Passing the Google Analytics IQ Test

Posted by in Analytics, Training on June 28th, 2012 1 Comment

The Google Analytics IQ Exam is a formal test provided by Google for individuals to prove their proficiency in Google Analytics.

The test is conducted online within the Google testing centre, http://google.starttest.com, consists of 70 multiple choice questions and lasts 90 minutes.

The test has an 80% pass score threshold.

And it’s not easy…

I had been putting off the Google Analytics IQ test for some time. Partially due to the recent Google Analytics updates but mainly because everyone kept on telling me how hard the test was.

But you can’t put these things off forever, especially when you fancy yourself as a bit of an Analytics aficionado, and so I bit the bullet, scheduled an afternoon of study time and finally took the test.

This post is about the resources I used to study and prepare for the Analytics IQ test and how I performed on the day. You can see more on our Analytics and Insights service, or get in touch!

Preparing for the Google Analytics IQ test

testcentre Passing the Google Analytics IQ TestThe first step to preparing for the test is to understand how it is structured. As explained above you have 90 minutes to answer 70 multiple choice questions. The test can be paused and you can return to your progress at any time within 5 days of starting. The test costs $50 and can only be taken twice every 30 days with a 14 day wait between retakes.

The catch is that a large number of these multiple choice questions require you to select multiple answers or ‘all that apply’ which reduces the odds of a ‘lucky guess’ significantly.

This means you’ll have to make sure you know all the answers!

Thankfully the test is open in the sense that you can use any notes you have made previously or any other resource you might need (Some of which are listed below).

Be warned however that although referring to study notes throughout the test may help you confirm any finer points you should not rely on other people’s documented knowledge to complete this test. As well as the fact you only have 75 seconds per answer you will find that many questions require a fairly deep understanding of the Google Analytics to interpret correctly, let alone answer.

Thankfully there are a number of great resources online to help you build upon your previous knowledge of Google Analytics.

But first you need…

Practical Experience !

You are really going to struggle with this test if you do not have at least some working knowledge of Google Analytics.

I’m not suggesting you will need years and years of professional experience but you should have some experience in:

  •       Setting up accounts / profiles / web properties
  •       Advanced implementations including cross domain tracking.
  •       Ecommerce tracking
  •       Filtering profiles and filter best practice
  •       Advance Segments
  •       Customised reporting
  •       Setting up events, virtual page views, goals and funnels

If there is anything above you are not entirely sure about or if you haven’t had the opportunity to setup ecommerce etc., head over to the Google help centre http://support.google.com/analytics/?hl=en and read through a few real life problems and the solutions provided by the community.  You can learn an awful lot on these pages.

Google Conversion University

http://www.google.com/analytics/iq.html

The Google Conversion University provides a full course covering every aspect of Analytic that you might come across in the test. It is also a great resource for learning in its own right and you should enjoy soaking up all the knowledge even if you decide that you aren’t quite ready for the test.

It is worth setting aside a whole afternoon to run though these as there is a lot of content to get through and you will probably need to pause regularly to take notes.

Though you will want to watch, thoroughly understand and create revision notes for all of the sections I would recommend paying extra special attention to:

  •       Regex and Google Analytic
  •       Domains and Subdomains
  •       Cookies and Google Analytics
  •       E-commerce Tracking
  •       Goals in Google Analytics
  •       Campaign Tracking and AdWords Integration
  •       Account Administration

Once you have worked through the whole course and you feel confident about all of the content covered it is time to test your mettle against some practice problems!

Brushing up on your JavaScript

If you have no coding experience what so ever it might be worth spending a little time brushing up on JavaScript (the programming language you will be using to implement Google Analytics tracking).

The good news is that there are a bunch of fantastic resources for learning JavaScript. My personal favourite is http://www.codecademy.com which walks you through the basics before moving on to more advanced concepts.  An understanding of everything up to and including functions may prove useful in the test.

Practice problems

As well as great resources for learning more about analytics there are also some fantastic ways to gauge your knowledge without paying the $50 test fee.

The most valuable of these is http://www.googleanalyticstest.com which simulates the Google test fairly faithfully and will give you a score at the end. You can choose the subject area and the number of questions you want to answer at the beginning of each test.

I would strongly recommend that you spend the time running these unofficial tests covering all subjects until you are consistently scoring above 80%.

Once you are confident that you know your stuff it is also worth looking over these more in-depth problems:

http://www.slingshotseo.com/resources/guides/gaiq-test-practice-problems

If you don’t have any trouble with these you are just about ready to do the test!

Taking the Google Analytics IQ test

It’s the big day!  You have done all of your work and you are ready to prove your worth.

Opened references

Before you start, it won’t hurt to have some resources open for reference whilst you take the test.  Remember, it’s an open test and so checking isn’t cheating! I would recommend having the following open and ready:

  • Google Analytics – this is SO important, once of the easiest ways to check specific functionality is to use the tool.
  • All of your notes – you did take notes right?  Good, make sure they are easily accessible, especially the cookie stuff which can come up a lot in the test!
  • Google Analytics Help Centre – if a question isn’t answered in the help centre, it probably isn’t a question in the test
  • Google – trusty Google!  If only we could have used Google in our A-Levels maths exam!
  • Conversion University – you aren’t going to have much time to run through these presentations but they can be useful when you are checking answers you are unsure of.
  • PPChero IQ test reference guide – http://www.ppchero.com/guide-to-google-analytics-iq-testing-c-is-for-cookie – This page is well laid out full of useful reference including a lot of the cookie stuff – Thanks PPC Hero!

Test Strategy

Ready… set… GO!  So, you have 70 questions to get through with roughly 75 seconds for each answer.  Google makes things a little easier to manage your time by giving you the option to mark questions for review or even to skip questions to return to later on if you have time.

My chosen strategy was to run through all the questions once skipping any question that I couldn’t answer immediately and marking those that I wanted to check fully afterwards. I estimate that I answered around 60% of the questions on this first run.

On my second run I went over ever question closely making sure that all questions were answered and marked if I had even the smallest doubt in my mind.  By the time I got the end of my second run I was fairly confident about at least 70% of my answers

On my third run, with around 30 minutes left, I went over every question that I had marked to cross check against Google Analytics itself and the other resources I had at my fingertips.  As mentioned above, a lot of questions are not directly answerable via these resources; many required both some common sense and experience but it was good to check specifics at this stage.

Finally, with around 5 minutes left, I ran over every single question once more to make sure I hadn’t made any silly mistakes.

 

The results

Clicking on the ‘finish test’ button is a tense moment.  It is fairly hard to gauge exactly how well you have done and, although I was fairly confident, I did not relish the thought of having to tell the team that I had failed considering I spend so much of my time using Analytics.

Thankfully there was no need to worry as I managed to ace the test…

cert1 1024x793 Passing the Google Analytics IQ Test

with 100%! All the hard work paid off nicely.

result 1024x219 Passing the Google Analytics IQ Test

I hope that if you follow the step above you will be able to pass the test first time without too much trouble.  Don’t be put off by people telling you the test is hard! It is but if you have some working experience and you study hard you’ll be fine!

If you have any other suggestion for good resources please include them in the comments below and please do let me know how you get on!

 

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