Platform App Builder Certification Guide & Tips

Share this article...

Table of Contents

Certification Introduction

Demonstrate your knowledge on designing and building custom applications declaratively using the Salesforce Platform.

The Salesforce Platform App Builder certification is ideal for Salesforce professionals that want to demonstrate their knowledge building custom applications on the Salesforce platform. This exam really focuses down on on using tools such as Custom Objects & Fields, Process Builder, Approval Processes, and all other declarative features. These are defined by the features that are built by clicks, and not code.


Who's the Ideal Candidate?

I would recommend any Salesforce professional to take this certification, no matter if you are an Admin, Consultant, or Developer, the skills you pick up while revising for this exam will become invaluable to anyone working on the platforms.

One of the most powerful aspects about Salesforce, is the ability to create custom application and processes in rapid time, and this exam covers it all.

Key Topics

1. Business Logic & Process Automation 27%

This chunky section takes up over a quarter of the entire exam, so you better get familiar with all the concepts! In fact, this section will test your knowledge of Record Types, Formula Fields, Rollup Summary Fields, Validation Rules, Approval Processes, Workflow, Flow & Process Builder.

The exam mostly contains scenario based questions, and therefore given a certain scenario, you will be expected to put forward the most appropriate solution. All of the features mentioned above are so core to the platform, it’s very appropriate that you learn these inside out. In fact, in the exam and on the job, you will most likely be using these features in combination, so have a good play around with them in a sandbox.

2. Data Modeling & Management 20%

This section is all about the Salesforce data model, think standard & custom objects, fields, as well as the relationships between these in the form of lookups & master-detail relationships. When presented with a business requirement, the data schema that is set up is so crucial to the project that it’s good to learn all aspects of data modeling early.

You will need to understand record access implications of the schema, user interface, as well as reporting. In addition you will need to understand field types in detail, and which one is most appropriate, given a scenario.

You will almost definitely be asked a question based around updating one field to another field type and the data loss that could incur (or not), so memorise and test these combinations out for a guaranteed mark!

3. User Interface 14%

As well as diving into the technical point and click aspect of the Salesforce platform, you also should understand the features available to give users a nice experience. With most Salesforce users now on Lightning, this opens up huge possibilities to create slick user interfaces.

You will be expected to understand how Lightning Components can be used, and where they can be placed (Pretty much anywhere now!), as well as the difference between standard, custom, and App components. You will also be tested on how custom buttons, links, and actions can play a part in making users lives easier.

You will be tested in a similar fashion to the above sections, through scenarios to determine the most appropriate solution.

Study Strategy

The Platform App Builder Certification has a lot of content. As opposed to some of the other certifications where they take a real deep dive into fewer standard Salesforce functionality, here you are expected to know about a lot. However, before being put off, I actually find this an easier cert to revise for. As once you have learned how each feature works, solutionizing in your head based on a scenario becomes far easier.

I would recommend learning about each individual feature first on Trailhead and by doing a bit of revision through the Salesforce support documentation. Once learned, now is the time to really test these features together in a developer Org. One of the best tactics to revise is to create a fake business for yourself such as an eCommerce store, or a Gym. Create requirements for yourself based on the business model and use the features in this exam to create yourself slick process automation!

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

In my opinion, the Platform App Builder qualification is almost as core as the Salesforce Admin exam.

These declarative features allow Admins to build powerful apps with automation, with no code what so ever. This is one of the biggest unique selling points of the platform, and all professionals should be taking advantage of them.

Most employers know this as well, and will be looking for professionals that know how to maintain and extend the platform.

72 thoughts on “Platform App Builder Certification Guide & Tips

  1. Great article Ben.

    Have been looking for something this detailed about the transition exam – has convinced me to put some time aside and smash it out.

    Look forward to seeing the App Builder quiz to test myself

  2. Well I’ve just passed it.
    Frankly I found it more challenging than the administrator exam I passed last month. For example I finished the Adm 45 minutes before the deadline and took my time to review, but this one only 8 minutes before.

    Thanks Ben, your tips and quizz helped again (although I agree the quizz needs a refresh)

    A few tips:
    – Be sure to know most considerations for field update actions, especially whenever the update is triggered by a workflow or a process.
    – Questions about field type change may be different than “will it cause data loss?”, more like “what may you loose (pick two)”
    – I expected more questions on sandboxes, change sets, Salesforce1, actions/buttons/links. Got a couple of each at most.
    – Review the classics: rollup summary fields, record types, report charts, object/record access, relationships etc.

