Salesforce Platform Developer 1 Certification Tips

Last post Update: 15th oct’16.

In this post i am sharing links about various topics from study guide on Salesforce Platform Developer 1 certification and what to expect in exam. If you are an experienced developer on code and config side than you can easily clear the exam. If you are not experienced and exploring Salesforce path then this study tips should help you to become one. I found 60-70% of questions were scenario based so you should clearly understand objective of each topic. During exam certain questions will leave you confusing with more than one correct answer so read through question more than once before you select answer/s. I haven’t described actual questions which i faced in exam but the aim is if you understand each topic you don’t need any practice questions.

Note: I get request for study dumps and i am not sure any such dumps but i personally don’t think there is any need for someone to look into any other material except salesforce links listed here. With every release salesforce updates documents and having any such study dumps can get you stale information.

Like most of the topics here links to Salesforce Trailhead or apex developer guide or Visual force developer guide so i will recommend to still reference any other additional related topics in those guides.

Define your strategy:

You might already have strong experience with development on Salesforce platform but you might not have worked in every area certification is looking for. Start with Salesforce platform developer 1 Certification study guide. Go through each section from study guide to see if there is any specific area you need more study. Even i had been working on Salesforce for more than 4 years there were certain topics i needed to read through more than once.

Don’t rely on those practice exams or exam dumps as i found them meaningless and never replicates real exam. Sometimes those question/answers are wrong . Salesorce already has documents on each specific topic so if you study and practically try it in your developer org its going to be straight forward for you to clear this exam.

Each section in study guide is assigned percentage of questions. Start your study in order of highest to lowest percentage like following:

Logic and Process Automation (46%)

Data Modeling and Management (12%)

Testing (12%)

User Interface (10%)

Debug and deployment tools (10%)

Salesforce Fundamentals(10%)

Based on each section topics find out which topics you need more study or haven’t worked before and spend more time on it if necessary. Put together timeline for study and book date for exam.

What to study?

There are subset of topics under each section and some of topics might not have any question in exam. Logic and process automation covers about 46% of exam which means about 28 questions you can just expect from this section. You will be spending more time studying this section for sure so number of topics are also more. Here is details of what you can study for each topics:

Logic and Process Automation

Note:Remember roll-up summary field only works with Master-detail relation so as soon as you read look up relation it can’t be roll-up summary field)

Note:Very important table on first part in this trailhead which compares capabilities of process builder, workflow, approval process and visual flow. if there is scenario to choose between workflow or process builder then you should just mark process builder as appropriate solutions as it supersedes workflows. Workflow can only update parent fields in cross object update where process builder can update either parent or children.

Testing (Refer ‘Apex Testing’ Trailhead as well)

Data Modelling and Management

Debug and Deployment Tools

Salesforce Fundamentals

User Interface (Read through trailhead for visualforce)

During Exam:

  • You will have 105 minutes for 60 questions which means at least 1 minute 45 seconds per questions. Questions you think you are not sure mark them for later review and move on for next set of questions.
  • Target to finish all questions 20mins before and use remaining time to review question marked for later review and to go through all completed questions.
  • Read through question more than once when its scenario based and understand all options.
  • Don’t shy to use pen and paper when required.

Important links

I hope this will provide you direction to prepare for Salesforce platform developer 1 certification without going through pain of  searching for topics. Provide your inputs on this post and any questions. Subscribe for my upcoming post for what to study for admin exam and will be writing more about other certifications as am finish my Technical Architect, Sales/Service cloud consultant exams 🙂

Do let me know with your comments on this post if you find it useful or have any queries.

Join the discussion 44 Comments

  • rey magdaong says:

    thank you!! cleared the exam because of this! very helpful blog!

  • Archana Bankar says:

    This blog is very helpful. Thanks for your efforts.

  • Jake Richter says:

    This post was an invaluable tool that helped me pass the Platform Developer I exam today. Thanks for all your hard work in putting this resource together.

  • Pankaj says:

    Thanks a lot for your this post. It helped me immensely to pass the Platform Developer I exam today. It’s a great place to refer all the materials and this would be enough to pass the exam.

