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Tips for passing the Salesforce Associate exam on the first attempt

Salesforce has released yet another certificate! This time, the target audience is newcomers to Salesforce!

Tips for passing the Salesforce Associate exam on the first attempt


The Salesforce Associate exam is an entry-level certification exam that tests your knowledge of Salesforce and its capabilities. The exam is designed for professionals who are new to Salesforce or have limited experience using the platform. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within 105 minutes. 

The questions cover a range of topics, including Salesforce basics, data modeling and management, security, automation, customization, and reporting. To pass the Salesforce Associate exam, you must score 65% or higher. If you fail the exam, you can retake it after 15 days. Passing the Salesforce Associate exam is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge of Salesforce and increase your career opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem. It can also serve as a foundation for pursuing more advanced Salesforce certifications., including those who consider the Salesforce Administrator certification difficult. They can begin their journey with this cert, which is easier in comparison despite the same pass percentage and the number of questions.

Of course, in the vast ocean of Salesforce, trying to dip in can be overwhelming, and one might not know where to start and how to go about the certification. On top of this, there is always the fear of failing the exam!

Here are a few tips that will help you pass the exam on the first attempt!

1. Familiarize yourself with the certification and what is expected from the test taker.

The Salesforce Associate Exam Guide outlines the topics that will be covered in the exam. Focus on Force also has a guide for this certification that outlines the topics covered in the exam: Salesforce Ecosystem, Navigation, Data Model, and Reporting and Dashboards. Study the guide carefully and make sure you understand each of them clearly.

2. Book for the exam before starting the preparation and then draw out a plan. 

Having an actual exam date to work towards makes your preparations more realistic. Focus on Force encourages test takers to figure out if they would like to take the exam offline or online, book for the certification exam using WebAssessor, and then work out a study plan. Focus on Force’s tool comes in handy to prepare one. So set clear goals for yourself, create a study schedule, eliminate distractions, use visual aids such as diagrams, charts, and graphs if you have to; and take breaks in between.

3. Give ample time for the preparation itself.

Giving ample time to studying is essential to ensure you are adequately prepared for any exam. Do not turn this into a crash course. For newbies, it will be overwhelming to go through so many new terms. So focus on the topics that are most challenging to you or have a higher weightage in the exam. Giving at least one week for each topic is the best way to go. 

4. Practice what you learn.

Salesforce is a hands-on platform, so it's important to get as much practice as possible with the Salesforce system to retain what you are learning. Salesforce Developer Edition or the Trailhead Playground Org are great options for practicing and gaining hands-on experience. 

5. Don’t get worked up.

The Associate examination is targeted at beginners and designed for individuals having experience ranging from six months to none with the platform. So don’t get worked up with the details or the vastness of features available! Focus on Force materials have been designed keeping beginners in mind, explaining just the right amount of Salesforce knowledge so that test takers feel comfortable as they learn. Just manage your time effectively: break your study sessions into small, manageable chunks and take regular breaks to avoid burnout.

The Associate examination is targeted at beginners

6. Take practice exams and figure out your strong and weak areas.

Practice exams are designed to help you prepare for the exam by giving you an idea of what to expect. Take as many practice tests as possible to get a feel for the exam format and to identify areas where you need to focus more attention. Focus on Force practice exams simulate the real Salesforce Associate certification exam experience, including the format, difficulty level, and time limit.

7. Browse some topics early on before the actual preparation.

Reading through the Salesforce website ahead of time can give you a headstart. Information about what is Salesforce, and what are the products (clouds) offered by Salesforce as part of the Customer 360 Platform helps become familiar with the technology before diving into details.

8. Prepare notes as you work on each topic.

Taking notes is just one part of a successful study strategy. It also helps tremendously to revise them at the end of each week. Revision is helpful for retention. Start by identifying the main topics and objectives of the exam, and use a structured approach to your note-taking, such as outlining or mind mapping, to organize your thoughts and make connections between different topics. Focus on Force offers these tools within the study guides for easier access. Also, try to summarize key concepts and definitions in your own words to help you understand and remember them better.

9. Keep calm and think straight.

On the day of the exam, take deep breaths, stay calm, and read each question carefully. Don't rush through the exam, and take your time to make sure you understand each question before answering. Though most questions are scenario-based, they still relate to a feature or tool. There are a bunch of direct questions too. None of the answers relate to any complex solution, so keep the mind calm and think straight.

10. If this is your first time taking a Salesforce exam, then you are not alone.

Joining online communities and forums can help you connect with other like-minded individuals, and you can get tips and advice on passing the exam. Try the Salesforce Trailblazer Community or the Focus on Force Forums to connect with others and ask questions. You can also attend local Salesforce user groups or workshops to network and learn from others in the community.

Prepare notes as you work on each topic

Remember, passing the Salesforce Associate exam takes time and effort, but with the right preparation and approach, you can pass the exam on your first try. Good luck! 


Are you preparing for the Salesforce Associate Certification?

Focus on Force provides a study guide and practice exams for the Salesforce Associate credential.

Vidya Srinarayana Product Owner for Focus on Force

Vidya Srinarayana

Vidya's background in software engineering has instilled in her a passion for developing educational materials. Along with her current role as a Product Owner, she has earned 9 Salesforce certifications, demonstrating her proficiency in the field. In her personal life, she enjoys indulging in hobbies such as watching movies, listening to music, working out, and preparing vegetarian dishes, alongside her responsibilities as a mom of two naughty boys.