Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that allows users to view how visitors actually find and use their website.
It’s powerful when used correctly, but the Google Analytics certification offered by Google Partners is equally useful for individuals looking to make themselves more viable candidates when applying for jobs.
The certification involves passing the Google Analytics individual qualification exam (GAIQ) by answering 70 questions with at least an 80 percent passing score.
For anyone not familiar with tracking metrics, the exam might seem daunting, but it’s as easy as studying for an open book college exam; the information is readily available, but it helps if you review most of the material beforehand.
Below is a comprehensive guide on how to pass the GAIQ in as little as three weeks.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) test is an industry recognized certification that helps individuals further their digital marketing careers.
Most companies leverage Google Analytics for their data tracking needs, and it’s important that digital marketers know how to effectively use GA in their day-to-day, which is why Google offers this exam for their data solution.
Like I mentioned before, Google Partners offers users the ability to take the Google Analytics Certification Exam to earn their GA certification.
This certification is valid for one year, after which you’ll need to retake the exam to remain Google Analytics certified.
Below is a quick summary of the exam:
While the test preparation can appear daunting and overwhelming, here are the fundamentals that you should know before heading into the Google Certification exam:
Below are the best ways to prepare for the GAIQ Certification Exam:
The first step in passing the GAIQ is taking the exam without any preparation. This might seem contradictory, but there are no penalties for failing the GAIQ (and if you somehow pass, then congratulations, you don’t need to read any further!).
As you take the exam, type the questions in a separate word document as a study guide for later reference. There is a pool of 200 questions that rotate every time a user takes the GAIQ, but writing down the questions will be helpful in knowing what to look out for when retaking the exam.
It’s okay to fail! For anyone that doesn’t pass the Google Analytics exam, you’ll have to wait one day before you can retake it. Like I mentioned earlier, there are no penalties for failing the exam.
If you’re at this part of the guide then congratulations: you’ve failed the GAIQ. Now that you have an idea of what you’re getting into, I would look up the answers to all the questions that you wrote down in a separate word document.
School4seo.com is a resource that I found helpful as it provides the correct answer for any question in your word document, explains why it’s the correct answer and provides links to the Google Support page.
Next, I would read this extensive blog post that covers a large amount of material for Google Analytics. When I retook the exam, this blog post answered 50 percent of the questions that appeared on my test.
After reviewing the blog post, you might be prepared to retake the exam a second time.
Additionally, you could use the online courses from Analytics Academy to take notes and complete practice exams within the four courses. The modules offer a series of short videos and links to help set up Google Analytics on your website.
I personally benefited more from reading the blog post and the text links provided in the modules, but the videos are helpful for visual learners. However, feel free to check out the courses that Google recommends:
Lastly, you can use this resource to take an unlimited number of Google Analytics tests. It will allow you to set up the amount of questions you want to take per round, as well as the categories for each practice test.
As you go through the resources provided above, you’ll want to set up 30-60 minute blocks on your calendar to go through the materials and prep for the GA exam.
Each resource provided by Google is broken up into several units - it’s recommended that you break it up so you’re reviewing 1 unit at a time while you’re studying.
While it’s helpful to read study guides and take practice exams, you should be navigating actual Google Analytics dashboards to reinforce what you’re learning.
My recommendation is to have Google Analytics open while you’re going through the study guides for additional practice.
Nothing is worse than trying to take a 90 minute exam in a loud area. Here are some places that you should leverage when taking the GA certification exam:
This part is important - set a real date for when you want to take/pass the Google Analytics exam. This will encourage you to go through the required materials and prepare, rather than push off earning your GA certification.
After a week or two of studying notes, going over practice questions and watching videos, it’s time to try again.
In order to pass the exam, at least 56 out of the 70 questions must be answered correctly. There are two options for individuals who struggle to pass the exam on the second or third try: review the material and take a few more practice exams, or have separate tabs open for the Google Support page and blog posts that I referenced earlier in this guide.
In earlier iterations of the exam Google forced users to download a browser lock so that users couldn’t cheat by viewing other tabs.
The GAIQ is now open book, which helps users look up information that will better their chances at passing the exam. It defeats the purpose of the certification if you don’t understand the material, but this is an option that can be used as a last resort.
You should have the following resources open in different tabs to reference:
Congratulations, you passed! Take a breather and pat yourself on the back as you are now officially certified in Google Analytics.
Now it’s time to take everything that you’ve learned and implement it beyond the classroom. Passing the GAIQ is a feat in itself, but it’s important that you reinforce what you learned by incorporating the features of Google Analytics on your website.
While having a textbook knowledge of the tool is useful, you’ll have more of an appreciation for Google Analytics by learning through practical trial and error instead of textbook theory.
Here are a few resources that are recommended to set up in your GA account:
For those of you who are ready to move onto the next certification, you have a few options including Google Adwords, Hubspot, Hootsuite and Facebook Blueprint.
I would recommend Google Adwords as it’s free and can be used in conjunction with Google Analytics, but it’s up to you on what you want to pursue next. Be sure to keep your certifications up to date as they expire every year.
Below are several frequently asked questions regarding the Google Analytics Certification:
The exam takes 90 minutes to complete. While it is possible that you pass on your first try, it can take 3-4 weeks for preparation and studying before you feel comfortable enough to take the exam.
The Google Analytics Certification is free to all exam takers - all you need to do is pass the exam to earn it.
The Google Analytics Certification is great for individuals looking to improve their digital marketing knowledge. Several employers use the Google Analytics Certification as a requirement for digital marketing positions, such as paid search or SEO.
While time intensive, it isn’t difficult to earn your certification if you put the time and effort into studying/practicing. If you’re having difficulty passing, the GAIQ is an open-book exam, so feel free to reference external resources while taking the exam.
Your Google Analytics certification will expire within 12 months after passing the GAIQ exam.