Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam Tips and Guide

It has been a long time that I wanted to take Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) Exam, but I couldn’t take it until recently. Most of the reason were time and the courage to bite the bullet and do it.

Google Analytics IQ allows individuals to demonstrate proficiency in Google Analytics. It covers web analytics techniques and Google Analytics implementation, administration, and analysis tools.

So for those of you who were preparing for Google Analytics IQ Exam, I would like to share some tips. I’m not saying that you would get 100% after following my tips, but at least you would get 94% (just like me). Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Google Analytics IQ Exam Format

First you need to know the exam format. You could take Google Analytics IQ Exam online at http://google.starttest.com/ Here, you need to purchase “Google Analytics Individual Qualification – US English” package for $50. If you get a voucher coupon code, get it ready when you are about to pay for the exam. The Google Analytics IQ Exam itself contains 70 multiple-choice questions that you need to answer within 90 min (1.5 hour). In order for you to pass this exam, you must score 80% at the least. You needed only 75% to pass the exam in the past, but Google has changed it.

If you want, you can pause the exam and come back to it later for multiple times, as long as it is still within 120 hours (5 days) after you started the exam. You could also marked questions and go back to them later while you are taking the exam. After 90 min elapsed, Google Analytics IQ Exam window will stop your activity and grade your exam.

Multiple choice questions could be tricky, especially when it asked you to choose more than one answer, so really study the materials first until you really understand the theory, the reason behind it, and its application.

Google Analytics IQ Reference Links

Second, it is an open book exam where you can gather all information from any source and use them while taking the exam, so I would like to list several links that would be really helpful both for learning and reference while taking the exam.

  • Conversion University Help. This is an absolute MUST resource that Google provided special for those who are preparing Google Analytics IQ Exam. It comprises close to 3 hours long video online tutorial of every topic that you would see on the exam. I would dare to say that this tutorial contains EVERYTHING you need for the exam, so focus on it.
  • Google Analytics Help. The “What can we help you with?” search bar is essential to find some reference material quickly. I used it a lot while taking the exam. Google.com is a good place to search Google Analytics materials, but it will lead you to other sites that might have unrelated Google Analytics content, so Google Analytics Help search would help you better since it will only refer you to Google Analytics support materials or user-submitted materials.
  • Google Analytics. Open your Google Analytics window. If you don’t have one, you would probably want to sign up for it first, and play around with it little bit before taking the exam, because you would need to know the kind of reports that Google Analytics has, how to access them, and what information would you get from each report.
  • Google Analytics’ Official Youtube Videos. If you want to learn more about the real application of Google Analytics and what’s the best practices for implementing Google Analytics for your site and business, Google Analytics Youtube channel is the perfect place
  • Tool: URL Builder – Analytics Help. When you are asked to create a tagged-URL, this little tool will help you to construct a proper URL-tagged link.
  • Google Analytics Tracking Code API. This is a good place to get more detail information on some GA Tracking Code questions.
  • Regular Expression (Regex) IP Address Exclusion
  • Metric Definitions

Google Analytics IQ – Learning Focus

The exam was pretty thorough in covering all materials about Google Analytics, so the learning focus here is more about topics that I wasn’t really familiar when studying for the exam. You might already know the topics below pretty well, but if you were a newbie like me, you would probably need to focus on these topics.

  • E-commerce tracking – method used to track e-commerce transaction, when to use e-commerce value and goal value
  • Filter setup – Regex for IP exclusion and link parsing, match type, order of execution
  • Cookies – type of cookies, expiry
  • Multiple domain and sub-domain tracking
  • URL tagging – what tags being used and how to use them
  • Pageview and event tracking – which one is better, how to set them up
  • Google Adword integration

If you are serious about taking the exam and dive-in deeply into Google Analytics world, I would recommend you to buy these two books from Avinash Kausik and one book by Brian Clifton.

Conclusion

At the end, it all depends on how well you prepared for this exam. I was preparing for about one week to take this exam. Some of you might need more time, and some of you might need less time to ace this exam. One thing that will help you is to take this exam during quiet time when you won’t be disturbed by your surroundings or other tasks. You need to realize that you are under 90 min time limit here. I know that you can pause the exam, but if I were you, I want to finish the exam once and for all. I mean…it took me 30 min to convince myself to begin the exam, so I don’t want to go through that “mental agony” again. You want to finish the exam in one take, while all the materials are still fresh on your head.