    Good luck everyone

  3. Hi Ben,

    Thanks again for another insightful article. I have until the end of March to pass this exam and was wondering if you have an ETA as to when you’ll get a practice quiz up as I’ve read you plan to make one. All the best!

  4. Hi Ben,
    I’m studying to pass the App Builder exam (Spring ’16). Could you post a mock exam? I’ve already tried your quiz for Developer exam…it was useful! 🙂

  5. Hi Ben…. I am following your blog from the day i saw it…its really very helpful and i am just following this along with additional documentations. The quiz is very helpful and got an idea on which area in need to concentrate.I have conflict in few dumps i found. I have answered as per my understanding. Request you to give your best possible answers.

    1.Which statement is true when defining a create custom action for the contact object? (2)
    A. The create action will respect validation rules
    B. The create action can pre-define contact field values
    C. The create action will ignore field requirements
    D. The create action allows a user to select a record type
    Ans: A, D/B…….not sure D or B

    2.All contact’s mailing post code should match the account shipping postal code. How to do it
    A. use NOT EQUAL operator
    B. use compare operator
    C. use distance()
    D. geolocation()
    Ans: B

    3. Need to change ownership when field of custom object changed (1)
    A. Apex trigger ?
    B. Validation Rule
    C. Assignment Rule
    D. Visual Workflow
    Ans: A
    4. UC would like to automatically assign a specific permission set to new users. How can they do that?
    A. create a workflow rule on the user object to assign a permission set
    B. create a flow on the user object to assign permission set
    C. create a lighting process on the user object to launch a flow
    Ans: B or C…not sure
    5. The organization wide default for a custom object is set to private. The supervisor profile grants view access to the same object. A user with the supervisor profile is also listed as the manager on the user detail records for a subordinate. What is preventing the supervisor from viewing record owned by subordinates?(2)
    A. Organization wide settings for the custom object grant access to their users with the same role
    B. The supervisor’s role is not above the subordinate’s role in the hierarchy
    C. Organization-wide settings for the custom object do not grant access using hierarchy.
    D. The supervisor requires a permission set in order to view the subordinate’s record
    Ans: B, C……conflict on D.
    6. All contact’s mailing post code should match the account shipping postal code. How to do it
    A. use NOT EQUAL operator
    B. use compare operator
    C. use distance()
    D. geolocation()
    Ans: B
    7. Company A wants to implement business processes around Opportunities. What tools should be used? (Choose 3)
    1) Opportunity Teams
    2) Page Layouts
    3) Record Types
    4) Sales Processes
    5) Workflows
    Ans: 2,3, 4
    8. Field type conversion. Which of the following are true: (choose two):
    a) Data can be lost when converting from Picklist (Single-Select) to Picklist (Multi-Select).
    b) Data can be lost when converting from Auto-Number to text.
    c) Data can be lost when converting from Number to Currency (assuming that field lengths are identical)
    d) Information can be lost when converting from text area (rich) To text area (long)
    Ans: B,D
    9. Which components can be added to a Lightning app on custom Object: (choose 3)
    a) Visualforce
    b) Standard Lightning component
    c) Custom Lightning component
    d) Global actions
    e) Object specific actions on the custom object
    Ans: A,B,C
    10. Which statement is true for embedding a visual force page in a page layout select (2)
    a. Visualforce pages on a field set have attributes for width and height.
    b. Visualforce pages on a page layout have attributes for width and height.
    c. Visualforce pages can only be places in the visual force section in the page layout
    d. Visualforce pages can be placed anywhere in a page layout.
    Ans: B, D
    11. In Order to delete Opportunities, UVC would like sales reps to submit requests for approval from their sales manager.
    What can be used to meet Requirement?
    a. Approval process with Apex Trigger.
    b. Approval process with Time -Dependent workflow action.
    c. Process Builder with submit for approval action
    d. Two-step Approval process.
    Ans: D
    12. Universal Containers needs to update a field on an Account when an Opportunity Stage is changed to Closed Lost.
    Workflow Rule
    Approval Process
    Lightning Process Builder
    Assignment Rule
    Ans: A

  6. Hi Ben, Thanks for the detailed info about the certification, however can you let me know what is the difference between the Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder – Transition Exam and Platform App Builder certification. Is the transition exam just to evaluate ourself before taking up Platform App Builder? And which one is recommendable.
    Awaiting your response.

