The Salesforce CPQ Specialist Exam was the most difficult one I’ve taken yet. This isn’t because the concepts are difficult to understand, but more due to the immense amount of new concepts and ideas that are presented- much more than anything I encountered with the previous exams I’ve taken (Admin, Sales Cloud, and Community Cloud). There’s a lot of information you need to absorb and understand in order to feel confident answering what can feel like trick questions!
That being said, there are a couple of things I found useful to keep in mind while studying. A lot of these tips could be applied to multiple exams, but I found them especially important when studying for the CPQ Specialist exam.
You need to study
This might seem like a no-brainer. After all, you clicked on this link to learn more about what I learned while studying for this exam. However, I have found when studying for any Salesforce cert exam, that it can be very easy to skip studying for specific exam topics, or even skip studying all-together (!) when you’ve already been a part of several implementations and feel like you already know everything there is to know. You are wrong. Sorry! But no one knows everything and that is especially true when it comes to CPQ. This product has so many different facets, even with multiple implementations under your belt, it is unlikely to have mastered all the ins and outs of what the CPQ product offers.
Complete at least one implementation before taking the exam
That being said, I DO highly recommend participating in one, if not several CPQ implementations before taking the CPQ Specialist Exam. By FAR the topics that I passed with the most ease were the ones that I had the most experience implementing in real world scenarios. The topics I had to spend extra hours studying were the ones I had never come into contact with before.
Create a study schedule and stick to it
Planning ahead turned out to be especially important for this exam. There are a lot of topics to master, and it’s important to not cram for them all the week before. I found it useful to use the Salesforce Exam Outline to set weekly/daily goals for study and STICK TO THEM. When planning a schedule, I found it useful to schedule myself 2 items for each topic- 1) a study portion that I spent reading and watching videos and 2) a practice portion where I used a Trailhead Playground with CPQ enabled to practice what I had just studied and get a feel for what it looks like.
Knowing Order of Operations is key
The final, more specific piece of advice I would give is that something I did not anticipate to be as important as it turned out to be was order of operations in CPQ. Knowing when different pricing is applied (the Pricing Waterfall) and how that impacts configuring price rules played a much larger part in the actual exam than I expected. Make sure you can recite the save and pricing application order of operations as it applies to CPQ before taking the exam.
Hopefully some of these things I learned are useful to you as you prepare for your CPQ Exam- it’s a tough one, but with some time dedicated to studying and properly comprehending the material, a new shiny CPQ certification is in your future!
WRITTEN BY MYRA HOOKS