After reading the overwhelming responses to the question How to study/prepare for the Salesforce Developer Certification, I decided to ask the same question but for the Advanced Developer Certification!

I have more than one year of experience as a Salesforce Certified Developer. I am planning to study and pass the Advanced Developer Certification to hone my skills into an advanced developer. Again, exactly as mentioned in the aforementioned question/post, the official page has little information and the study guide gives too broad a description of the topics in the examination. Hence, if you can give us some information, resources, practice examinations, hints, tips, or advice, it will be of great help!

An added advantage is that I have access to online Salesforce Partner Premier Training. What online training topics should I go though?

Edit: And perhaps any topics which everybody would not be doing in their day to day work?

  • 2
    Good to see a spinoff :)
    – Richard N
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 20:38
  • 2
    @RichardN - I see the possibility of 5 more spinoffs... ;-) Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 21:16
  • 4
    A very good developer force article titled The Path to Advanced Developer Certification that gives a really good overview of the entire exam process was recently published. Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 1:47
  • Here is a great place to test your knowledge in ADM301 & DEV401
    – Uri Lukach
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 19:14

7 Answers 7


I decided to take this exam (Multiple Choice) after i completed one year of development on force.com platform.

Majority of the questions test your apex and Visualforce skills and make sure you are familiar and have some practical hands on before you decide to go for this exam.

I found multiple blogs helping me to clear this exam with lot of ease .I just blogged in my blog too on some tips that i found helpful

http://cloudyworlds.blogspot.in/2012/09/advanced-developer-first-round.html http://cloudyworlds.blogspot.in/2013/07/tips-on-passing-advanced-developer.html

Pay attention to

1)Email services(Inbound Email Handler Class and Test Class)

2)Webservices(SOAP and REST)

3)Deployment strategies

4)Various org editions provided by salesforce and there data limtations

5)Some Visualforce tags like apex:component,apex:include,apex:composition,tags related to Visualforce email template,ajax related tags (Action function,action support,action Region,etc)

6)Test classes and best practices while writing test code

7)Visualforce controllers (standard ,custom and extensions and how they differ)

8)Static Resources and there usage

9)PDF generation in force.com

Hope this helps you.As others have pointed go through the materials on Partner portal they are really helpful.All the best!

  • 1
    Mohith, thank you for your time and answer. Thank you for listing some topics which, as @StevenHerod said in his answer, "not something everybody would be doing in their day to day work". Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 8:56
  • 3
    This week, I took the exam for the first time. Mohit's nine points are the key parts of the exam. Therefore, I am selecting this as the best answer. I passed btw. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 12:36
  • 2
    @SumanKrishnaSaha Great congrats :) Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 3:26

I am lucky enough to have access to the premier online training, which I used as the primary way to pass the first developer exam earlier this year. I am now studying for the Adavsnced developer exam and since I personally know how valuable the premier online training is, I have saved all my notes in digital format this time (last time I hand wrote my notes). I am sharing the notes on my blog at saramorgan.net. I hope this helps anyone else trying to pass the exam.

  • 1
    Thank you for your time and answer! Your detailed notes are excellent and exactly what I wanted! Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 4:44
  • 2
    wish I could double vote this answer!
    – Bartley
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 13:21
  • HI Sara, I visited your blog for the Advance developer Notes, but not able to find could you please point me the right url or directions. Thanks Suri.
    – Suresh
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 15:53
  • Thank you Sara, please don't take your blog down anytime soon :)
    – user25387
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 12:55

Specifically, the Salesforce Partner Premier Training gives you access to the videos associated in the Advanced Developer study guide:

Section 4. Recommended Training and References

As preparation for this exam, Salesforce.com Training and Certification recommends a combination of: hands-on experience building custom applications on the Force.com platform using the declarative and programmatic capabilities of Force.com code and Force.com pages; training course completion; and self- study in the areas listed in the Exam Outline section of this study guide. Salesforce.com Training and Certification recommends the following to guide your study:

  • Instructor-led course: Force.com Code (Apex) and Force.com Page Controllers (DEV 501)
  • Online resource: Force.com Cookbook
  • Online course: Apex
  • Online course: Managing Development with Force.com
  • Online course: Visualforce Controllers Book: Force Platform Developer Guide
  • Documentation: Apex Language Reference, Visualforce Developer’s Guide, Force.com Metadata API Developer’s Guide, and Force.com Migration Tool Guide—available on developer.force.com
  • Become a member of developer.force.com
  • Create a Developer Edition account

Enroll in instructor-led courses and launch online training from your Salesforce CRM application by clicking the Help & Training link in the upper right corner of the screen (requires login). Click Take Training and search for the desired courses, listed above. Non-Salesforce customers can register for instructor-led courses here: http://www.salesforce.com/training.

In addition, Salesforce.com Training and Certification recommends reviewing online Documentation, Tip Sheets and User Guides by searching for the topics listed in the Exam Outline section of the study guide and studying the information related to those topics. Documentation, Tip Sheets and User Guides can also be accessed through Help & Training. Documentation is also available in PDF format here: https://na1.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/sf.pdf.

Specifically, the online courses are available by searching their training.

