The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) is awarded on completion of a 90 minute open book exam. It is used to provide proof that you have a certain level of expertise in Google Analytics – a printable certificate is available to successful entrants.
- Is made up of 70 multiple choice questions (including “select all of those that apply” options).
- Is timed – you have 90 minutes to complete it, and you must score at least 80% to pass (that’s 56 correct answers).
- Can be paused, but you must complete it within 48 hours. The qualification is valid for 18 months.
- Costs $50, but I managed to track down a Google Analytics Individual Qualification discount code (BrianCliftonBook2010) which knocks 50%, so works out at about £15 – thanks to Brian Clifton, you can check out his book on Advanced Web Metrics
- Is frequently updated – Analytics is constantly changing, which means that the topics covered in the GA exam are also changing. The exam has seen a string of updates, most recently at the beginning of the year, so it’s important to stay on top of the subtle and not so subtle changes. This can be anything from adjusting the terms used throughout GA (e.g. ‘visits’ are now called ‘sessions’ and ‘unique visitors’ are now ‘users’), to major updates including Google Tag Manager and Universal Analytics.
I took the exam recently, so I wanted to share some tips and resources that helped me to prepare for (and pass!) the exam.
Lock yourself away from distractions
Whether you’re doing this at work or at home, the best thing to do is find a quiet spot away from any distractions. You can pause the exam if you like, but try not give yourself too much of a break so that you can keep your revision fresh in your memory.
Pause the exam
You can do this as often as you like. You only get 90 minutes to answer 70 questions, but pausing it will give you time to think about the questions and dig into your GA account to come up with the right answers – this is also great practice, as you’re more likely to learn from the experience.
While pausing the exam does cause the question you’re on to disappear, there’s nothing stopping you making a mental note or writing down the question (I guess you could even take a screen-shot, not that we’re condoning this!).
Keep your resources separate
Open your resources in a separate window (or browser) to avoid losing track of the exam – you could lose valuable time if you have to keep flicking through tabs to find it.
Check your answers thoroughly
This may sound like an obvious one, but make sure you leave some time to run through your answers at the end. It’s easy to misinterpret a question, especially when several of the answers can appear to be almost exactly the same.
You can mark any questions that you are unsure about as you go, making it easy to go back and give them some more thought at the end. You can also cross off any answers that you want to eliminate, allowing you to focus on the other potential answers.
Google Analytics Academy
I would recommend working through both the Digital Analytics Fundamentals and the Google Analytics Platform Principles courses. They are free and will help bring you up to speed on most topics that are covered in the exam (as well as providing extra resources throughout the lessons) via a set of video walk-throughs from Justin Cutroni, a Digital Analytics Evangelist at Google.
The fundamentals course is designed for people who have little or no experience with GA, but I would still urge you to flick through the units – you may end up missing the answer to one or more exams questions that are covered here.
The courses consist of several units (6 for the Fundamentals and 4 for Platform Principles), made up of between 1 and 6 lessons. Each has a short video to talk you through the lessons and a few multiple choice questions that you can answer at the end.
You can then take a final assessment at the end of each course, with questions that are presented in a similar format to the actual exam, and (in my case) even includes some of the same questions.
While the videos are easy to digest, I would also recommend taking some notes – if not to use in the exam, then to help you process and grasp the concepts covered.
Useful blog post
I would also recommend reading through the following blog post – in his post, JATIN SHARMA references some other useful posts which are also worth a read.
Once you’ve passed…
You can print your certificate as proof, but also create a link to share with others (great for your LinkedIn account) that provides details of the certificates that have been awarded, along with dates of when exams were taken and when the qualifications expire.
Good luck – If you’ve covered everything then you have nothing to worry about – you’re ready to head over to google.starttest.com and ace this exam!
Please share your experiences and let me know if you have any other tips or useful resources that helped you to pass.
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