  • Helen Yang says:

    Very helpful post, I have just passed Platform Developer I exam today. Thank you for the sharing.

  • Karol says:

    Thank you for sharing, was helpful when preparing to exam. Best regards

  • Emilio says:

    Has anyone taken the Sp16 Platform Developer 1, if yes do you know if it changed much from the last release??

    • snehal Surti says:

      Hi Emilio, Based on other people’s comments here it doesn’t look like there has been any changes with sp16. i will have a another look at new study guide and perform necessary update if required.

  • Dinesh says:

    Thanks a lot very much… I followed this blog and could pass my exam in just 3 days 🙂

  • Achraf says:

    Thanks a lot ,a very helpful Post

  • Satish says:

    Nice blog Snehal..! I just cleared mine..!

  • Gosia says:

    Thank you for your post! I find it very useful!!!

  • Som says:

    Thank you for the wonderful notes. This is very helpful to clear the exam.

  • Cooler says:

    Many thanks for the great article. One thing, which is totally confuse me is a running code in system mode.
    I mean, if CRUD, FLS are ignored, why when i create vf page with some controller in that controller SOQL will throw exception, if some field is not visible for my user?
    And what the point for SF create a lot of security stuff, which is ignored during the code invoking and dev. should use Schema class with hundreds of line of code, just to check, that all fields are visible or not for user?! It is some kind of overengineering, isnt it?!

    Can you please write detailed article with some examples? Some typical scenarios, when “security” works in code, and when not, some best practice example etc.

  • Iain says:

    Thanks for a really useful post, Platform Developer is next on my list and this collection of resources will be super-helpful.

  • Cooler says:

    Many thanks to Snehal, i passed dev 1 today with using your article!! 🙂
    I work as a sf dev near 1,5 years, but anyway without preparations i would fail, so this article really helped me.

  • saurabh says:

    Hello Snehal,

    I have recently appeared for “Salesforce Platform Developer 1” but not got success.
    I was thinking that questions were based on apex, visualforce programming or concepts based, but i was totally wrong.
    All questions were based on scenarios.
    Please guide me how to make practice on scenario based questions so that i can crack exam this time.

    • snehal Surti says:

      Hi Saurabh,

      Platform dev 1 exam is not only focused on apex and visuaforce but it contains other topics to test your understanding of data modelling, process automation, unit testing etc. understanding of how data modelling works in salesforce is important for admin, dev or an architect so you will see every exam has that topic and many questions rolls around this topic. You must know when to use formula or rollup and limitations of each as there are many situations where you won’t need to code and you can just use one of them. You are also expected to decide when you should use approval process vs workflow vs visual flow vs process builder vs triggers because as a developer you should know when to write code vs config. I would highly recommend to use certification study guide as base for your preparation and go its topic by topic and see which area needs more focus. If you feel some topics you haven’t worked before then try it in your dev org by taking specific scenario like recruitment app or warehouse app. Think like someone asked you to design system and how will you do it in real life. If you put this perspective and follow the topics in this post you will definitely pass next time. During exam try to read question properly because sometime you might see multiple possibility but based on scenario there might be some requirement where specific option doesn’t fit. For example when questions says there is need to have count of all candidates on job application and job application is look up on candidate which option you will apply? The options might be like roll up, trigger or formula. Let me know which one you think 🙂 for data model related questions carefully read on which side is master and which side is on detail and whether ask is for one to many or many to many kind of relation(Though question will never say whether its one to one or many to many(junction object) but you should be able to figure out based on question).

      Many times i get asked about platform developer 1 study dumps or questions on exams but trust me those things wont help because those content gets out of date with every 3 release of salesforce. Salesforce has best available resources and all you need is link to those topics and that’s exactly I have here.

      I hope this will help you and all the best for next try..let me know how it goes second time.

  • Nagesh Patil says:

    Hi Snehal,

    Thanks for such detailed information.
    As I am new to salesforce, so I have few below queries.

