I recently passed the Platform Developer 1 cert from Salesforce. I have to contribute quite a bit of that success to the FocusonForce practice exams.
I have previously written a review about the FocusonForce practice exams and I wanted to bring an updated review based on the Platform Developer 1 practices. Unlike when I took the admin exam, the Platform Developer 1 build up looked quite different.
Although I had enough practical experience to take the Admin exam, I relied on the practice tests to get familiar with the formatting and style; whereas with the Platform Dev 1, I needed to actively practice on my own time the topics that would be covered on the exam. I did not want to pass the exam just from a theoretical perspective. I wanted it to be from a practical perspective so that it actually meant something. You can read about the whole process I went through in working towards becoming a DevAdmin here.
Once I felt that I had completed enough practical work for the exam, I began using the practice exams from FocusonForce. These exams were extremely helpful in a multitude of ways. During my practical experience I focused primarily on backend code – using APEX – rather than putting much focus into the frontend – Lightning development and Visualforce. There had been two reasons for that, one for Visualforce, I come with background in HTML and CSS and from that perspective the code translate well enough that the concepts made sense to me. As for Lightning Development, it’s just a bit more difficult for me to grasp than the backend code – mostly because I am having trouble coming up with an applicable project to do (leave your thoughts for a project in the comments) 🙂
The FocusonForce exams were able to easily show me where my weaknesses were and be able to take that information and study and improve on it. As I noted in my previous review, as part of the package you get links to where the answers can be found, in addition, you also get detailed explanations from him about the questions you got wrong. He also gives which category the question falls into.
Specifically for the Platform Developer 1 exams, you get 4 exams and then exam per each topic category. I ended up using only three of the exams because at that point I felt comfortable taking the exams based on how I was scoring. One thing I will note and this may be different per person but my actual exam had less VF/LEX and more code related questions that the practice exams. However, with the practical activities I had done I was prepared for these.
I passed the exam on the first try and I honestly believe I would not have been able to do that without going through these practice exams. I highly recommend FocusonForce for any certification that they offer.