How I passed the Pardot certification exam the first time — and how you can, too

In September of 2015, I was tasked with earning a Pardot certification.

I had been working in Pardot for a few months, but still felt anxious about the Pardot certification exam itself — after all, I had heard that the exam is very challenging. With a $200 price tag for the first attempt and another $100 for each retake, a mistake can be costly.

Keep in mind that Pardot doesn’t tell you a whole lot if you fail — you don’t get to know what percentage you got correct and you don’t get to see which specific questions you answered incorrectly. You have to get 67% or more correct on the specialist exam and 70% or more correct on the consultant exam to pass. Both exams include 60 multiple-choice questions and allow you 90 minutes to complete the exam.

If you are taking the Pardot certification exam online, make sure you register to do so beforehand and read the test-taking requirements — you must have an external webcam, for example. I would also make sure you take time to set yourself up early, so you don’t feel rushed. The test-taking software made my default camera reset to my internal laptop camera — if this happens, make sure you just set it back to your webcam. There is a live support chat in the test software itself if you run into any other issues.

I took my studying very seriously, combing through any resources that the internet had to offer. Yes, the study guides that Pardot offers (specialist study guide here, consultant here) are useful, but not quite enough to cover everything, in my opinion.

As DJ Khaled, a viral inspirational speaker, would say, MAJOR 🔑 (key) — make sure that you go to this page (specialist/consultant) and review every section. Click on the Knowledge Base links and ensure that you are familiar with every detail, from top to bottom.  Very in-depth questions from the Knowledge Base articles WILL appear on the exam. Don’t let them surprise you — don’t play yourself!

In summary, here are my major keys:

Study the designated Pardot exam study guide, but don’t limit yourself to it. 
Make sure you read and study the Knowledge Base articles referenced in the study guide from TOP to BOTTOM.
Familiarize yourself with what you can see on each type of Report.
Make sure you have an external webcam if you are planning on taking the exam online. 
There are many sets of flashcards that others have made — take advantage of any credible resources you can find on Google!

Lastly, don’t forget:

DJ Khaled, You Smart, Pardot certification

You can do this! Feel free to tweet us when you pass the exam using @cloudontap and we will be happy to celebrate your success with you! 😀



Sara McNamara is a Salesforce Pardot Project Implementation Coordinator at Cloud on Tap. She has a special place in her heart for marketing automation, cats, and people who don’t call her about something that could have been a text.