How to prepare for Dev 501 Certification – Salesforce

This is first time i am going to write article on any Salesforce Certification. This time it is about “How to Pass Salesforce Dev 501 Certification”. I have already received many request on how to prepare for this certification.

Dev 501 certificate in Salesforce will validate that how comfortable you are as a developer with Apex and Visualforce ? In order to get Dev 501 Certification, Developer needs to go through 3 Steps :

  1. Pass Multi – Choice Exam
    • 69 Questions, 73% Passing
  2. Complete Assignment if you pass Step 1
  3. Essay writing
    • Need to answer 3-4 questions regarding your design in assignment to validate that you have written code. If you are confident, you can give Essay before submitting Assignment also. This step also needs to complete in Proctored center like Step 1.

After these steps, You will get final result in 4-5 weeks.

First, you have to go through below three Guides in very detail, I would suggest you should go for second round also before 2-3 days of exam.

  1. Apex developer Guide
  2. Visualforce Developer Guide
  3. Salesforce Migration Guide

Below are the Topics to focus more (MUST) for preparation.

  1. Order of Execution of Trigger
  2. Which Trigger gets fired in Merge Operation ?
  3. Read about Undelete Trigger.
  4. How to Test Triggers ?
  5. How to reduce ViewState ?
  6. What is MVC ?
  7. How to create Custom Component ?
  8. How to Test Email Services ?
  9. What is sequence of execution of Visualforce in GET Request ?
  10. Sequence of execution of Visualforce in POST Request?
  11. When to use Package, ChangeSet and Migration tool ?
  12. How to use Visualforce Template ?
  13. What is supported in <apex:attribute> tag ?
  14. How to use Dynamic Apex, Dynamic SOQL and Dynamic SOSL ?
  15. What is Script Limit, DML Limit, Sandbox limit and so on…
  16. How Exception class works?
  17. There were many questions on System Log (Developer Console).
  18. Very good understanding of Static variable and Global class.
  19. How to create REST request and how to test it.
  20. When to use Visualforce Template and what are drawbacks of it ?
  21. How Visualforce properties (Getters and Setters) works ?
  22. Considerations for Constructor ?
  23. How to create Controller Extensions ?
  24. Difference in System.AssertEquals, System.Assert ?
  25. How to get 100% Test Coverage ?
  26. Read about SOQL Clauses like FOR UPDATE, ALL ROWS .
  27. File names of ANT Migration and there usage ?
  28. How to delete something using Migration Tool ?
  29. When to use Sandboxes and when to use Developer Account ?
  30. How to add custom (Create Visualforce) button on List Views ?
  31. Difference in <apex:Actionsupport>, <apex:ActionFunction> and <apex:ActionPoller> ?

And, there were many questions on other parts. I would strongly suggest to read all 3 PDF specified above.

Note : I will not reply to any comment regarding actual / sample questions. I would be more than happy to help and suggest on any topics specified above.


  1. Hi Jitendra, thank you so much for such a nice article. I have a question, i just had 6 months of experience as a Salesforce admin and developer, did not do much coding, i did passed ADM 201 and DEV 401 exams. I am planning to give DEV 501, can you please tell me how much time it takes for DEV 501 prepation? how many months i need to spend time on this exam? without any developer experience. Your response would be highly appreciated.

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