    1) can I go for this Platform 1 certification.
    2) what is difference between Platform 1 certification and app builder cert.
    3) which will be better from above both to get my first salesforce job as early as possible.

    waiting for your reply. Thanks in advance.


  • Arati says:

    I am fresher and i am new to SFDC. Can i crack platform developer I exam by using this study material

  • Aarati says:

    Hello Snehal,
    I am new to SFDC. I have completed little bit training of basic things in SFDC. can i crack app builder I exam using this article.

  • Melissa says:

    hey i just passed tonight! this blog was SUPER helpful thank you so much!

  • Emily says:

    Thank you! I passed my the Platform Developer I certification on Friday and used this page as a good study guide/check list. I cannot say enough about how important it was to know order of execution well!

  • Umang says:

    Snehal, Started preparing today using the checklist and detailed links + information provided on this page. Thanks for putting all the info over the page. Thanks. Godspeed.


  • Harshil says:

    Hello snehal,

    I want to take a moment and thank you for your great post here. Very, very accurate links!
    I have just cleared my “salesforce platform developer 1” exam and I used this post for my revision.

    Harshil Parikh

  • Cain Velasquez says:

    Hello snehal,

    I want to take a moment and thank you for your great post here. Very, very accurate links!
    I have just cleared my “salesforce platform developer 1” exam and I used this post for my revision.

  • Cain says:

    Hello snehal,

    I want to take a moment and thank you for your great post here. Very, very accurate links!
    I have just cleared my “salesforce platform developer 1” exam and I used this post for my revision.

    Harshil Parikh

  • Sucharita Biswas says:

    Really nice post, do you have some tips for platform dev II !

  • Sabina says:

    Thank so much for this! You helped me a lot to pass the exam!
    Now I am trying to prepare for the admin exam. I wanted to read this article on your blog, but for some reason it returns a blank page.

  • Narsimulu says:

    Thanks so much snehal Surti !! It helped me really so much . I could pass the exam because of this blog. Keep posting its very useful.
    Once again I want to thank you for this great post …

  • Rafał Kopaczewski says:

    Hi Snehal,
    Thanks for post, was very helpful, I passed my exam last week.
    Could you add this link about custom setting, because I had one question about that (Hierarchy Custom Setting). The question was about how propertly get value for specified Profile in APEX.
    Link to documentation about custom setting ->

  • Jarosław Kołodziejczyk says:

    Yesterday i passed platform developer 1 exam, all thanks to your materials. I prepared using these materials and some flashcards, but honestly if someone takes time using this, they can easily pass the exam.

    I’m working in salesforce for 4 months, about 2 of these were involving development. It took me about 2 weeks of 3-4h/day to prepare for exam.

    Thank you for helping me pass!

  • Johannes says:

    Thanks a lot for putting this together, it was my key resource for passing the exam! Great job

  • Ankit kumar says:

    I have cleared platform developer 1 , your guide really helped me. Thank you keep posting like this.

  • Dupada Suresh says:

    Successfully Completed Platform Developer-1 (Summer-16), This blog helped me a lot to crack the exam.

  • Harshita says:

    Thanks a lot Snehal! I just followed your tips and cleared this exam .

  • vimal singh says:

    Great Post Snehal, followed it and cleared the exam !!

  • Anonymous says:

    which resources can be included in lightning component bundle?choose 2
    adobe flash
    Apex class

  • Jigar Trivedi says:

    Hi, Snehal. From when Winter’17 release notes will be included in Platform Developer Exam? Any idea??

  • Jignesh Patel says:

    Thank Snehal, I passed my Dev Platform 1 certification on my experience and spending only a few hours going thru your notes. You have done a great job on mapping exam topics and documentations. I agree with you on going thru trailheads and understanding the core concepts rather than mock exams.

    Any suggestions / notes for Dev Platform 2 ??


  • Hasan says:

    Thanks for sharing this. With 3 years of experience and 6 hours spending on this article helped me to pass the exam. Thanks again Snehal. Are there any articles you rekon like this for dev II exam?

  • David says:

    Excellent blog, thanks for spending the time to write it up. Very helpful in achieving the certification today. On to Platform Dev ll.