Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Guide & Tips

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Advanced Administration Certification Introducton

The baseline credential for any Admin. Showcase your knowledge on Salesforce features and best practice configuration.

The Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator exam takes your knowledge of the platform to a new level. If the Salesforce Administrator Certification is the foundation level, this qualification takes a deeper look at some of the products and feature you will have learned previously. The exam is heavily scenario focussed, and will test your knowledge on not only the right feature, but the best practice way to carry out a requirement.


The exam will test your knowledge on:

  • Security & Access
  • Extending Custom Objects & Applications
  • Auditing & Monitoring
  • Sales Cloud Applications
  • Service Cloud Applications
  • Data Management
  • Content Management
  • Change Management
  • Analytics, Reports & Dashboards
  • Process Automation

Who's the Ideal Candidate?

If you are looking to further your career into the world of Salesforce and manage more complex Orgs, the Advanced Administrator exam allows you to not only prove to employers that you have obtained advanced knowledge, but also learn about more of the nuances of the platform. This is not only a great certification for Admins, but also Salesforce consultants who work with multiple clients and often recieve challenging requests or requirements.

Key Topics

1. Security & Access 20%

For anyone looking to manage more complex, larger, and “Enterprise” style Orgs, Security becomes increasingly more important. Rather than focusing on some of the more standard external security features such as password management, and IP restrictions, the Advanced Administrator exam focuses on the complexities of internal security. This includes the relationship between profiles, sharing rules, communities sharing settings, and more. In addition, you will also need to get to grips with the Enterprise Territory Management feature.

One focus for this section is understanding what happens when different features contradict each other. For example, what happens if a sharing rule grants access, but the profile takes it away?

2. Process Automation 13%

After getting to grips with some basic process automation in the Admin exam, Salesforce will really want to test your knowledge on one of the platforms most powerful features. You will be expected, based on a scenario, to provide a solution to a problem. This will not only involve declarative process automation, but understanding when you will need the help of a Developer with Visualforce & Apex.

Salesforce will also want you to fully understand how Approval Processes work, and based on a scenario, troubleshoot why one might be behaving a certain way.

3. Sales Cloud Applications 10%

This section focuses on a couple of core features to Sales Cloud, but the expectation is that you should know absolutely everything about them. The first is products, which on the surface is fairly simple, but you will need to understand all the interconnecting features such as price books, schedules and quotes. The second area is forecasting, but you will expected to understand the detailed complexities such as the forecast hierarchy, quotas, and categories.

4. Service Cloud Applications 10%

Similar to the section above, Service Cloud Applications dives really deep into a few features. You will be expected to understand Salesforce Knowledge, including article record types, and data categories. You will need to understand service entitlements (SLA’s), and how these work alongside entitlement processes. In addition, you will need to understand all the features of Service Cloud that enable interactions between a support agent and customers. This could include Live Chat, Case Feed, Console, Communities, and Omni-Channel.

Study Strategy

The Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam takes a real deep dive into some familiar Admin features and concepts. While these features might be pretty fresh in your memory from your day job, or the previous exam, there will almost definitely be some concepts you will need to revise, test, and nail down.

The Advanced Admin exam really looks at the edge cases of scenarios and features, ensuring that even with the most complex or request, you will be able to handle it.

The best way to approach this is to start off like all others, get familiar with the salesforce exam guide. Understand all the concepts you will have to revise, and then hit the trails on Trailhead. The big difference in strategy with this exam from the Admin, is that I would highly recommend to spend longer on each feature, testing it to its limits. What happens when sharing rules contradict each other? What happens if currencies on the Opportunity and selected Pricebook don’t match?

After you have familiarised yourself with all the features and concepts, we would highly recommend testing out your skills on our mock exams. This will not only familiarise yourself with how the test is structured, but also find any knowledge gaps by testing you.

Exam Strategy

When exam day finally hits, there are a bunch of tips we gathered over the years to give you the best chance of passing with flying colours.

Firstly, if there are any concepts that you are struggling to get to grips with, then print off a cheat sheet and try and memorize any of these before you take the exam so they are fresh in your memory.

When taking the exam, pay particular attention to the question, and read it through a few times. For the scenario-based questions there will be huge clues in the answer to what the correct answer actually is. If you need to, use the pen and paper provided to draw out a data schema, role hierarchy or any other diagram that will help you visualize the answer.

When deciding on the answer, be sure to use the process of elimination to get rid of the answers that are definitely incorrect. Salesforce likes to throw in answers that are made up of features or just plane incorrect. They also like to throw in curveballs, of features that appear to be correct but aren’t best practice. You can often worm out these by focussing on standard Salesforce features that accomplish a task. For example, you could build a custom approval process with process builder, but why do this when there is a standard feature that is best practice?

