Last Updated: October 2019
Ready to pass the Google GAIQ test to earn your Google Analytics certification?
I’ve taken and passed the GAIQ exam three times now over the last few years and can help you pass it, too.
See my tips below and good luck as you work towards becoming Google Analytics certified!
Also included below:
Update Note (Oct 1, 2019)
Since we’re on the topic of Google Analytics education here, I wanted to take a moment to let readers know that I’m launching a new SEO Case Study based on a small travel photography website. It may be very interesting to Google Analytics fans.
(Hint: this SEO case study will teach a ton about Google Search Console, too!)
I invite you to read more about it here and follow along!
OK, now back to that GAIQ thing… 🙂
Passing the Google Analytics GAIQ Exam
The good news is this: passing the GAIQ certification test is not that hard.
As long as you are reasonably well prepared for it!
I recently renewed my Google Analytics certification by taking the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam via Google Partners. I certified back in the spring of 2014 and it was time to take the test again since the certification requires renewal every 18 months.
(Update: I passed the GAIQ exam again in July 2017. Most of my advice below is still valid. I will likely also take the GAIQ test in 2019 to renew my certification.)
GAIQ Test Observations
First a few observations, comparing my 2016 exam with the GAIQ test in early 2014.
- The 2016 GAIQ test was easier than I expected it to be and took much less time compared to the first one. I passed it this time in ~ 45-50 minutes with a score of 100% (70/70). Minimum passing score is 80% (56/70).
- Many of the questions came straight off the prep courses offered by the Google’s Analytics Academy. Since I recognized the questions and knew the correct answers, I was able to handle these very quickly… a few seconds each.
- I didn’t see any questions about Regular Expressions or Tag Manager. Maybe I just got lucky on this iteration of the test. Fair warning… ‘your mileage may vary’ in this regard. I recall I did get a question on RegEx on the 2014 GAIQ.
- Unlike the spring 2014 version, the current GAIQ format does not allow pausing the test, marking answers for later review, etc. So don’t plan on taking any lengthy breaks to walk the dog, grab lunch and come back, etc. And ignore the parts of older posts and articles that indicate you can pause the test, complete it over five days, etc. (These older posts may still be helpful in other prep areas.)
- All of the questions I received were multiple choice, but had only one best answer. So I didn’t have to select two, three, or more possible answers in some “correct” combination. This greatly simplified things and reduced the odds of making mistakes or second-guessing things too much if the wording of the question was somewhat vague or tricky.
GAIQ Exam Prep
Preparing for the GAIQ Exam
First off, I Googled up and studied some other blog posts and resources that looked useful. There are plenty of them out there; some much more helpful than others. The more recent, the better. I found many tutorials on Google Analytics certification but focused on several from the 2015 timeframe, including:
(Update: Search for 2019 updates of these and similar posts now.)
http://digitalmarketing.ctp.com/blog/gaiq-test-2015-sample-questions-and-tips (Andrea Rapanaro, April 2015)
http://www.ppchero.com/the-2015-google-analytics-exam-what-you-need-to-know/ (Carrie Albright, January 2015)
Google Analytics Academy Courses
I also reviewed the first two courses offered by the Google Analytics Academy on Digital Analytics Fundamentals and Platform Principles. I had completed these courses previously but decided to dive back in again for a refresher on the details.
(Update: You’ll now want to take the Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics courses. The Ecommerce course is helpful too, but somewhat optional.)
I retook the quizzes for the individual Google Analytics Academy modules and then the final assessment tests for both courses. Good practice. I also printed out the ‘100% correct’ final assessments for these courses. It was good to have them nearby in case an identical question popped up on the GAIQ exam (which did happen for me, as noted above).
These were the two courses I took two years ago prior to the GAIQ, and they still cover the majority of the questions in today’s Google Analytics certification exam.
The other Academy courses on mobile app analytics and e-commerce are great too, but they may be considered somewhat optional for taking the GAIQ test. If you have time to complete these courses prior to the GAIQ exam, then definitely consider doing that. They may help you on a couple of exam questions.
A basic knowledge of Google Tag Manager *may* also be helpful, but I would say this is still very optional for the current GAIQ.
GAIQ Test References
Just prior to taking the exam, I made sure I had the following links bookmarked and ready to open if needed. Turns out I didn’t use them much, but I was glad to have them just a couple of mouse clicks away.
I did go into the main Analytics help reference to check on a couple of things during the test, but that was about it. Still seems like a good idea to have these resources handy.
(And keeping first things first… be sure to also have your own GA account interface open as well. I can almost guarantee you will use it at least a few times during the test.)
The Google Analytics Help Center:
Google Analytics Dimensions & Metrics Explorer:
Mobile App Analytics Course Glossary: (just in case a more difficult mobile analytics question popped up)
A handy item on the Ecommerce reports:
A brief primer on Regular Expressions: (as before, just in case…)
Another Tip on Ecommerce Reporting (and related GAIQ exam questions)
If your available GA account views do not have ecommerce tracking set up, you won’t be able to reference these reports while taking the test (see image below). A good option in this case is to just have another *current* reference available that shows the structure of these reports. Something that indicates the typical dimensions and metrics of each report, etc. That’s why I bookmarked the Megalytic resource indicated above.
Other Useful GAIQ Test Prep Resources
If you want to practice with more example test questions, these resources are also good.
http://www.googleanalyticstest.com/ (I used this a couple of years ago. Still looks handy today.)
Google Analytics Certification - Final Thoughts
Like others have mentioned in earlier posts, it’s very possible to pass the GAIQ certification exam at 80% or better, and well within the 90 minutes allotted, with the right preparation and reference materials handy.
It is also possible to over-prepare for the GAIQ test. With decent preparation and maybe a little luck in terms of actual test questions received, you will probably find yourself flying through some of the test and then taking more time on some of the tougher questions.
It’s also very helpful to be an active GA user on one or more ‘live’ accounts with real data and real reporting requirements. It may technically be possible to pass the GAIQ test with little actual hands-on time with GA, but the experienced analytics practitioner will definitely have an advantage going into this exam.
To all who decide to take it… Good Luck! Hopefully this post will help and you will get a final GAIQ test screen that looks something like this:
Have you taken the Google Analytics certification exam recently? How did it go for you?
Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing with your social networks below.
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