Concept First, Details Second: How to Learn Salesforce Administrator Certification Concepts Easily

Feb 14 / Dave Massey
Studying for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam is tough. The exam is one of the broadest, with many concepts to cover. From Org Security to Data Access to Automation, few exams require as broad a scope of knowledge as the Salesforce Administrator Certification.

So how can you pass the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam? We've already covered a few topics when it comes to how to study effectively and efficiently, but we're still going; there are still a few more to come.

This post will discuss the importance of understanding the concept before getting into the details. I call it the "Concept First, Detail Second" approach, and others and I have found it a very effective way to study and pass the exam.

Concept First, Detail Second

When we talk about "Concept First, Detail Second," I'm referring to the idea that we should focus on the concept first and then the details second. This enables us to build a solid understanding of each required concept and helps us remember and recall the details more effectively.

Too often, we get stuck in the details and try to remember the intricate details such as max number of emails, the limitations, or the specific use cases. However, that isn't easy to do when we don't understand the concept fully.

It's a bit like when you are teaching someone to ride a bike; if we tell them to pedal without explaining why, it might not make sense. But once we explain that pedalling causes the bike to go forward, which in turn helps maintain balance and when all these things are combined that we can ride the bike without falling off, it makes more sense.

Salesforce as a Jigsaw

A great way to think about Salesforce and how you should approach the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam is to imagine it as a Jigsaw. 

A Jigsaw is made up of hundreds, sometimes thousands of pieces; when you look at them in isolation, it's practically impossible to understand where they should be placed. It's only when you start putting a few together or building out the corner or edges of the Jigsaw that it makes more sense and becomes easier to build.

Salesforce is the same. If you look at each concept or feature in isolation, you will miss the bigger picture. You will miss the bigger picture and make learning the ins and outs of that concept more challenging as you need a reference point or other concept to link it to. When you start building a broader knowledge of Salesforce, you begin to see how it all works as a system, and that's where the power of Salesforce comes from. 

When you start to put the concepts together at a higher level, you begin understanding where they fit in the overall picture. It's easier to grasp each concept's capabilities and limitations and imagine how they can be used in a real-life business scenario. This is crucial in passing the Salesforce Administrator Certification exam.

To become a Certified Salesforce Administrator, it's important not just to know what each concept is and the details, but also to be able to apply the right concept or feature at the right time. That's why a wide understanding of concepts helps.

Concept First, Detail Second Example

Our courses highlight and bring each concept or feature to life through Business Use Cases. This helps you connect the dots between concepts, details, and real-life applications and turbocharges your knowledge retention and recall, which not only helps with passing the exam but also in your role as a Salesforce Administrator or Salesforce Consultant.

While studying for my Salesforce Certified Administrator exam, I found it tough to remember the details that I needed to. However, once I started focusing on a broader understanding of the concepts and putting them together, it helped me get a better feel for them and to understand how they all work together.

You will know what I mean if you have taken one of the Get Force Certified courses.

For example, when we talk about Data Access and how it can be controlled, we first start with the foundations of Org Wide Defaults. This forms the base for our knowledge, and from there, we start laying on the different features such as Roles and the Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules, Teams etc. This approach allows us to gradually build our knowledge, it's a bit like when you train for a marathon (not that I ever have!).

You don't just hit the street and try and run 26 miles in one go; you start with a few short runs, add in a couple of longer ones, and keep going until you reach the point where you feel ready for it. Studying for the Salesforce Administrator Certification is the same, don't try and learn all the details at once.

Start with getting a good understanding of the concepts, and then once you understand them, dive into the details.

The Benefits

So what are the benefits of "Concept First, Details Second"? There's quite a few, but let me summarise them down into three key ones;

  • A broader understanding of concepts which helps knowledge retention and recall.
  • Increase learning speed as you can relate concepts to each other and spot similarities such as web-to-case and web-to-lead.
  • Higher chance of passing the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam as you can apply concepts to real-life situations - key for passing the exam


"Concept First, Detail Second" is a highly effective method for studying and passing the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam. By understanding the concepts before diving into the details, you can build a solid foundation of knowledge and better recall the specifics of each feature. With a wider understanding of concepts, you can also learn faster and apply your knowledge to real-life situations, which is crucial for passing the exam. 

At Get Force Certified, we offer highly effective Salesforce Courses that help you connect the dots between concepts, details, and real-life applications, making it easier to learn and retain the knowledge you need to become a Certified Salesforce Administrator. 

If you want to become a Salesforce Certified Administrator or want to brush up on your knowledge, take one of the Get Force Certified Courses and take your knowledge and skills to the next level.