How I Passed The Google Analytics Exam On My First Try (As An Analytics Amateur!)
I recently became Google Analytics certified.
I’m new to the industry so when I was given the goal to become GA certified, I was extremely intimidated. I barely knew what GA was capable of, but I was expected to learn and understand the tool well-enough to pass a certification exam!? Yowza.
To ready myself, I studied on-and-off for about two months prior to testing. I then completed the exam in an hour and passed with a score of 92% on my first try.
I attribute the majority of my success to all the effort I put towards preparation. I suppose the million practice tests and thorough online resources I studied paid off.
If you’re a GA amateur like I was, or even if you’ve been using the tool for a while now, the following guide may help you ace your exam as well!
Let’s start by reviewing the resources I used for studying and then follow them up with the subjects you really should focus on for passing the exam. Lastly, I’ll tell you what surprised me about GA and why I think it’s still one of the most complex platforms out there.
RESOURCES AND STUDYING:
Watch the videos in the Google Analytics Academy
I watched every single one of the below videos and took each of the short practice questions/assessments that followed them.
Often, I’d rewind or pause certain parts of the videos to jot quick notes and/or let the concepts sink in. The pace is really fast so take the time you need to digest and understand the information.
- Digital Analytics Fundamentals – All units and the videos within them: https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/course01
- Ecommerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions – All units and assessments: https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/course03
- Google Analytics Platform Principles – All units, videos and final assessment: https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/course02
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice exams, practice questions, practice, practice.
From my point of view, the more potential questions to which you expose yourself, the better.
In addition to the practice questions from the GA Academy, here’s the resource I used for the king of all GA practice questions: http://www.googleanalyticstest.com/
I selected “Option 2: Take test without signing up” each time and no more than 15 questions per round. I switched up the categories for every practice test, focusing mainly on the content of which I was familiar from the videos. I definitely recognized a question or two on the actual exam!
References and Resources
The Google Analytics test is an open book exam. I recommend preparing to have a different browser open with several tabs supplied with handy references. A couple of my favorite and most advantageous resources are below.
- Blast Analytics and Marketing Reference Guide: Blast-Google-Analytics-Reference-Guide.pdf
- Jens Sorensen Post – Use “Control F” and search related keywords or terms while taking the test, this post is a lengthy one!: http://www.jenssorensen.co.uk/2010/07/google-analytics-individual-qualification-exam-test-notes/
- Google Analytics Help Center: https://support.google.com/analytics/?hl=en#topic=3544906
One of the best resources I found was this blog post. It contains several of the sources I’ve already mentioned and many more. http://viget.com/advance/how-to-pass-the-google-analytics-iq-test-in-two-days-zero-to-hero
WHOA, so, that’s a lot of information right? The word overwhelming comes to mind. Keep reading to regain your sanity.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
While the Google Analytics study guides and videos can be quite extensive and overwhelming, the test itself mostly focuses on a set of concepts.
- The Fundamentals:
- Dimensions and Metrics: (what is a metric? what is a dimension? Get familiar with these)
- Audiences: (the audience tab, the segments inside and what it can tell you)
- Segmentation: (why is this important? what can it do for your analysis and reporting?)
- Google Analytics verbiage: (sessions, users, etc. become familiar with these terms) https://support.google.com/analytics/topic/6083659?hl=en&ref_topic=3544906
- The bigger picture concepts:
- You’ll want to understand these topics clearly https://support.google.com/analytics/topic/6083717
- Attribution Modeling and Channels:
WHAT SURPRISED ME THE MOST
GA offers massive amounts of data for slicing and dicing. For a free tool, the ability to drill-down and create customizations make it one of the most powerful analytics tools available.
Specifically, separating data with custom segments allows cross comparison of traffic for some eye-opening insights as it pertains to user behavior and actions. I had no idea GA made shifting such large amounts of data so efficient.
I don’t claim to be a GA expert by any means. I’m still learning something with every sign-in. The wealth of insight from GA is waiting around each new corner and I expect to continue learning this platform for years to come.
I did, however, find these study tips helpful for my own certification process and I hope you found some kind of value as well.
Now good luck, and boldly go where no man (or lady!) has gone before.
Emily advocates for our clients as a part of the Account team. She’s also behind our social profiles. Emily adores everything health and wellness, especially yoga and easier hikes than what Allyson does.