You also have a great tool at your disposal, the “Mark for review” feature. On each question, you will have a checkbox that you can mark. This is great if you cannot think of an answer right at that moment, or if you are doubtful about your answer. At the end of the exam, you will have a chance to review these questions. Depending on the amount selected, this will give you a pretty good idea of how likely you are to have passed the test. Regardless of the questions marked for review, I would always recommend to go through every question if time permits. I do this on every exam, and often spot mistakes I made in the answers and change a few.



Final Thoughts

The Advanced Administrator qualification tests your Admin knowledge of the core platform, to the next level.

For senior Salesforce Admin roles, or consultant roles, this is a great certification to take to prove to current or future employers, that you really know all the ins and outs of the core platform.

32 thoughts on “Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Guide & Tips

  1. Ben- Great work….and congrats. This type of studying is critical. There is no easy button as many would like. Your post has inspired me to go register for my next exam. Oh and look I needed to take a maintenance exam as well…

    Thank for the great site.

  2. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the site. Last December I studied like crazy for about 2 months before taking the Admin 201 exam. I passed but it may have just been barely! At that time I used Trailhead quite a bit and I think it helped.

    I took the instructor lead course for ADM211 last year but my company wants me to obtain my ADM211 cert by end of June this year. I will be out most of May on vacation so this is going to be a huge challenge. Along with your site, can you recommend any modules on Trailhead (or elsewhere) that would be useful?

    Thanks, Scott

  3. Ben can you please help me with Adm201 exams.I am planning to take this test in next 15 days.
    I didnt attend any training classes as they are too costly.I am very much interested in Salesforce crm.
    Your kind help is highly appreciated.

  4. Elizaveta Khazina


    Hello. Could you please double check the question: While working with a report, a Sales Manager at SFB Industries would
    like to see the that each opportunity is contributing to the overall pipeline.
    How can this be achieved?
    A) Create a custom summary formula and use the PARENTGROUPVAL function
    B) Create a formula field on the opportunity and include this in the report
    C) Create a formula field on the opportunity that uses the PARENTGROUPVAL function. Include this in the report
    D) Create a custom summary formula and use the PREVGROUPVAL function
    I would not agree that the correct answer is A.

  5. Passed my Advanced Admin cert this afternoon – your mock exam was a definite help. Thanks for doing that.

  6. HI Ben,

    Congratulations!!! I have Salesforce Partner Training Portal access. Do I Have to go through both admin and advance admin for this certification in partner training portal. I passed my Admin exam almost 2 years ago.

  7. Matthew R Anders


    Is your “Bible” available somewhere, if so please provide link in reply, and is there a link to the mock exam that others have referenced? If so please link to it in reply.

    Most of all thanks for all you do Ben. You are a champion!

  8. Hi Ben, i am planning to take the Advanced Admin Exam soon, heard that the exam questions have changed a lot.
    does your mock exam cover the Advanced Admin exam?

      1. Hi Ben, How do I access the advance admin Mock exam? I see your comment to Tiffany about accessing via sign up. However, I am logged in, and the mock exam section is blank.


          1. Hi Christine.. Thanks, but that link shows a blank grey box where the practice exam should be. thoughts?? Is my account not configured properly?

          2. Hi Christine.. Thanks, but that link shows a blank grey box where the practice exam should be. thoughts?? Is my account not configured properly?

  9. Natasha Mukherjee


    Great study materials and the practice mock exams. I cleared the Advanced Administrator certification.

  10. Hi Ben, I’ve been using the 8 questions that David Liu outlines in his blog post, “How to study understanding, not memorization” to frame my notes. This has helped give me a general framework for learning and note taking; however, sometimes there is just so much information in the Salesforce Help & Training articles that I get lost in it and am unsure of what I should retain and take note of. How much detail and what general concepts do you include in your study notes? Any tips? Thank you for the great resources!

    1. Christine Marshall


      It might be worth clearing your cookies/cache? Can you see it if you log in on an incognito browser?

      1. Christine, I have cleared cache/cookies as well as tried incognito window, all with no luck. Every time I log in to my account, there is a redirect to:, and an error which states “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.”

        I then navigate to, click My Account, then navigate to Adv Admin guide and Moc questions. But all I see is a grey box with “You’re already logged in. Logout.”

        I experience this behavior in Chrome and Safari.

  11. Hello Ben, i have recently passed my admin exams and now torn between studying for advanced admin or platform app builder. I have read your information on both. My goal is to get a job,so which would you recommend I do next? please advise.Thanks

    1. Christine Marshall


      Hi Yessie,

      All certifications are valuable and should help you when applying for jobs. I have done both Platform App Builder and Advanced Admin and felt that App Builder covered a broader range of features and was a slightly easier exam overall. There is some overlap between the exams so you could study for both! Good luck!

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