Google Analytics IQ – What You Need To Know


The Facts

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification consists of 70 multiple choice questions of which you have 90 minutes to answer. The pass rate is 80% (56 correct answers) and once you pass the exam, the qualification is valid for 18 months.

I know you’ve probably read multiple blogs just like this one and it’s all getting a little repetitive, but one thing I noticed when looking through them prior to my test is that many are outdated… as of January 2015 you can no longer review answers, you answer as you go and there is no longer an option to pause.

On the plus side, the exam has moved to Google Partners and is available free of charge so you no longer need to purchase the exam, just sign up to Partners and take the test whenever you feel ready.

Where to Start

A few months ago, before starting at WDL, I had admittedly never even seen Google Analytics before so the thought of sitting an exam about it was slightly daunting, but using after using the following resources, I realised it was nothing to be worried about, after all, what’s the worst that could happen?

A great place to begin is Google’s Analytics Academy, the course is split into sections and has videos talking you through the different units. One thing I cannot recommend enough is to read through the video transcriptions after watching each video and make bullet pointed notes, this helped me massively at a later stage. At the end of each unit there is a few questions to test your knowledge which will show you the areas you need to look into more. At this stage, I had picked up the main gist but it was a lot of information which hadn’t completely sunk in so there was no stopping here.

If there are areas you are not completely certain about, Analytics Help Centre is there to clear up any areas that you want to read about in more depth or you can post a question in the forum.

The next stage for me was to read through Jens Sorensen’s test notes. Before reading this, it may be the right time to go and make a cup of tea as this is a very lengthy and in depth blog post, however it covers a wide range of areas you’ll need to know for the test so again, be sure to note down some of the key points and add these to your notes from Analytics Academy.

Now that you know the theory behind it all, it’s time to put it into practice. By signing into your Analytics account and having a look around the different features as you learn about them, it’ll give you a much clearer idea of how it things work and will make the features easier to locate in the future.

Almost there… At this point, I’d suggest going back to Analytics Academy and watching the videos over again. The first time round I found they went very quickly and it was all a bit of an information overload, but now that you’ve studied, they should make a lot more sense and it will be good to recap before going onto the next stage.

Now it’s time to put to the test how much you’ve learn’t using this practice test site. For me personally, this was one of most useful resources out there as it lets you know what to expect. Some of the questions are similar, if not identical, to the ones you’ll get during the actual exam so treat it like the real thing; time yourself, don’t return to previous questions and see how confident you feel afterwards.

Just before you sit the exam, I would suggest having a quick look over this reference guide which is a very brief overview of Google Analytics. It also includes a handy RegEx reference guide but you may also want to check out this RegEx expression builder.

During the Test

Now that it’s time to sit the exam, it’s best to prepare what you’ll need before the timer starts in order to save yourself wasting valuable time hunting down your different resources. Remember that it’s an open-book test so you are able to have multiple tabs open and can switch between them. I closed every other window I had open to avoid distractions and these are the tabs I had open during my test:

  • The first tab I had open was obviously the test itself.
  • The next tab was my notes which was the tab i found myself flicking back to most often. Since there isn’t much time to answer each question, scrolling through all your notes and trying to search for the information you’re looking for is going to put you back a lot, something that massively helped me is the CMD + F (CTRL + F for Windows) keyboard shortcut. If you didn’t know already, this allows you to search the document and find the topics you need instantly when you come across a question you are unsure of during the test.
  • I also kept the Analytics Help Centre open, the site is sectioned nicely to help you find the information you’re looking for. You can also use it to search which will bring up results from both the Help Centre and help forums.
  • I found keeping open an actual Analytics account was useful to refer to for certain questions.
  • And of course, Google itself open for those times where you don’t know where else too look and need a quick answer.

What Next?

If you’re planning on taking the test soon, best of luck!

If you’ve just taken the test, and hopefully passed, you will have see a nice new certificate on your Partners profile and can officially say you’re GA certified and move on with your new found Google Analytics knowledge.

If however you don’t pass this time, it’s not the end of the world as you can resit the test in 7 days time. Treat this as a practice run and know the areas you need to work on before next time.