I have recently passed the Platform App Builder certification exam. Since this is a brand new certification and some people have asked me for advice, I wanted to create this post explaining my impressions about this new exam. I want to point out that the exam I did is Platform App Builder specific one, not the transition exam, as I didn’t own Dev 401 certification.
As you probably know, this new certification is an evolution of Dev 401 (Platform Developer I) certification. Here you can see a schema of the relationship between old and new certifications, (image from Andrew Davis, Appirio).
Well, my overall impression is that this new exam is much more logical than Dev 401 mock exams I had seen on the internet. In those exams, there were some questions about limits, about the specific path you have to follow in the setup menu for doing something, etc., which in my opinion didn’t add value at all to your proficiency on the platform, and only demonstrated you had a very good memory.
In contrast, the questions I was asked in Platform App Builder exam were mostly case studies simulating real situations which a Salesforce App Builder will have to deal with in his daily work.
I don’t remember the exact questions, but a good example of a question would be asking which is the most adequate solution you can implement in Salesforce for your customer, taking into account some specific constraints and some specific final actions. This link was very helpful to answer those kind of questions.
My recommendations are:
1. Follow the study guide topics. Some material of 401 exam is not asked, so, it’s better that you follow Platform App Builder specific study guide.
2. Read Salesforce Fundamentals. It’s a good book but sadly it doesn’t cover a lot of content that is asked on the certification. It’s very well explained the security chapter, from which several questions are asked in the exam. Also some exam questions are based in the example that is used in the whole book (a company called Universal Containers), so, if you familiarise yourself with this example it will be easier for you to take the exam.
3. Trailhead, trailhead and trailhead! Try to do trailhead modules related to study guide topics. It’s a fun way to learn and very very useful.
4. I spent some time doing tests from Dev 401 mock exams I found on the internet. This was a waste of time, as some mock exam questions were incorrectly asked / answered as most of them are not official. As I didn’t trust the answers, I double checked everything with Salesforce help, which took me a lot of time and, in the end, these questions were not asked.
5. I recommend to take a look at these two blog posts:
Despite they talk about transition exam, it’s interesting to take a look at the areas and the study links they recommend, as a lot of questions were asked from those areas.
Finally all that I can say is good luck and hope this post helps you to pass your certification exam!