    1. Hi Kitty,

      Great question. The transition exam is for those that already have the old DEV401 certification. This is now phased out and instead of the people that hold this sitting the entire exam again, they get the chance to just do a quick 20 question exam. If you do not have the old dev401 then you will need to do the full app builder exam.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Thank you so much for a quick response, this is so helpful. I do have Dev401 certification and now i know what to do next. Thanks again for all your great help..!! Much appreciated

  7. @Anu : I dont believe that 401 exam is still in effect.

    @Ben: Thanks to your mock quiz and other resources I have successfully completed the Admin exam 🙂
    Next planning to go for App builder Exam. Any tips or guidelines please. From the questions and study guide I have reviewed so far it seems after clearing Admin exam App builder doesnt seem that much of a herculean task

  8. Hi All,

    Can anybody please post answers for these questions:

    1. An organization needs the ability view the value of the Opportunity Stage field on an Opportunity Product related list. Please choose the declarative method of fulfilling the requirement. Choose the Right answer
    a. Create an Apex method to replicate the value on the child object, and set the field level security to read-only and expose the new field on the Opportunity Product related list.
    b. Create a cross object formula field on the Opportunity Product object and expose the formula field on the Opportunity Product related list.
    c. Create a validation rule on the Opportunity Product object.
    d. Create a new pick list field called Stage on the Opportunity Product object, and expose the filed on the Opportunity Product related list.

    2. Invoices in SAP need to be reviewed from Salesforce Account object Home(2).
    A. From SAP config
    B. O-DATA
    C. External object
    D. Data Loader

    3. In order to delete a record smith needs to be approved(1).
    A. Approval with Workflow
    B. Approval with Apex Trigger

    4. What can be branded in SF1?(3)
    A. Loading logo
    B. Loading page color
    C. Header and Search
    D. Action tab bar

    5. UC is importing 1000 records and want to avoid duplicate, how can they do it?(1)
    A. Include a column in the import file that has other record name(SF ID)
    B. Run duplicate check
    C. use “prevent duplicates”
    D. manually merge

    6. What is the capability of the Shema Builder? (2)
    A. Customize settings
    B. Choose object
    C. Open page layout in new window
    D. To update descriptions of standard and custom objects

    7. What of the following can be source of report chart placed in page layout? (2)
    A. Joined
    B. Tabular
    C. Matrix
    D. Summary

    8. What metadata can be made manually in production without deployment? (2)
    A. Visualforce ?
    B. Apex class
    C. Apex trigger
    D. Reports and Dashboards

    9. When moving Tabs using change sets but without profiles what will be the view of tabs in new org? (1)
    A. Hidden
    B. Def off
    C. Def on

    10. Which sandbox is used for performance testing? (1)
    A. Full
    B. Developer
    C. Partial
    D. Developer Pro

    11. What is the type of the invisible chatter group? (1)
    A. Unlisted
    B. Private
    C. Public

    14. Where custom buttons can be placed? (3)
    A. Related object
    B. Personal account
    C. Record page
    D. Web to case

    17. Which type of field cannot be universally required?(2)
    A. Lookup
    B. Text
    C. Email
    D. Summary

    1. Ans 1: not sure.. A
      Ans 2.B,C
      Ans 3.A
      Ans 4.A,B,C
      Ans 5.A
      Ans 6.B,C
      Ans 7 C,D
      Ans 8. A,D
      Ans 9.A
      Ans 10.A
      Ans 11.A
      Ans 14.A,B,C
      Ans 17 A,D

  9. Thank you Ben! After putting the exam off for almost a year, I took the Platform App Builder Transition exam today and passed. Your site was very thorough and helped me understand the areas where I needed to focus my studies. The mock exam was great!!

  10. hii i am fresher in sfdc…i wanna give app builder certification exam because dev 401 is not available please guide me exam point of view..and is it tough to give as a fresher???

  11. Hello! I just took the new 401 App Builder Test Friday and failed. I hate they do not at least give you a percentage of the ones you got right, but any way. I felt I did well but was wondering of what other information would be available to study for this test further. Any insight will help.

    1. Hi Janelle,

      I do have a members section on the blog where you can get access to a Platform App Builder quiz which has 60 questions! You can also download the PDF of the questions to revise offline.

