Your A to Z guide to the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam
A question that often pops up when I’m training people is “What does it take to become qualified in Google Analytics?” It’s a great question, so let’s jump in!
Basically Google has an exam that you can take (it’s called the Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam or GAIQ for short) and once you’ve passed the exam you’ll be qualified. Sounds easy right?!? Well, it is and it isn’t. I’ll explain as we go and for anybody looking to pass the exam I’m going to give you tips on how you can study and prepare yourself.
The Google Analytics exam is free to take. It’s made up of 70 questions (which are randomly drawn from a larger library of questions) and you have 1.5 hours to sit the exam. You need to answer at least 56 of the questions correctly in order to pass and once you’ve passed you’ll know if you’re qualified or not. In order to retain your certification you’ll need to resit the exam within 18 months.
Here’s a quick summary of the exam:
- Free to take
- 90 minutes
- 70 questions
- 80% correct to pass
- Valid for 18 months
What happens if I fail the Google Analytics exam?
If you fail the exam you won’t be able to resit the exam for 7 days. After the 7 days have passed you’ll be able to take the exam again. There is no penalty for failing the exam (other than the having to wait for your next attempt).
How to study for the exam
Google provides a number of resources to study for the exam. First, there is Google’s Analytics Academy which is home to free courses that you can take in your own time. Google recommends completing the following courses before taking the exam:
- Digital Analytics Fundamentals
- Google Analytics Platform Principles
- Ecommerce Analytics
- Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals
Each of these courses is primarily made up of video lessons (but there is also the option to read through the lessons if you prefer).
Alternatively, you can read through the study guide material within Google Analytics Help which covers the exam topics.
I also recommend that if you are going to take the exam for the first time that you have spent some time having a play within Google Analytics. Being familiar with the interface and getting to know the reports will make things easier. If you don’t have access to a real Google Analytics account, then make sure you have access to the Google Analytics demo account.
What are the exam questions like?
All of the questions are multiple choice, so you simply select the best possible answer from the available options. The questions cover a fairly broad range of topics from basic principles, what’s contained in particular reports through to more technical questions about browser cookies and how the tracking code works.
Here are some practice questions to give you a feel for what you might find in the exam. They’re similar to the actual exam questions, but they’re not the actual questions. You'll be asked 5 questions, but just like the real exam there is a library, so you might get different questions if you take it again. I’ve included a few easy questions and a few hard ones to give you a feel for things…
Google Analytics Practice Quiz:
Cheating in the exam
Seriously, I’m going there... You do have the option of cheating. It’s easy to do, just try searching Google for ‘google analytics exam answers’. Done. But before you head to Google and starting checking out all of the questions in the exam I’m going to get you to answer the following question for me…
Why do you want to cheat on the exam?
What’s cheating on the exam going to prove? I can tell you from experience cheating on the exam just to get a certificate isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. In fact it could come back to bite you if you ever run into someone who really did study for the exam. This leads on to our next topic…
What are the benefits of being a Google Analytics qualified individual?
You get a pretty certificate that you can print and hang on your wall, you can say that you’re qualified in Google Analytics on your CV and add it as a certification to your LinkedIn profile. You even have the option to share a link so that people can verify you’ve passed the exam.
But the real benefit of being a Google Analytics qualified individual is sharing your passion for this amazing tool. In the end being a Google Analytics pro isn’t about an exam it’s about actually getting your hands dirty and using the tool. Definitely take the exam to show you’re awesome, but also make sure you know how to use it and hone your skills.
How to sit the exam
First you’ll need to head to Google Partners. If you already have a profile, then once you login you should be good to go. If you’re new to Google Partners then you’ll need to select the option to ‘Join’ and follow the steps to create your profile.
Google Partners is designed for agencies that are managing Google AdWords for their clients, but I’ve seen plenty of individuals and people from companies that weren’t agencies with accounts. So just go ahead and join.
Once you’re inside Google Partners you’ll see ‘Certifications’ in the menu on the left and you can select ‘Analytics’ to take the exam.
(I’d love to hear if you pass the exam, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you went!)