How to pass ADM201 and DEV401 Salesforce Certifications

Getting certified is noble!

Becoming a certified Salesforce professional is not just a dream for many but also a prerequisite for many top companies. At Tquila, certification is a very important requirement. Of course we are keen to hire people who are smart and experienced too, so if you don’t have a certification then we help you get them.

Certifications are part of the currency that uses to assure your customers that you’re well versed in their technologies – a smart and objective measure and one that we advocate. Ok, now let’s look at what you need to know to pass ADM201 and DEV401!

Common ground

There are some things that you ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW if you want to take your ADM or DEV certification. Here are some that you need to know for both:

  1. Roles vs. Profiles (If you have no idea what the differences are – forget certification! I’m serious!)
  2. OWD & Role hierarchy (Oh man, if you do not understand this concept, you have a BIG problem!)
  3. 2, 3, 5, 20, 25, 5000, 50 000 (If you do not remember what these numbers are associated with, you should read over your Student Guides again on Salesforce limits!)
  4. Data Loader vs. Import Wizard (Yes, they really ask about the differences, and you need to know it in detail, including command line)
  5. Object CRUD (If you do not know what this is, you will fail!)
  6. Record ownership (It is not just about the user! You will be asked about this frequently)
  7. Reports & Dashboards (You will be asked a lot of detailed questions on this, especially in ADM201)

And these are important too…

  • Record types
  • Validation Rules
  • User Profile
  • Field Level Security
  • Access to Salesforce
  • Sharing Rules
  • Public Groups vs Queues
  • Page Layout
  • Workflow and Approvals
  • Mass Transfer and Mass Delete
  • Folders

If you want to pass DEV401 you need to know the following:

  1. Relationships (If someone wakes you up in the middle of the night, YOU MUST be able to explain Master-Detail vs Lookup relationships, Self versus Many-to-Many relationships, and definitely recognize when you need to use a Junction Object)
  2. There is NO Visualforce & Apex (But you need to understand when you need them. I.e. Recognising what you can and cannot accomplish with the declarative framework)
  3. Records IDs and External IDs (You must know it, not kidding!)
  4. Tabs, Apps and Objects (If you do not understand the difference you will fail!)
  5. Formulas (and NOT just the theory! You need to know the specifics like AND, IF, REGEX, VLOOKUP, ISPICKVAL, etc)
  6. Parallel Approvers (Never heard about this? Don’t try DEV401!)
  7. Upsert (Are you not sure what is it? Well you should!)

These are important too for DEV401

  •  Roll-up Summary
  • Picklist and Dependent Picklists
  • Apex Sharing vs Manual Sharing
  • Parallel Approvers
  • Dynamic Approvals
  • Outbound messages
  • Debug log vs Setup Audit Trial vs Field History Tracking
  • System filed
  • CRT

If you want to pass ADM201 you need to know the following:

  1. Standard Objects & Processes (Such as Leads, Accounts, Person Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Cases, Products, Price Books, Solutions, Documents. You will need to know the standard functionality surrounding these objects as well as Sales & Service processes)
  2. Record Types & Business Processes (The reason why this is mentioned here is that there was quite an emphasis on these. Make sure you spend some time in the student guide on this)
  3. Partner & Customer Portals (This is not in the student guides but there were quite a few questions on this. You will need to read up on the basic functionality of these)
  4. Security (As with DEV401, this is important and there are more questions on this topic in ADM201 than in DEV401)
  5. Company Profile, Locale, Currencies, Fiscal Year (They may seem trivial topics but there were a surprising number of questions on these)
  6. Reports & Dashboards (A big chunk of the exam is on reports & dashboards. Be sure you know it inside out)

These are important too for ADM201

  • Salesforce Limits
  • Lead Conversion
  • Relationships
  • Priority Order
  • Tabs, Apps and Objects
  • Chatter
  • CRT
  • Picklists, Dependent Picklists, & Data Types available

Looks Easy?

It looks easy but do not underestimate it! Even if you have been working with Salesforce every day for a number of years it is not as straightforward as you might think. Don’t over-rely on the mock exams online either, you really need to know a lot about Salesforce to pass. Good luck!

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12 thoughts on “How to pass ADM201 and DEV401 Salesforce Certifications

  1. Wanda says:

    Thank you for the helpful advice!

  2. Scott Robinson says:

    Appreciate the overview!

  3. poonam says:

    seems like i know all the topics…but when it comes to remembering it in the exam, i get all nervous!!… i’ve taken the adm201 exam twice but no luck 😦 …. how much time do you think i should put in for me to finally pass the ADM201?

  4. I should follow you advice for the ADM201. Thanks Jiri

  5. Mark Orsborn says:

    I found the study guides extremely helpful both for preparation and also to quickly remind myself of topics before the test.

    > Administrator
    > Advanced admin
    > Developer
    > Sales cloud consultant
    > Service cloud consultnat

    I also used the videos on itunes, they were very helpful –

  6. […] How to pass ADM201 and DEV401 Salesforce Cetifications – Expert knowledge […]

  7. jason says:

    Hello, I am currently a certified admin, developer, and service cloud consultant. Therefore, I can agree with certainty that the author of this article is spot-on on the importance of knowing about the “fine details” of specific SFDC functions. In addition, there is a 3000+ page help guide that should be referenced to truly understand each function.

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