I would also use this time to thank you several websites that helped preparing me for this exam: Danny Ng, WhiteRabbit at Thinkerati.com, and Heidi Strom Moon. These fellas helped me to muster up my courage to take this exam. Granted this exam is not SUPER comprehensive like a CPA exam; but still, this is my first certification ever…so it’s a big deal for me. My hope is that I can guide you along to the right direction just like these websites did for me.

If you passed the exam, you will receive a Google Analytics Qualified Individual digital certificate like the one below. Good luck with your exam. I hope I can help you little bit in preparing for it. Let me know how it goes for you. If you took the exam before and think that I need to add something to this preparation page, feel free to leave comments below.

Author: Steven Sentosa

Steven Sentosa is a passionate blogger who likes to share his life and help others through his blog, MyInternetCorner.com. He offers social media services and Internet marketing consultation per client's request. You can reach him via Twitter @StevenSentosa.

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  • Thinkerati2008

    Congratulations, Steven.

  • Thanks for the shout-out, Steven, and congratulations. I’m curious about one thing since it’s been over a year since I took the test. I’ve heard that once the test window is open, it now locks you out from being able to switch to other browser windows. It sound like that wasn’t the case for you?

  • In my case, I was still able to switch between windows and tabs. It basically opens a new browser window for you.rnrnHowever, if you take Google Adwords exam, it will lock you down so you can’t switch to other windows or tabs. I think you have to download Google’s own application to take Google Adwords exam, so that’s why. It’s not the case with GA IQ exam.

  • Thanks for your comments on the IQ cert. I’m looking to take this next week and wanted to find out where they stumped people.

  • Good luck, Steve! You’ll do just fine if you go over the Conversion University and get familiar with GA interface. Let me know later how it goes.

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  • hey thanks for great tips …im going to give test probably in next week …hope it will good for mencurrently im doing preparation for that and gone though most of all links …and its really tough for reading all things…:( but its great things too that im getting some good information also …..anyways wish me best luck for test…hope i will do better 🙂

    • Great to hear that, Kama. I remembered that it was hard to take that firstrnstep to learn all this thing, and it was even harder to make up my mind tornactually take the test, but I’m glad I did.rnrnI wish you the best for your upcoming test. Just make sure you have all thernresources ready in front of you for quick look. I’m sure you’ll do well. Letrnme know how it goes. 🙂

  • Hi Steven,nnthanks a lot for that post. I passed my exam today.nnregardsnnLeogf

    • That’s great Leogf…I’m happy for you. It just feels good to know thatrnthose time that you invested were paid off, right?

  • Many thanks for the tips, you helped me get 93% today.nnCheersnnRichard MillsnSearch Specialistnhttp://www.digistraction.net

    • Wow…I’m glad to hear that. You did well.nnTo me, getting the certificate is good, but the knowledge that I got while preparing for the exam was worth more. I can now use all the techniques that I learned to extract more useful data from GA.nnGood luck for your business.

      • Sarah

         hi steven, I failed in my exam. 🙁 When can I attempt GAIQ test again. What is the time duration?

        • Hi Sarah…I’m sorry to hear that you failed the exam, but don’t give up. You have to wait for 14 days before you take another exam and you can only take 2 exams in one 30 days period. So for example if you failed the test today (09/18), you can take another test on 10/02. However, if you failed the 2nd exam, you have to wait until 10/18 before you can take another one. I hope it helps to clarify the time duration. Wish you the best…let me know how it goes!

  • Al

    Does this mean you have to retake the exam every 18 months?

    • I’m not so sure either, but I think your name will be listed on Google’s master list of all GA qualified individual for the period of 18 months after you took the exam. It’s up to you if you want to retake the exam or not after that. It depends on the requirements at the company you are working for, if they required one.

  • Jeremy Burns

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been studying to take the exam for about two weeks. I’m at that “mental agony” stage that you mentioned above. How thorough did you know the material before taking the exam? I took detailed notes from Conversion University and did additional research on other content that needed more information.

