I just passed the newest version of the Google Analytics Individual Certification and guess what? I’m angry at you internet!
I’m happy to be GAIQ Certified, but I could have passed it so much faster and with so much less stress.
So I’m writing this guide to help my fellow analytics adventurers in their journey to ace the GAIQ! It’s not really anyone’s fault. But because our digital industry moves so fast, much of the information I read and studied online was outdated.
After speaking to colleagues who passed the exam last year, it seems that the new GAIQ has far less focus on the technical and much more focus on the theory.
You might immediately jump to the conclusion that this is a bad thing because it devalues the difficulty of the exam. But let me explain in 3 simple words why I think it’s actually a smart move on Google’s behalf and why it makes the exam even more valuable.
JUST GOOGLE IT!
For a company that has given humans the ability to access the collective knowledge of the world in a few finger taps, it seems backwards that we should have to rote learn just to pass an exam.
I’m not suggesting that your technical ability for analytics should be any less, but what this reinforces is that you must know where to find the right information and how to ask the right questions to be able to easily troubleshoot the full spectrum of problems you may encounter on a day to day basis.
At Reprise we believe you can’t do SEO without a thorough understanding of analytics, so all SEO staff must keep their GAIQ fresh (it expires after 18 months).
In an industry in which clients often have a chequered past with dodgy SEO agencies and individuals, we pride ourselves on being not only completely honest and ethical with everything we do, but also knowledgeable so that we can provide the highest quality services possible. This means we are a 100% Google Certified Partner.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification Secret?
Whilst I do have a few secret tips that will definitely make doing the exam easier, there is no substitute to actually knowing your stuff. There’s also no point in using these tips to pass the exam just for another tick on your LinkedIn profile.
I urge you to do the exam to further your knowledge and improve your skills as a digital marketer, for both yourself and your clients.
I may have found it a little easier to get started with my studying as I’d already been playing with analytics for a few years – but with the great resources available there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to pass. That’s why I will leave the little tips until the end of this post and instead first give you the resources you need to pass the GAIQ.
Google Analytics Certification Training Resources
1. Who better to learn about Google Analytics from than Google’s Analytics expert Justin Cutroni?
There is a solid 6 hours of content to go through in the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course. I’m not sure how you learn best, but I found it useful to take notes as I watched and learnt.
Also make sure that you explore the “Additional Resources” in each module. You will need to know all this extra information for the exam.
Finally, if you don’t have one, try and get your hands on an account with live data so you can try out everything you learn. It will make it much easier to understand and to put into practice. At Reprise we have both user accounts and admin accounts so that we can get people started on training without fear of them breaking anything!
2. The final questions from the course are very similar to what the actual exam was like.
Another website Google Analytics Test has some good test questions also. However, I would ignore the more technical ones (unless you really want to really want to expand your knowledge – in which case use them to research and learn how to answer them).
3. Distilled has put together a really great guide to the GAIQ too.
I would highly recommend reading the “What Else Do I need to Know” section of their guide – there are a few things mentioned here that were in the exam and definitely weren’t in the Google Analytics Academy.
Google Analytics IQ Test Tips
Ok you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things to study. So here are the couple of small tips to help you young grasshopper.
1. You can pause between questions and it’s an open book exam.
Yes that’s right. You can pause the exam between questions and without any limit on the amount of times.
Don’t think this makes it much easier though. If you haven’t studied and don’t know where to look for answers – you will still fail the exam and have a frustrating time. Use this bonus feature of the exam to verify what you already know or if you’re really stuck.
2. You can retake the exam if you fail.
Justin Cutroni won’t ban you from Google Analytics if you get less than 80% correct. Google wants to see you succeed just as much as I do. For $50 you can re-sit the exam. Plus you will have a much better idea of what to expect! In the words of Michael Jordon:
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
If you think you’re a Google Analytics boffin and you want to prove it to your mates, or you simply want to start your journey become one – proving you can get 56 out of the 70 GAIQ questions right is the best way. If you’re a boffin why not even try it without pausing the exam?
Good luck – I hope you get a slam dunk!