Fifteen-year-old Vijay Shrivarshan Vijayaraja from Laurel Heights Secondary School in Ontario, Canada, has achieved the remarkable feat of becoming one of the youngest individuals ever to successfully pass the Salesforce Administrator 201 certification exam. Driven by his passion for technology since childhood and with the encouragement of his parents, Vijay embarked on a journey to master Salesforce. In an interview with Focus on Force, he discusses his experience of taking the Salesforce Admin certification exam at such a young age, his sources of motivation, the specific areas within the Admin 201 exam that he believes warrant extra attention from test-takers, and he generously imparts valuable advice for those who are in the process of preparing for Salesforce certifications.
My name is Vijay Shrivarshan Vijayaraja. I'm going to Grade 10. I'm in Waterloo, Ontario; near Toronto. And I'm from Laurel Heights Secondary School.
At 15 years old, what made you start learning Salesforce?
In Grade 9, I took a business elective as one of my courses. And in that course, I have learned lots of new terms like sales; marketing, and that's where I came upon CRM. And I was very intrigued what CRM was so I wanted to explore it even further. So then at the same time, my dad introduced Salesforce to me because he thought it was a good idea for me to learn it. And I was very interested in technology and I always wanted to learn new technology. And I had some coding experience prior, but Salesforce was really different from any coding languages I learned.
And yeah, that's when I started learning Salesforce.
When I first went into the exam center to take my test, I was really nervous because everyone else there was a lot older... When I started going through the questions, they were a bit similar and had the same structure as the questions on Focus on Force.
What were your goals when starting and how did you keep motivated?
So one of my main goals was to obviously pass the Salesforce Admin exam. And whenever I finished the module in Trailhead or got a higher percentage in Focus on Force tests than before, my parents were always there and they motivated me. And they helped me if I got a bad mark in the practice exam, they really motivated me and gave me the courage to keep going on.
Would you say obtaining your certification will affect your career in a positive way?
Of course. This is because before earning the certificate, I didn't really know which path I'm gonna take, post-secondary. I wasn't really sure if I was going to go into computers or anything else. But earning the certificate, now I'm really assured and confident that I'll go down the path of Salesforce and I'll continue going down this path.
Which areas of the Admin 201 exams should test takers focus on?
In my opinion, I would really say to focus on sales and services. Because in my case, I didn't really have any real-time experience prior to learning Salesforce. So these topics were really hard to grasp on. So I say you have to focus on these the most because the other topics — they didn't really need that much experience from before. But sales and service — they kind of do need the experience.
Would you say that using Focus on Force helped you towards your goal of getting certified?
Focus on Force really helped me a lot because they had a clear study guide which was very simple to use. And there are practice exams — which I took a lot — helped me identify where I'm weak at; where I'm strong at, or where I really need to focus on more. And then, if I even had any questions, I could just ask them on any topic and then the Focus on Force Community will get back to me before a day or two.
My parents were always there and they motivated me... If I got a bad mark in the practice exam, they really motivated me and gave me the courage to keep going on.
Would you say that having good communication skills are essential to a career in Salesforce?
Yes, because if you want to really explain your idea — if you have any new ideas, and you want to expose it to the world — you have to have really good communication skills in order to get your idea out.
What was it like taking the Salesforce Admin certification exam as a 15-year-old?
So for me personally, when I first went into the exam center to take my test, I was really nervous because everyone else there was a lot older. But then when I started going through the questions, they were a bit similar and had the same structure as the questions on Focus on Force.
It made me realize that, “Well, I could really do this.”
What advice do you have for those preparing for the Admin 201 cert?
One of my first pieces of advice is to give yourself enough time to study and really know the concepts in Focus on Force study guides. And then with that knowledge, just play around with it in a new Trailhead playground. That's how I learned a lot of new things and how they work.
And then you have to really take the practice exams because without the practice exams, you won't really know where you need to work on; where you're good at. In the end, I did pass. So Focus on Force really helped me. Thank you.
Are you preparing for the Salesforce Admin Certification?
Focus on Force provides a study guide and practice exams for the Salesforce Administrator 201 credential.