Preparing Your Maintenance Exam

A few weeks after the roll-out of a new release, Salesforce publishes the new certification maintenance exams aimed at testing that Salesforce professionals knowledge stays up-to-date. This is an important part of the certification program as it participates in giving the credential its value.
However, it's not as involving as a certification exam. It's non proctored, meaning that you access whichever online resource you need. The timing is not challenging. And you can now try as many times as you need until you pass.

Exams Schedule

📅 We used to have only two maintenance exams (a "red" or a "blue", respectively "admin" or "dev") but things are getting a bit more complicated now as new certifications are added. And of course, this is not going stop as Salesforce acquires new companies and give birth to home-brewed innovations.

Red & blue logos

Now, some certifications have three exams a year, some others only one. To know which one is which please refer to the list of maintenance requirements per certification.

Maintenance exams have a validity period of about 8 months during which two other exams are released. If you miss the deadline you are losing all associated certifications.

I strongly recommend that you refresh your certifications as soon as the maintenance exam is available.

  • If you wait and attend a certification two releases behind, you will expose yourself to questions which answers are not true anymore with the current release.
  • Just don't play with this sort of deadlines. I know a guy who's waited to the last minute, then had a personal emergency and couldn't pass his maintenance in time. He then had to go through all the certification process from scratch and is still fuming about it. Don't be that guy!

Check the certification deadlines on Salesforce release exams schedule.

Training Plan

As mentioned above, each maintenance exam is rather easy to pass compared to its equivalent certification exam. But, you need to use the opportunity given to be tested and validate your knowledge. I understand that Salesforce professionals need their certifications to work but they also need to know Salesforce...

I'm recommending the following approach to learn and remember the new features while preparing yourself for the maintenance exam:

  1. 📺 Watch some videos on YouTube
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. 📘 Read Salesforce's resources
  5. 🍄 Learn the Release Notes
  6. ☁️ Play around with your DE org
  7. 🚀 Take the exam

And I'm going into more details in my release specific posts.

Suggestions For The Exam

  1. Use a second monitor:
    With WebAssessor on your main screen and (1) the Release Notes HTML version plus (2) a DE org already authenticated and (3) a Google search page on the second screen, you should be able to go through the maintenance exam thanks to your fresh knowledge plus the help of resources on the second screen if necessary.
  2. If you can't start the exam:
    Just jump on the excellent Webassessor help page. It's mainly geared toward proctored exams but should also be useful if you can't start the exam...
  3. In case you fail:
    Nowadays, you're allowed as many attempts as you need to pass your maintenance exam. Having said that if you fail the exam after all the hard preparation work and with access to online resource you need to pause and think. It can mean that something's wrong with your preparation or that the Q&A were phrased in a complex way. Have a second attempt and capture screenshots of all the questions with your answers. Then, if you fail a second time, research all questions and validate your understanding in your favourite DE org.

Related Resources

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don't hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