You’ve conquered the Pardot Specialist exam* (Yipee!) and you’ve caught the Pardot bug. Next on your hit list is the Pardot Consultant exam, but what does it take to pass the Pardot Consultant exam?
First and foremost, not everyone needs to take the Pardot Consultant exam. The exam is aimed at those who are implementing Pardot or solutioning with clients.
In this post, I share the steps I took to pass the Pardot Consultant Certification exam — from study resources and practice exams to preparing for your exam and what you can do on the day of the exam
Note: Yes, we know Pardot is now called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. However, as of the time of this blog publication, Salesforce is still calling the exam the Pardot Consultant Certification. We’ll update this blog post if/when Salesforce updates the certification name.
*Passing the Pardot Specialist exam is a requisite of taking the consultants exam.
Preparing for your Pardot Consultant Exam
Before you start studying for your Pardot Consultant exam, have you booked it?
No? Go and book it now (we’ll wait here). There is no better driver to studying than having a set date to work toward.
Download the Exam Guide
Let’s start with the basics, download the Exam Guide!
It can be tempting to jump straight into the practice exams and study material but if you don’t know what areas you need to study for you may end up spending time on topics that feature very little in the exam.
How do YOU study?
This won’t be the first Salesforce exam you’ve taken so use what you learnt from the specialist exam, by this I mean how do YOU study best? Are you a practice test taker, a reader, a watcher or a discussion leader.
Spoiler Alert! The length of the questions in the consultant exam are MUCH longer than in the specialist exam, there is a lot more detail to consider, so bear this in mind when choosing your study resources. You’ll need to not only talk the talk when it comes to Pardot but you will also need to master the art of understanding Salesforce exam questions.
I’m a firm believer that the time in which you take the exam and how you take it (online vs onsite) makes a difference. Every Salesforce exam I have taken has always been at 11 a.m. and online (and 2 out of three have been strangely on a Tuesday, call me superstitious!).
The 11 a.m. exam slot gives me time to fully wake up, exercise and get my brain in gear. It also means I don’t sit and worry about the exam all day. Taking the exam online means I don’t have to worry about traffic or finding a parking spot.
If you prefer to take the exam in person then great. Do what works best for YOU!
Understand your strengths and weaknesses
We can’t be experts on all topics. But what we can do is break the exam down (using the guide) and find the areas that hold the most weight. These are going to give you the biggest percentage of marks, so focus on these.
Don’t sweat over the small stuff! There is little value in worrying and trying to learn everything about all topics if they only count for a small percentage of the exam (Salesforce Engage).
The number of questions you will get on them is very small. So get a good understanding of the topics with the larger percentage. More on that coming up!
Pardot Consultant Certification Study Resources
It’s probably the main reason you found yourself here on this post — what study resources should I be using for the Pardot consultant exam!?
There are so many resources out there when it comes to mastering the Pardot ropes and you clearly have a solid foundation as you have gained your specialist exam. However, the consultant exam pushes your understanding of the tool outside of the basics.
You’re required to advise and provide detailed solutions. So when it comes to study resources, the best thing out there is hands-on experience. Try and get as much experience working in Pardot as possible. If you’re after some resources to supplement your hands-on experience, then read on.
If video is your thing, check out this Pardot Consultant Bootcamp video series.
This is a great way for those who are newer to Pardot and consulting. It does take time to get through all the content. So, set aside 45 minutes – 1 hour a day to watch all the videos before your exam. If you don’t have time to watch all the videos, watch those covering the areas you lack knowledge in.
Flashcards and Quizzes
If you’re more of a quizer, Quizlt has a whole host of flashcards to test your knowledge. Consider buddying up and test each other, there’s nothing better than a healthy bit of competition .
The flashcards will also help you get familiar with the wording used on the consultant exam.
Jenna Molby also provides flashcards, quizzes and study games found here. You’ll also want to bookmark her website as she has lots of additional resources related to Pardot features!
When I took the Pardot Consultant Exam, I found it hard to find quality practice exams. However, these Pardot Consultant practice exams have been tried and tested by the Sercante team, so if you learn better by putting your knowledge to the test, these may just work for you.
With all practice exams, bear in mind that some may be a little outdated.
- TestPrep.com – For a small fee (about 10 USD) you’ll get access to 6 full-length practice exams and a set of practice questions.
- Udemy – Again for a fee (anywhere between 10 – 30 USD) Udemy provided access to full-length practice exams. These exams mimc the exam pretty closely.
