What is the exam?

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification is an exam offered by Google that tests your understanding of GA. If you pass it, you receive a certification that lasts 18months. It only costs $50 and study/preparation time should take no longer than a few days (even if you have no experience with GA!). While the exam is 1.5 hours, it has a pause feature that enables you to research the more difficult questions.

Why take it?

It provides you with the motivation to get up to speed with this vital data measurement and reporting tool. Not only does it build your knowledge of specific terms and keystrokes, but also the business reasoning behind and benefits from utilization of the platform. Plus, it is a resume notch – I’ve seen more and more analytic job postings on Monster.com listing this certification, as well as many ¬†linked-in users posting this to their skill sets.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Here are my top five resources:

  1. Google Analytics account: Since the exam tests specific terms and keystrokes, learning by doing is very effective. Sign up for an account and get access to a website – the help files and blog are great resources as well.
  2. Conversion University: Created by Google employees and GA experts, this video series covers four topics in a little over 2 hours. These are content rich – if you take notes, you will need to pause and it will likely take you 4 to 5 hours if you are new to GA.
  3. Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics: Brian Clifton (one of the Google employees that created Conversion University) released the third edition of this book in April of 2012. This provides the depth required to understand why you use GA. You can definitely pass the exam without this book, but if you are serious about learning GA to improve your career and/or business, this is a must-read (plus, the book comes with a $50 voucher for adwords).
  4. Google Analytics Practice Test: You can take this practice test for free, and no sign-up is required. There are roughly a dozen of expert GA contributors to this site. For each question, there are explanations behind each correct and in-correct answer.
  5. Blog Posts: OK, I really have 6 resources. The first blog entry is by Jens on July 2, 2010: GAIQ Exam Test Notes. This is full of details and provides a topic-by-topic explanation of the exam. The other blog post is written by the Chief Research Officer at Slingshot SEO, Inc.  Google Analytics Certification and How to Pass the GAIQ Test was promoted to seomoz.org in February 2012 and has a useful chain of comments at the bottom.

Where do I take it?

The online Google Testing Center provides this exam as well as several others. I’ve searched for active vouchers but so far have come up empty handed… Good luck on the exam.