although none of us have a choice, exams teach us nothing. They don’t evaluate anything except a person’s memory, and a certain type of memory for that matter. Exams should always be open book so that we learn how to use resources and how to find answers on our own. Reason being, life is open book. There will never be a time that I am expected to know the solution to a Salesforce issue where I can’t say that I need to look into it and get back to the person. If I were in that situation, it would be time for me to leave that job and find another.

    • JohnCoppedge October 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      While I certainly understand that sentiment, exams are designed to test what you know – not what you can learn. An exam is not likely to test you on the exact implementation of a complicated scenario, but rather to test your basic understanding of features in relation to a scenario.

      If the above scenario where came to pass in real life, and you had not either a) studied for certification or b) were already aware of each feature previously, then you would have a hard time finding the specific features to pull out of the 2500+ page user manual. And even if you could find all of the features in a timely fashion, the admin that already know what to look for can provide value more readily that one that doesn’t – and I’m sure that’s part of the goal of the certification program.

      All that said, I agree the whole testing process is inherently imperfect… but it is better than nothing!

      Cheers,

      John

    • Jim Garrison March 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      Karen-
      I cannot agree more. Having been the sole Admin for a large business for 13 months now, after coming on board having never even heard of SFDC prior to the ‘appointment’. I’ve learned more by having someone come to me and say “I’d like SFDC to do…” than I did sitting through the Admin and Advanced Admin courses provided by SFDC.

      Now ‘The Boss’ has said it’s time to get the Certification. I reminded ‘The Boss’ this wasn’t “Wizard of Oz” and as soon as I obtain the Certification, I won’t be quoting physics laws like ‘The Scarecrow’ was able to do. I’ll have the same level of ‘get the job done’ as I have had so far, with NO failures.

      SFDC has multiple ways to get from point A to point B. Is that ‘awesome’? You’re darn right. To me, it is one of the truly excellent things about SFDC. However, the requirement to know all the ways from A-to-B, seems to me to be a bit much. AND when testing, if you you get two correct and one wrong on the ‘Select the 3 correct answers’ questions, the whole question is marked wrong. I feel this is outrageous.

      Then compile the above with the fact you get NO feedback on the test, where to focus for future tests, etc. and provided a .pdf manual of over 3700 pages. Seriously..?

      This is why I’m enjoying the CoD site. I have four weeks to prep up for the nonsense test.

      Oh and by the way, when I become Emperor of the World, I will make sure I do away with these types of tests! 🙂

      • JohnCoppedge March 13, 2014 at 4:26 am #

        Lol, right on Jim. Testing is FAR from perfect, but it is the best logistically feasible option one way or the other. With a bit focused prep and your pool of experience, I think you’ll rock it. Cheers,

        John

      • Kathleen Renn April 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

        HEAR HEAR! to everything you said.

      • Gregory Mannon January 16, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

        John,
        I want to know how you got a SFDC admin job with no experience.

        Thanks
        Greg

        • JohnCoppedge January 19, 2016 at 3:24 am #

          It can and has been done, but not by me I’m afraid. I started out in IT (5+ years) and was given Salesforce as part of an IT role. I realized then (it was about 20% of my workload) that I really like working on the platform and transitioned a few years later to roles that were 100% on Force.com. During my transition I took up jobs using freelance sites (like odesk) and a bit of volunteer consulting to get real working experience.

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