Outside of that, you can focus your studies on:

Outside of their specific guides, I would look through the rest of their technical documentation:

The biggest thing you can do is just work in Apex and Visualforce. I recently passed the Advanced Developer multiple choice exam and I have to say it was my easiest exam so far. Coming from a Java background, I can relate to the code much better than the Point-and-Click development. With a year of experience, I don't think you will have much of a problem.

EDIT: I have expanded upon this answer in much greater detail in an article for my blog, Salesforce Certification Series: Advanced Developer.

  • 1
    No problem. Your biggest benefit will probably be watching the 3 Online Courses through your Salesforce Partner Premium Training. Those videos are usually very informative. Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 19:20
  • Thanks, Now content has been changed but you listed very good topics.
    – Virendra
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 22:26

I passed the 401 certification with about 4 weeks study and no experience and can say I greatly over studied for the exam. Based on the ease of the 401 I tacked the 501 a week later and failed pretty hard (I think).

I tried again 4 weeks later with mostly working by myself and failed again. At this point I had about 2 months of 'light' experience with the platform.

I put it on the back burner for about 6 months and went off and did some real work, I also prepared and then found the exam very straight forward.

So from my point of view I can concur with others about it not being easy if you haven't done much real work.

How easy it is if you have been doing 'real work' is a function of two things

  1. How much are you actually understanding of the work you are doing
  2. How broad your work experience is. (For instance not everybody does inbound email handlers or web service call outs or so on).

I'm surprised people pass without studying at all. That would tend to imply they have implicitly memorised things like trigger execution order, debug log output levels and so on. That's not something everybody would be doing in their day to day work.

I think its a worthwhile certification and I don't think there's such a thing as 'wasting' study time. Even if they don't ask a question on it you'll learn something.

As far as the maintenance exams are concerned, they generally never take more than 10-20 minutes every few months.

This is my 'assignment' which I set that covers all the topics on the exam. It does need updating since I've had some feedback on it being a bit vague, but it might help you. http://www.limitexception.com/2011/12/14/helping-you-pass-your-501-advanced-developer-exam/


I doubt this will be a popular answer, but if your year+ of experience has involved plenty of coding across the various technical areas of the platform, you shouldn't need to study. The passing threshold for the exam is low enough that even if you don't know some of the silly specialised questions about the specifics of the Chatter API etc, you should be fine. It's honestly a simple exam for anyone who has done thorough technical work on the platform. Obviously it would be much harder for someone who hasn't, but it sounds like you'll be fine. I'd take a stab at it, the worst that can happen is that you have to re-take it and you won't lose all that time on studying unimportant things.

As an aside, just remember that every certification you get carries its maintenance requirements with it - once you get a few certs, you'll start to find the constant reminders for upkeep exams annoying. I advise people to only get the certs that your prospective employers/clients care about. (EDIT: Peter Knolle corrected me below on this - advanced dev doesn't add a maintenance requirement of its own, my error.)

  • 2
    +1 - I agree with you...it was simple and didn't require study; however, if I hadn't worked with it I think it would have been very hard to impossible to pass as opposed to the normal dev cert which could be passed with no experience and a few weeks of hardcore studying/cramming. You will only ever have to take 2 maintenance exams -- admin for the admin, adv admin, sales cloud, and service cloud and the developer maintenance for dev, adv dev, and architect, so adding advanced dev won't add a maintenance exam. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 4:33
  • jkraybill and @PeterKnolle, thank you for your time and answer. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 5:38
  • 1
    I'd have to disagree with this one heavily. Maybe our question sets were way different but when I took it, nothing pertained to actually programming and everything was a specific system nuances.
    – NSjonas
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 0:50
  • I'll second @NSjonas, the multiple choice seems determined to drill into a lot of minutae that I'd rather just lookup. E.g. why do i need to know if I should implement Database.Batchable<SObject> or System.Batchable<SObject>, when a quick reference check will answer any compile errors. That said, there is something to be said for just taking it without studying, then focusing your studying on the holes you encountered rather than doing the whole shebang before hand. Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 10:43

In addition to the fantastic answers above you might also consider watching Ask the Experts: Advanced Dev Certification from DF '14, which walks you through a lot more of the practical needs of passing this cert.

In addition, my $.02. If you've done a lot of work, just take the multiple choice test, and hope you pass. If you don't, you'll have a very good idea of what you need to study for the next time. With regards to the dev assignment, read the scenario, read the scenario, read the scenario, every line in it counts.

From the youtube blurb:

Four individuals who have worked on the exam questions, judged, and helped create assignments will speak candidly on what it takes to pass the Force.com Advanced Developer Certification. Join us to learn from the experts what it takes to get this highly sought after credential.


I finally got a chance to take this exam recently. The advice given here by the rest of the folks was invaluable. Thanks all! I blogged about my experience here.


I think the most important thing is to have 6-12 months of development experience on the platform and making a good study plan. By now a lot of folks have given good advice on the topics to focus on. I feel that 2 days of focussed study should be enough to pass this. But if you can devote more time then it will be even more easy to pass this. Good luck to all who are planning to take the exam.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .