One thing that can make your resume, portfolio, or professional profile stand out is certification in an area of expertise. If you are an analytics professional, you can add a notch to your professional belt by taking the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test.
Even if you don’t need the certification for your career, you still might want to consider taking the test to learn more about Google Analytics features you haven’t used yet. Either way, here’s what you need to know about taking the Google Analytics IQ test, from how it works to some helpful resources.
The best place to study for the Google Analytics IQ test is Google Analytics IQ Lessons. The lessons are broken into 14 presentation videos that are two to eleven minutes long. In addition to the presentations, Google points you to review articles for integrating Analytics and AdWords.
But don’t stop there. Check out informative blog posts with pointers for passing the test, including the following:
- Google Analytics Certification and How to Pass the GAIQ Test – February 2012
- Handy Google Analytics Reference Guide (80+ Tips, Definitions & Rules) – December 2012
- How to Pass the Google Analytics IQ Test – December 2012
- How to Pass the Google Analytics IQ Test in Two Days: Zero to Hero – July 2013
From Google Analytics IQ Lessons, you will see that the test covers interpreting reports, AdWords integration, advanced segments, goals, intelligence alerts, filters, regex, event tracking, ecommerce tracking, site search, and funnels. Of course, don’t expect it to be a matter of studying the definitions and matching the multiple choice answers. The test presents you with some real-life applications of different topics, and it’s your job to determine real-life answers.
For example, instead of just asking what bounce rate is (which they do), they’ll also ask you what a high bounce rate on a landing page associated with a particular keyword suggests. You also might be asked to select the correct coding for ecommerce tracking on a site where the affiliate field is not defined.
This is where having hands-on access to a Google Analytics profile with all of the above-mentioned topics enabled comes in handy. You’ll have your own real-life application to test when test time comes.
How it Works
To take the test, you will need to create an account for the Google Testing Center. This is a separate login from your main Google account. Be sure to use an email address that always will be yours, in order to access your account and results, or at least one that will be yours for the next 18 months, as that is how long your certificate will be good for.
The test consists of 70 questions, and you have 90 minutes to complete it. The test can be paused to stop the timer, so you can take more time. Altogether, you can spread the time out over a total of 48 hours to complete the test.
Why are you allowed to stop and start? Because it’s an open book test. While you might want to take the test without any help so that you can really gauge your skills, you have the option to open up Google Analytics and try the questions hands-on or simply search Google for any questions you’re unsure of.
To pass the test, you must get at least 80% (or 56 out of the 70 questions) correct. You can mark questions as done or to be reviewed at the end.
If you don’t pass the test the first time, you can take it again after a wait period. Each attempt is $50. You can do a Google search for google analytics test voucher code to find discount codes for 20% – 50% off.
Resources to Keep Open
Since you can have and use any resource throughout the test, here are some you’ll want to have available. These are beneficial, both while taking the test and while working with Google Analytics on a regular basis:
- Google Analytics itself – To save time, open up a profile that has goals, ecommerce tracking, and AdWords integration already set up and pulling in data for reference.
- URL Builder – This helps you manually tag your URLs for website tracking. If you’re not using it to really track individual marketing campaigns involving links, you definitely should consider it.
- IP Address Range Tool – There likely will be a question on how to format an expression excluding a range of IP Addresses. This tool will help you answer that.
What to Do (and not do) with Your Certification
Once you pass the test, you can set up a link with your certificate number and score, if you choose to share with others. (Also, people will be able to find you in the database for qualified individuals.)
As far as sharing your certificate with the world, the one thing you can’t do is make a badge with the Google logo. They consider that an infringement on their trademark rights and can revoke your qualification if you violate it. So if you want an image representation, you’ll have to screenshot the certificate you receive.
Also, be sure to mention your certification on your resume, LinkedIn profile (under the certification section), website, blog, employee bio, and anywhere else it is relevant. If an employer or client is deciding between you and another hire, the certification may be the thing that puts you up on top.
Whether you need the qualification or not, preparing for (and taking) the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test is a great way to learn more about Google Analytics. You’ll probably walk away with a greater understanding of how Google Analytics works, and you’ll know what Google considers the most important features / information provided by their tool. You’ll also have some great resources to reference and ideas for ways to implement Google Analytics as you’re working with your own website or your clients’ websites.
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Be sure to sign up for her free mini-training course, 8 Days to Promotable Content, and learn how to create content that people love to share! You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.