I recently took the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test, so while it is still fresh in my mind I want to share some valuable insight into the test and links to resources that will help you pass the test with flying colors. Don’t underestimate the test. While I scored a 94 percent on the test, I devoted a good amount of time to studying and preparing for it. Begin by stretching out your brain muscles, and let’s dive in…
What is on the GAIQ?
As I mentioned before, I snuck out with a 94 percent on the test. That score is quite misleading though, because I felt that it was a very challenging test. As far as topics go, I discovered that the most common topics covered in my test were Advanced Segments, Filters, Goals and Events, Metrics and Dimensions, E-commerce, and Campaign Tracking.
As I was preparing for the test, I was most concerned about Regular Expression (RegEx) questions. To my surprise, I believe I only received three RegEx questions, and they were all fairly basic. Unless I received a rare compilation of test questions, I wouldn’t recommend diving too hard into RegEx.
Unless you are fluent in computer language, I found many of the questions to be quite draining on my brain. I paused the test a handful of times to regain my focus and re-energize. I also used that time to consult a few of my test resources to refresh my memory on a few topics.
Be prepared for the fact that not all of the questions are generic multiple-choice questions with only one answer. Some of the questions ask you to “Select two” answers, and there are a few of the evil “Select all that apply” questions. Thankfully, Google does throw in a few questions with only two possible answers to give you a 50-50 shot.
GAIQ Sample Test Questions and Answers
If you are one that learns best by doing, I suggest preparing by taking practice questions. Here are two links to great practice questions: Basic Practice Test and Google Analytics Practice Test Questions The second link is far and away the best website for practice questions that I found. It includes several questions that are harder than the actual test itself. Be sure to attempt questions from all of the different topics so that you are well prepared for anything that the test throws your way.
GAIQ Preparation Advice and Test Resources
The GAIQ requires a score of 56 out of 70 (80 percent) to pass. You are given 90 minutes to take the test, which turns into approximately 1 minute and 17 seconds per question. I would recommend going through all of the questions rather quickly, answering the “easy” ones first, and marking the rest of them to come back to at the end of the test.
You may pause the test at any time, but it does require you to log out of the testing site. This is a nice feature if your brain is drained from information overload, or if you simply have to use the restroom. Officially, you are given 120 hours (5 days) to finish the test once you begin. After this time, your answers are submitted whether or not you have finished all of the questions.
Note: Google chooses the 70 questions from a large database of questions, so it is extremely rare that any two tests will be the same. The subjects covered in the test will also slowly change over time due to constant updates to Google Analytics.
I know a few risk-takers who have passed the test without studying. However, they had several years of first-hand experience using Google Analytics. I took the GAIQ test with essentially no prior experience using Google Analytics, thus, I required numerous resources to help me prepare.
If you are one that can simply learn by reading, then reading blogs or articles such as this one by Jens Sorensen is very beneficial: Jens Sorensen’s Blog. If you learn best by doing, check out the two links I provided in the previous section that will take you to some valuable practice questions.
If you are a beginner like me, I strongly suggest watching all of Google’s videos on this page: GAIQ Video Lessons. They set a great foundation for understanding the basics of Google Analytics.
Unless you are extremely confident in your competency with Google Analytics, I would highly recommend having several resource pages open on a separate computer while you take the test. It is true that Google allows you to pause the test. However, if you have the idea that you’ll be able to simply use a search engine to look up all of the answers, think again. There are a few questions with simple answers, but the majority are situational, and require a good amount of deep thinking and understanding of the subject matter at hand. The most beneficial resources to refer to while taking the test that I found are the following:
- Cheat Sheet – A three-page pdf file including helpful RegEx characters and key points for the main topics covered in the test.
- 28-Section Heavy-Duty Outline– This beast might be more helpful as a study guide than a resource during the test, but either way it is jam-packed full of information.
- Jens Sorensen’s Blog– An extremely thorough outline of all the topics addressed in the test. I would recommend using “Ctrl, F” (Windows) or “Command, F” (Macs) as a fast way to look up items within the text.
- RegEx IP address calculator– If you receive a RegEx question dealing with IP addresses, don’t waste your time by doing it yourself – consult this page to do it for you to save a lot of trouble.
Cost of the GAIQ test
Each time you take the test it costs $50, and you have to wait 14 days between attempts, so make sure that you feel very comfortable with the material. Aside from the monetary cost of the test, you must also add in the opportunity cost of the time you spend studying for it. I recorded a rough estimate of approximately 35-40 hours that I spent preparing for the test. Keep in mind that I came into the test with no prior knowledge of Google Analytics. A frequent or basic user can probably pass the test with 10-20 hours of study time. If you have taken the practice test questions on the links I listed above and are scoring 75% or above, without the use of resources, you should be seasoned enough to pass the exam.
Happy studying, and good luck!