    • I only researched through other sites that provided similar posts like you saw on this page. Other than that, you just need a little bit of working knowledge of GA, detailed notes from Conversion University, and clarity of mind 🙂 Wish you the best for your GA exam…let me know how it goes!

  • David Ko

    Hi there, I’ve been using GA for 2 years for reporting for my company. i’m planning to take the test right now, but procrastinating it, i’ve took about 1 week running through the lesson videos GA provided, and still having last minute nervous breakdowns! preventing me to start the test. 

    • Hi David…thx for stopping by. I also faced that same problem when I considered to take GA exam. However, some self-questions would help you (or made it worse hahahah…anyway):
      1.) Have you studied well? It doesn’t have to be perfect. Well means thoroughly and you understood every subjects, especially the important subjects I have mentioned in the post, “Learning Focus”.
      2.) Have you rest well? This might not make sense for you. However, you need to rest well before take the exam. Don’t rush it. Set aside a time where you can start the exam fresh and finish the exam under proper time.
      3.) Prepare ALL resources you have. I mean open your notes, tablet, cheat sheets, or whatever resources you have to help you through the exam. Google.com will be your best when all notes and cheat sheets failed.
      4.) Lastly, this might not be too comforting, but just in case you failed the exam, you can always retake the exam again. It’s not a life and death matter….LOL, so take it easy.

      Ok…good luck, David. I wish you the best. Tell me how it goes!

      • David Ko

        Hey Steve, Thanks for your advice! And Voila! 

        I’ve managed to pass the exam just yet. It was dreadful, but in the end, I’m proud of myself! 

        Some crazy moments initially, not understanding the questions, the phrasing, trying hard to find loopholes and pitfalls in the questions. I started the test at 12 am (Singapore time) and I’ve just ended it.

        Thanks and do look forward to sharing more! Thanks btw, for your site, it’s a blessing to all of us!

        • Hi David, somehow I missed your reply, so I apologized not replying your comment sooner.

          What you just shared is such a great news 🙂 and I really appreciate that you spent the time to drop by to my blog and left a comment. It’s comments like yours that made me continue sharing blog posts. I hope your comment also encourage others, who are in the edge of their seat trying to decide whether to take the exam or not, to finally take the decision.

          I hope the analytics qualification will do you good for your career in the future and also for your own personal use.

          Keep in touch,
          Steven

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for this post and your advice!!!  I have just gotten into web/tech industry when I started preparing for this certification, so I am pretty new, but grew up with computers and social media and did some qualitative analysis in college so I think I have been able pick up some of the concepts pretty fast.  However, I didn’t quite realize how extensive and challenging the test is until I started researching more and getting more into the weeds.  I was doing this in preparation for a possible industry change, and so do not have an actual website to use to practice with.  My friend is letting me use his website, but they do not have any Goals/Conversion and Ecommerce tracking.  I was wondering if you or anyone reading this knows whether there are sample transactional websites you can access the HTML for to post your GA tracking code to practice with?  Thanks so much!

    • Hi Erica…keep up the good work! The more you dive into this, the more comfortable you will be in this field. It was also hard for me at the beginning, but it become “manageable” now 🙂

      As far as a website that allows you to insert your own GA code…I have never heard of it 🙁 I’ll update u when I found one.

      Update me how your learning journey goes, ok!

  • Leonardo Gallina

    Thanks Steven for your precious advices. I’m taking the exam on next January, so I feel a little nervous, but confident at all. Thanks again and keep doing your best. Regards, from Italy.

    • Hi Leonardo…thanks for stopping by. Relax and JUST DO IT! Great success will await you…. 🙂

  • andreas kramers

    Hi Steven,
    Thanks for the great advice! I’ve been playing with analytics on my sites for a while now, but since I started studying GA the whole thing started to make good sense. It’s a powerful tool and it will help me increase the quality of my sites and with that their ranking too.
    Best regards,
    Andreas

    • Hi Andreas,

      That’s the beauty of GA. It’s challenging to be studied, but in the same time, it’s really fun to play around with and it will improve your site when used properly…not to mention it’s FREE 🙂

      Regards,
      Steven

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