Certifications / Career / Slack

Salesforce Certification Exams vs. Slack Exams

By Tom Bassett

Unless you are brand new to the Salesforce ecosystem, it will be no surprise to hear that the platform’s product portfolio has expanded to include Tableau and Slack (amongst others) in recent years!

This expansion has indirectly created disparity between the certifications that once belonged to different companies. As such, just because you are clued up on preparing for a Salesforce exam, doesn’t mean you can apply the same approach to a Slack exam. In this blog, I’ll dive into the main differences between taking Salesforce and Slack certifications.

The Differences

As suggested above, just because these exams fall under the Salesforce umbrella, they don’t necessarily have the same requirements.

System

Salesforce exams can be taken on a Mac or a PC using the Respondus Browser. For Slack exams, you can use the same operating systems but need either Google Chrome or Firefox. Full technical requirements and additional resources can be found at the end of this article.

Check In

For both types of exam, you’ll need to show a valid Government ID to take the exam. For Salesforce exams, you’ll also need to complete a desk-pan too (if you’re taking part remotely). 

Flag Questions

If you’ve taken a Salesforce exam, you’ll be familiar with the ability to mark questions for review (which you can then review at the end). Slack exams do not have this ability – once a question is submitted, you can’t go back. However, the exam finishes when you’ve passed or failed, so you might not see all the questions. 

Platform

Salesforce exams are powered by the Kryterion WebAssessor Platform, whereas Slack exams run off of Examity instead. Slack also uses Zoom or GoToMeeting for proctoring.

READ MORE: Salesforce WebAssessor: 7 Tips to Book Your Certification Exam

Format

Salesforce exams can be taken at a physical test center or remotely. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Slack (as a digital HQ) only provides remote exams. 

Results

Both exam providers display results on submission. For Slack, results are provisional until validated by a proctor within 3-5 business days, which is when you’ll be issued with your official certification (all being well!).

Reschedule

Time is money, as they say, so both providers impose fees if you are trying to change a remote exam within 24 hours. For Salesforce in-person exams, a fee will be applied if you are changing it within 72 hours. 

Retake Fee

Salesforce retakes cost 50% of the original exam, with the Associate as the exclusion to this rule. Slack exams are free for the first retake, unless they are booked using a partner voucher.  

Retake Policy

For both types, exams can be retaken after 24 hours (or 14 days for the third attempt). For Salesforce, a third retake needs to be in the next release. For Slack, this needs to be within 28 days and within three months of first being enrolled in the exam.

Maintenance 

Salesforce exams are maintained yearly via Trailhead. Slack certifications are valid for 24 months. After 12 months, you’ll need to complete a Slack maintenance module to extend your credential for another 12 months per year.

Comparison Overview  

To simplify the differences between certifications, I’ve put together this table to compare both platforms.

SalesforceSlack
System*Exams can be completed on either a Mac or a PC
Respondus Lockdown BrowserGoogle Chrome or Firefox
PrepareFree on TrailheadPaid-for Exam Prep Course
Check-InRequires valid government-issued photo identification (ID)
360-degree pan of testing area.-
Flag QuestionsQuestions can be marked for review for you to come back toOnce an answer is submitted, you cannot review it – the exam automatically submits once you have achieved a pass or fail
PlatformKryterion WebAssessorExamity and Zoom or GoToMeeting
FormatRemote
In person-
ResultsImmediate Results are provisional until validated within 3-5 business days
RescheduleFor exams taken remotely, a fee is incurred if changing within 24
hours
For in-person exams, within 72 hours ($75)-
Retake Fee50% of exam (excluding Associate)One retake at no cost (unless using partner exam voucher)
Retake PolicyFirst retake after 24 hours, second retake after 14 days
Third retake after next release cycle, attempts reset with next releaseThird retake after 28 days, three months to retake once enrolled
Maintenance One maintenance module per year – if not completed, certification expiresCertifications valid for 24 months. After 12 months, you’ll need to complete the maintenance module to extend for another 12 months.

*For full technical requirements refer to “Additional Resources” below.

Summary 

To summarize, Salesforce exams and Slack exams are different. Don’t fall into the trap I did and get tripped up by the fact that Slack exams autocomplete when you’ve passed or failed, as you can’t go back once you’ve submitted a question.

As well as understanding how the exam process works, don’t forget to thoroughly prepare using official resources or those provided here on Salesforce Ben. 

Additional Resources

The Author

Tom Bassett

#AllStarArchitect working in the UK as a Solution Architect. 30x Trailhead Certified, 11x Accredited Professional, 2x Slack Certified with 6+ years experience of working on the platform.

Comments:

    Chris
    June 28, 2023 11:31 am
    I haven’t had to show my ID or my room for any Salesforce exam in the last 8 months. I did have to show it for the Accredited Profession exam.

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