Community and Becoming More

We’ve all been there: walking into an exam room clutching your pencil in one sweaty hand and your scratch paper in the other, you find your assigned seat and look around at the other test takers while the proctor logs you in and tells you that you can get started whenever you’re ready. Girlforce ladies all over the US have sat down to take certification exams in the past few months. For some of us, it was the first time we had taken a Salesforce exam, others were taking repeat exams, or getting additional certifications. We recently polled Girlforce members who had passed Salesforce exams about their tips and tricks for passing, and we came up with the following three keys for success: 1. Be prepared. Finding a study group to help you learn difficult concepts and clarify the subject matter is essential. Virtual study groups, like the ones we have in Girlforce, or in-person study groups, like a local User Group, can be great resources in your study. Don’t leave it to chance – study, read, study some more, take practice exams. Feeling prepared when they walked into the room was crucial for most test-takers we surveyed. Find out what your weak point is, then make your weak point your best point! Judi Sohn (KELL Partners) shares:

“My tip: the questions are often written in such a way that it's just as easy to pick out what's wrong as what's right. So on questions when you have to pick 2 answers and you're not sure, focus on eliminating the absolutely impossible choices. There's always at least one. If you're lucky, there's 2 that you know beyond a shadow of doubt can't possibly be right and what's left has to be it.”

Preparation doesn’t mean you have to know all the right answers, but you should know enough about the subject to hopefully deduce the right answer in multiple choice! 2. Keep a tally. One of the most common answers to our poll about how people passed exams was getting through all of the questions and checking the ones for review to look at before submitting the test. Karen Fitton (Bigger Boat) passed her exam by “keeping a tally of questions I was certain of and marking the ones I didn't know to review. I go through [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][the exam] once quickly without dwelling on the questions, answering what I know and marking the others for review. Then I have a sense of how much time I have for the review and how I think I am doing.” Liza Mueller (Echoing Green) advises test takers to use the paper and pencil provided in the exam to keep track of your certainty to answers:

“Questions for which I was uncertain got circled on the paper, where I also jotted down my gut instinct, or the two answers I was waffling between. Once I was completely through the exam I returned to the uncertain ones to read them more carefully. This helped me manage my time and nerves!” Mary Pustejovsky (Heller Consulting) adds: “I kept a running tally to help me know how many I had "for sure". It just gave me the confidence to finally hit that "submit" button!”

3. Be confident. Ashima Saigal (Database Sherpa) admits to struggling with test anxiety: “The mere act of sitting down to answer [multiple choice] questions puts me in a solid state of fear." Many of us don’t love taking tests, and some of us are downright afraid of them. During exams, in addition to marking answers for review and writing notes, Ashima kept a percentage tally of those she was confident about the answer to, as well as those she hasn’t the slightest idea about and would entirely guess. Confidence was her mantra:

“When I sat down, I wrote down immediately on my paper, "You know this stuff and can do it" and when I began to question myself or my brain went blank, I went back to that place on my paper. When I started to panic (it happens to me during tests), I would close my eyes and breath.”

The hidden advantage to working together to share in preparation, giving each other tips and confidence is that in the process, you become more than you were. The Exam gives you certification, the group gives you community. As Jeff Winger in Community says “You’ve just stopped being a study group. You have become unstoppable. I hearby pronounce you a community.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]