There are a ton of resources available to read through but let’s focus on the areas that have the biggest weight.
Automating Business Processes: 17%
You’ll need to know your automation tools inside out.
Given a scenario, recommend the best automation tool(s) (automation rule, segmentation rule, dynamic list, completion action).
Given a scenario, design a sequence of events in Pardot to complete a marketing initiative (assets, automations, notifications, etc.).
Given a scenario, develop and implement a lead nurturing strategy
Account Configuration: 20%
This is the difference between the specialist exam and the consultant exam, you’ll need to know Pardot implementation and setup.
Articulate the implications and importance of technical setup.
Develop a plan to maintain data integrity during data migration.
Given a usage governance plan, develop and recommend a strategy that addresses organization and authorization (or access).
- Account Settings
- Custom User Roles
- Considerations for Syncing Custom Objects
- Salesforce-Pardot Connector
This is a pretty vague area, but one not to be ignored. Carrying an impressive 17% of the exam you’ll need to master this topic.
The exam guide notes that you should have at least 12 months hands-on experience of implementing and administering Pardot. This is because of sections like this one. It’s going to be pretty hard to study for this section without hands-on experience — memorizing answers for this section won’t be enough.
For this reason, I’d recommend reading through this post for tips on how to approach this section of the exam. But don’t go anywhere just yet!
Spoiler Alert! Think like Salesforce… There may be multiple ways to achieve the end goal but what would Salesforce advise. Brush up on Salesforce Pardot best practices.
Day of the exam
The day has arrived, you have studied and practiced all you can… it’s exam day! I’d consider the next set of tips as important as studying.
Even though you have been through the process of a Salesforce exam before you shouldn’t neglect prepping your mind and environment before this one. After all, who wants to be let down by a bad internet connection just as you log in to take the exam. Believe it or not, this happened to me twice during this exam. Either way, you have to keep your cool and focus.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that the key to transitioning what we learn from short-term memory to longer-term memory (so you can recall it on a test!) is getting enough sleep.
- Eat brain food. Blueberries, eggs, and whole grains are known to improve brain performance. Make a healthy meal the day of your exam to keep you full and energized during the exam.
- Relax! Perform breathing exercises, meditation and reserve 30 minutes before your exam to relax.
- Exercise. Endorphins can improve brain function. Take 15-30 minutes to take a walk, do yoga or stretch the day of your exam.
- Last-minute studying. Is there a topic you’re still unsure about? Use the day of your exam to review those areas.
- (Online exams) Check your technology and remove any distractions. By taking the exam remotely, you are in a less controlled environment. Prep your space with good lighting, remove watches, phones and pets and children from the room, as well as keep the door shut to avoid any unwanted interruptions.
You do have an online proctor, so pay attention to messages that come through and if something does happen, you can work with support to reschedule your exam. Finally, run a speed test and check your webcam is working.
How to succeed during the exam
- Read the question and each answer a few times (at least 3) to make sure you know what it’s asking. You may know what the question is asking but reading it a few times through may indicate what you need to answer.
- Reversely, reading the answers before the question can sometimes be useful. Particularly with the Consultant exam, the answers are recommendations based on the question. Try this time with a few practice questions to get the hang of it.
- Eliminate the obvious wrong answers. Are there any answers that you know are just wrong? This narrows your answer options significantly when you remove the clearly incorrect answer. When you have your remaining options, think about what answer satisfies the whole question.
- Decipher the right answer for the question. This is particularly true for the Consultant Exam as there are multiple “right” answers based on the client’s need. Remember that since this is a Salesforce exam, try to select the answer that you believe Salesforce would recommend.
- Trust your gut instinct. Even if you aren’t 100% sure, your first instinct is probably correct.
- Be mindful of the time. This is a timed exam, so you’ll want to make sure you finish the entire exam before the time runs out. The best approach is to answer every question once through, and “mark for review” those questions you aren’t confident on. Save 30 minutes at the end of the exam to review those questions and think thoroughly on your answers.
Come prepared and leave happy
The Pardot Specialist certification exam may have been a walk in the park for you, but the Pardot Consultant certification exam is on a whole new level. While it is possible to pass the exam without hands-on experience, there really is no substitute for getting in there and working inside the platform so you can fully understand it.
Need structured Salesforce training to get you where you need to be? Check out our current roster of training courses. And tell us all about your best study secrets in the comments section below.