  12. Hi Ben,
    I have started to prepare for 401 app builder and could not find a proper dumps so far. Hence, it would be great if you can help me with some recent dumps to refer to. my email id [email protected]

  13. Hi Ben, thank you very much. Your site is very thorough. I have passed App Builder exam.
    For everyone, One think I can point out here, App Builder is much more in-depth & complicated than Dev-401. There is no shortcut to pass App Builder, you need to prepare hard & practice on a sandbox.

  14. Hi Ben,

    I am preparing to take the App Builder Transition test at dreamforce ’16. Do you happen to know the percentages of each section for the 20 questions. I’ve been on the platform for 12 years and have three certs but the darn 20 questions is scaring me. If I can successfully answer the questions on your quizzes should I be good, you think. I took the 401 in 2009 when it first came out.

  15. Hi all,
    I am planing to take the App Builder certification,
    can any one share the latest Dumps, it will be really helpful

  16. Thanks Ben for this nice blog.

    By God grace and support of my friends, collegue and mentors, I have cleared Salesforce Platform App builder Certication yesterday. Thanks alot for providing me the outstanding support and motivation. You can reach me at [email protected]

  17. Today I have cleared my Salesforce platform App Builder Exam. I would like to take a moment to thanks each one of you who helped in achieving this success. Special thanks to the guideline documents and question sets provided by Mr Sachin Chourasiya and Jenwlee.

    1. Sachin Chourasiya


      Congratulations Sakshi !! I am glad that you have done it. Well its not just my notes, it is truly a result of your dedication and will power.

  18. Ranvijay Kumar


    Hi Ben,
    I cleared the transition exam today. The topics compiled on this article were really helpful for revision, the mock test questions were also great help in assessing the prep.
    As with all the SF certification exams, it felt more difficult because of the options on the question. Quick summary of some of the not so obvious questions –
    a. There was one question on Case assignment Rules and one on Opportunity business process definition
    b. As highlighted by someone earlier the field type change question became difficult because of the way it was framed and the options for it, so understanding it properly will help
    c. Quite a few questions on Roll-up summary, but nothing very tricky in that and mostly straight fwd questions
    d. No question on which automation tools to use, but i guess that is a basic which must be clear anyway
    e. A couple on order of execution of WFs (the link in the article above was super for these)

    All in all it was not an easy exam I would say, at least not as easy as I was hoping it to be 😉
    Next – PD1 here I come!!

    All the best to everyone preparing for this!!

  19. Deepesh Chandnani


    Hi All,
    I cleared my Salesforce Platform App Builder certification 3weeks ago with **85.2%** . This was my second attempt. First was in March.
    This time pattern and questions have changed a lot and its now **69 questions in 105mins.

    For latest dumps drop me a mail at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

  20. I’m planning on taking my App Builder Exam next week. Is this material and practice exam still current?

  21. Hi Ben,

    I am preparing for this certification and already adm. and adv. adm. certified. I am new to Salesforce and intend to be administrator but want to earn more certifications so looking at this one. I am going through current official trailhead at It specifies 14% weightage for User Interface section. Its lightning Components Basics module talk about importance of knowing reading and writing code inlcuding javascript, Apex etc.My understanding is that this certification includes only declarative development. Any idea if this is recent change or has this always been part of official trailhead and programming knowledge is not tested in certification?

  22. Hi Sumit & Ben,

    This freaked me out as well, I will try and do the Trailhead but we shall see. I can see Ben is getting a bit of SPAM here (Sad) as it’s such a great resource – I’m just setting out on this Certification after Admin and Pardot (last week) thanks in no small part to this great Blog.

    This is a big wide Exam by the looks of it, hopefully some of my 3 and a half years in the Ecosystem will help but I will need to study hard again.

  23. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the APP Dev quiz and your Sage advice. I think perhaps two questions could be wrong and one superseded by releases.

    Pretty sure What can a Cross-Object formula reference is Child Only (ie Detail) and the Correct Syntax question should be with curly brackets not without.

    The other was what can not be added to a lightning Page and you had Dashboards which now can.

    All good though, time to take the exam in a few weeks – I will book it now 🙂



  24. Hi Ben,

    Is there any others training concerning APP BUILDER ? Actually there is 60 questions but i’ve already find them on other sites.

Add Comment