Pardot Specialist Certification Guide and Practical Study Tips

What is the Salesforce Pardot Specialist Certification?

Salesforce Pardot Specialist Certification is a marketing credential offered by Salesforce for marketing operations professionals who’ve passed the certified exam.

In addition to Specialist Certification Salesforce offers several other marketing certifications including:

  • Marketing Cloud Administrator
  • Marketing Cloud Consultant
  • Marketing Cloud Developer
  • Marketing Cloud Email Specialist
  • Pardot Consultant

In order to receive the credentials, you must first register for the Salesforce Pardot Specialist Certification. When you pass the exam, it not only helps your career prospects (see demand for Salesforce talent), but it also tells current and future employers you know your stuff when it comes to marketing automation. Gaining the trust of your boss and peers may be more valuable than any raise.

But before you start updating your LinkedIn profile, you have to pass the exam, which according to Lucy Mazalon, marketing automation consultant, gets harder every year.

“Believe me, the exam has certainly become more challenging to pass. I can testify to this because I had to retake the exam after I accidentally let my certification expire (oops). The exam was noticeably harder – even with a year’s worth of consulting experience under my belt!”

Not to worry, this guide will walk you through the best material out there to prepare to pass the test with flying colors. We’ll walk through the most recommended tips for passing the Pardot Specialist Certified Exam. Break down the most up-to-date study guides from Certified Salesforce Pardot Experts, and breakdown each section of the exam, so there’s no surprises and nothing stopping you from kickstarting your marketing automation career path.

How do you pass the Pardot Specialist Exam?

Whether you’re training for the Olympic gold medal or just trying to pass a marketing automation exam, it’s helpful to talk to people who’ve done it before. These tips come from three Certified marketing automation experts on how they prepared for and passed the Pardot Specialist exam.

1. Set a date.

Nothing motivates quite like a deadline. So if you’re serious about studying for and passing the Pardot Specialist Exam, don’t wait another minute. Register today and start preparing yourself to pass it. Jacqueline Fassette, a Salesforce Marketing Champion is a huge advocate of this approach. She said, 

“So many people ask for my advice on the exam, but don’t plan to take it for many months. Setting a date is a great motivator and will keep you focused on your goal.”

Setting a date also helps you build your study schedule out, so you know when you have time to study and what you need to study in order to pass the test. If you’re not sure what material you need to study yet, that’s okay, we’ll cover that in a minute.

2. Gather study materials 

Everybody learns differently. You can read countless accounts of people who passed the exam and never find the exact right plan for yourself. The best study guide is the one that works for you. That being said, we’ve put together a list of some of the most recommended Pardot Specialist Exam study resources which you can access for free.

In addition to free resources, Salesforce also recommends Essentials of Pardot Lighting App for Digital Marketers. This course costs $1,800 and may not be as “essential” as Salesforce would like you to think it is. Countless certified experts have passed the exam without spending $1,800 on training. But if you have no experience with Pardot, and an eager employer who’s willing to pay for it, this is probably a great way to jumpstart your marketing automation experience.

3. Take a practice test

Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are several practice tests you can take to feel confident going into test day. Other than the official Salesforce Exam Guide, most of these mock tests are from a few years ago, so it’s best to rely on the official documentation. However, since Salesforce only provides 5 sample questions, these other resources might give you the additional practice you need to feel ready. 

Salesforce recommends 6-12 months of experience with Pardot prior to taking the certification test. But even if you have the experience, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about the actual breakdown of the exam, which areas of Pardot are going to be included in the test, and how long you’ll need to set aside to take it.

What questions are on the Pardot Specialist Certification Exam?

It might not feel like it at first, but Salesforce does want you to pass the exam. So despite feeling some anxiety on test day, it’s in their best interest to help prepare you to pass this test. The Summer ‘20 Salesforce Pardot Specialist Exam Guide has the most up-to-date information about the big test.

If you’re feeling any anxiety, start by reading the section of this guide that talks about all the things you don’t need to know in order to pass this test—custom HTML, Javascript, and CSS. A relief, I’m sure. You are expected to know the ins-and-outs of Pardot as well as have a good grasp of digital marketing best practices. In addition, you should know how to create marketing assets, automation, and workflows in Pardot. They recommend studying Engagement History, B2B Marketing Analytics dashboards, and scoring and grading models.

If any of these features sound new to you, then it’s best to jump back up to the list of study guides and brush up on those resources. If this is sounding like a day at the office, then you’re probably ready for the test. Here’s what you can expect when it’s time to take it.

  • Length: 60 questions
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Passing Score: 72%
  • Cost: $200
  • Proctored: Yes (online, through Kryterion)

Pardot Specialist Certification Exam Outline


You can spend countless hours preparing for this exam, but at the end of the day, it’s taking and passing the test which really boosts your job prospects and marketing automation experience. So rather than waiting for the stars to align, get registered, and get certified. You’ll never know if you’re ready for the test until you actually start taking it.


Is it worth it to get Pardot Certified?

The obvious answer is Yes, if you’re already using Salesforce Pardot then it should be a no-brainer. According to Salesforce, demand for talent is projected to create 4.2 million jobs by 2024 and the average salary for experienced Salesforce marketers is more than $100,000.

Once you’ve passed the exam you can create your trailblazer.me account, a custom resume to show off your Salesforce skills. Becoming Salesforce Pardot certified will also help you connect with a broader network of marketing operations professionals that can help guide your career. For example, Angie Greven received her first certification after getting help from a mentor on Trailblazer Connect.



Salesforce Pardot certification is typically the first step in your Salesforce Marketing career path. And passing the certification exam unlocks a world of potential whether you’re changing jobs, leveling up your career, or just starting off on the right foot.

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