GAIQ: How I prepared…and passed it!

It’s been exactly a month since I started to work at Measurelab, and so far it has been an amazing experience. Much of the industry jargon and tools are starting to sound familiar and I can make tea or coffee for almost anyone in the team without having to ask how they take it.

In order to celebrate the fact that I had survived for a whole month, Mark suggested me to have a go at the Google Analytics Individual Qualification, (which I did..and passed!)

For those of you that are not familiar with it, the GAIQ is the test that Google has made available to demonstrate proficiency in the use of Google Analytics. It used to cost $50 to take it but this has now changed and anyone can take it and get a certification of completion by visiting the Google Partners page.

And so last week I started to prepare for it and agreed for Tuesday 2nd of December to be the D-day.

Before I crack on explaining how I prepared myself for the exam, I’ll point out a few of basics and also some of the updates that the test has had recently:

Remains the same:

  • 70 Questions
  • 90 mins to complete the entire test
  • Need to get 80% to pass (56 questions)

Recent changes:

  • You are no longer allowed to pause the exam (hit panic attack button now)
  • You can’t mark or review questions
  • I didn’t came across any multiple choice questions although found a few with “all/none/some of these answers are correct”

Also, although there were a couple of questions regarding Google Tag Manager, none of the ones that I had to answer covered the new Mobile App Fundamentals Course (but I’d would recommend you go through it if you are thinking about taking it!).

So if you are thinking about taking the test any time soon, here are my recommendations:

1- The basics: The courses already available in the Google Academy are the bulk of what you need to get down to pass the exam, I personally think that by being really comfortable with these you already stand a good chance of passing the test. The ones I did (watched the videos, read the text version and completed the activities) are:

Although the pause exam option is no longer available, 90mins it’s still enough time to check and/or look for information in regards to some of the questions if you are not 100% sure. I created bookmarks for every single page of the course, as well as the text version, sample tests and glossary. Crtl+F-ing through these can be really helpful if you get stuck with a question.

I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it was to do the sample tests at the end of each lesson as well as the final assessment at the of each course, most of the questions in the exam are taken word for word from these!

2- Some “tricky” bits: There are a few aspects of the course that I think are worth nailing down before taking the test, as a lot of the questions relate to these topics:

  • The main hierarchies of GA:
    • Account > Property > View
    • User> Session >Hit
  • Understand the differences between Source and Medium – there are quite a few questions about these
  • Goals and Ecommerce: differences, similarities, uses and how to implement them
  • Compulsory and optional campaign parameters (and that the order of these in the url is does not affect its functionality)
  • Adding data to GA: Measurement Protocol, Dimension Widening and Cost Data Import, when and how to use them

3- Key reports: Apart from the basic ones, there are a few of the most “recent” ones that I would recommend you are confident with, such as:

  • Real-Time: to check recent added content and whether the GA codes are working or not among other functionalities
  • Intelligence Reports: Automatic and Custom Alerts and when to use them
  • Site Search Report: which helps immensely with keyword discovery..
  • Site Speed Report: what can you measure with this test?
  • Goal Flow Report: and how it can help you to improve the performance of pages and conversion rate

4- Attribution and Attribution Models: Knowing how each one works and when is preferable to use them would prove useful when taking the test. Multichannel Funnels, Assisted Conversions and the different roles that they can play in the conversion path.

5- Relax and take the exam when and where you feel more comfortable: The test is not meant to trick you, most of the time the obvious answer is the correct one, but you’ll want to ensure that you are at the peak of your mental capabilities when taking it. I’m an early bird and work better in the mornings and when the office is quiet – and because this never happens, the office being quiet, that is- I did the exam in the meeting room, with a cup of coffee and meditation music on the background, whilst the rest of the team were listening to Christmas carols full blast in the office.

And that’s it! It is not a complicated test and I got most of the study done in a couple of days – although I have spent the last month navigating through the reporting interface – but, if time allows, I’d recommend watching the videos whilst taking notes and then reading the text version too.

Thanks once again for reading and if you are taking the exam any time soon…best of luck!

Also, if you have any questions regarding the exam or any of the tips above, do not hesitate to get in touch.


Hasta la vista!

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Written by

Juan Barros

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