The Pardot Specialist Exam is a key milestone in your Marketing Automation career – designed to get you up to speed as a Pardot Power user. It will test your familiarity with the Pardot tool, designing automation, basic troubleshooting, and awareness of the native integrations.
This post will cover a few tips on how to pass first time, speaking from my experience with the exam and helping clients prepare for it.
I’ve written a full mock exam for Salesforce Ben Members, which just one in a library of exams.
One more thing – if you’re serious about learning more around Pardot, I also encourage you to subscribe to The DRIP to receive helpful content on both the day-to-day Pardot admin, as well as all the ‘big picture’ stuff.
I want to kick off by sharing my experience with the Specialist Exam. The short version of the story is that I’ve taken the exam twice, after I accidentally let my certification expire (oops). Although I had to retake the whole exam, the upside is that I got to see how the exam content had changed from one year to the next.
Round 1: June 2016
Before sitting down to study for my Pardot Specialist Exam, I had no experience with Pardot (or Marketing Automation for that matter). Despite having a demanding full-time job, I made the time in the evenings to systematically and thoroughly cover the study guide’s content.
For me, it was as much learning about Marketing Automation as it was about Pardot. Becoming familiar with industry tactics, such as how to optimise a Lead Nurturing sequence, added to my study time and level of research. To this day, I’m still learning every day about the wider marketing automation world – one that innovates relentlessly.
Round 2: July 2017
After admitting defeat, I signed up to retake the Specialist Exam. Now with almost 1 year of Pardot Consulting under my belt, I went in with some complacency. Of course, I reviewed any changes that had been made to the study guide over the year, but I underestimated the exam itself. The questions have become more scenario-based, reflecting other Salesforce exams some of you may be familiar with. The longer questions are designed to test your knowledge, rather than just ‘parroting’ the Pardot online help documentation.
Tips for a First-time Pass
- Go through each section of a Pardot account. Bear in mind that there are multiple sections under each of the 4 sidebar tabs, and the exam does test navigation – ie. knowing where everything is!
- Memorise the ‘which automation’ diagram. Map it out on paper as soon as you sit down in the exam.
- Google everything. Like I said, becoming familiar with industry terminology and tactics will help decipher the correct answer. Go through the Pardot knowledge base content (now hosted on Salesforce Help). It is written in a way that gives you the facts, straight up.
- Use a website like cram.com to create virtual flashcards. Being portable, I run through these right up until I go into the exam.
The Pardot Specialist Exam is a key milestone in your Marketing Automation career. Make it your goal this year to add the certification to your competencies and mark your status as a Pardot Power user. Sign up to Salesforce Ben Members for the full mock exam to test your readiness.