Focused steps to become Google Analytics Certified in two weeks

Last year, I had achieved my Google Analytics Individual Qualification Certification with 84% marks. I know, I just crossed the passing score of 80% with a little margin but I am glad that I followed the basic principles required to clear any examination. For last few days, I was being asked to share my tips about this so here is my first post in this direction.

It was really a fun and exciting at the same time when I felt that now I should take this exam. I was using Google Analytics for my own blog and some other relevant sites to my work as I manage them but I was not utilizing the full features of Google Analytics and it was always a wonderful application beyond its dashboard so I decided to take time to study this and to learn more about it.

Approx. 2 weeks before to the exam, I started planning to take this exam. If I would have given more time to myself, I am sure I could have achieved more than 90% easily because I skipped some of the most common but advanced sections which took out some of my marks 🙁 – anyway, here is my view about Google Analytics and certification exam.

Before you make plan to take this exam, please ask below questions to yourself:

  • Why do I want to take this exam? or What is my goal by getting certified?
    – If this is nothing more than a certification to add in the resume for you then please avoid taking this exam as it won’t help you much then. It is a dedicated course/program for Google Analytics only and if you are really interested or working in the similar areas, it is useful for you else not.
  • How much does it cost?
    – It costs $50 as one time exam fee. You will be required to purchase exam credits before you can take this exam. Exam credits can be purchased on the Google Test Center located at http://google.starttest.com/
  • Where can I find study material to prepare for Google Analytics certification program?
    – You can find more details about the certification study material at Google Analytics Learning Center. Google has compiled a list of video presentations to make understanding of concepts really easier.
  • Share the link for Google Test Center.
    – You can find Google Test Center at http://google.starttest.com/. Please note that you would need to create a new ID for this, your default google or gmail account login won’t work here. You can use this link to find existing certified professionals too.
  • Are there any prerequisites?
    – Although there are no mandatory requirements to fulfill (except a focused mind and some time to prepare) yet it is advisable that you have a Google Analytics account and a test site to play with the data capturing methods and reports. You would be able to find a checklist to setup and learn the uses of Google Analytics here.

Anyway, here are the steps which I followed for target:

  1. Click here to Visit Google Analytics Learning Center page which has a series of video presentations which are really helpful to understand Google Analytics, its uses and lot more about it. It is not only useful to clear the exam but very useful to learn effective use of Google Analytics for your use.
  2. I found out easily that there are approximately 240 minutes of videos so I divided my week time for relevant sections and I started watching videos and taking quick notes from the videos. Kindly make sure to follow this as there will be many simple questions which will be hidden in these videos 🙂 and you can simply crack them if you take notes properly. I have my notes ready so I will try to share them in some other post as possible.
  3. I distributed my time to do one hour study daily (to make approx. 14 hours of study in two weeks keeping in my mind that there are only 4 hours of video to actually refer), it allowed me to take notes in enough time as well as to revise notes and videos.
  4. I distributed my time in 3 major parts i.e.
    a) To simply watching the videos and taking quick notes
    b) Again watching the videos and trying to replicate the same with my Google Analytics account
    c) Revise notes and videos – during this part, I also referred some other links to better understand advanced concepts (this can be easily googled)
  5. Make sure to revise all the videos with your notes at least one day in advance to your test date.
  6. Once you complete the exam successfully, don’t forget to refer to those videos and notes as it will really save your time and will help over and over again.

Tips and Suggestions:
This is the only Google test which can be paused in the middle and your answers will be saved. You can leave the desk and can come back to complete the test within 120 hours of test start. The test can be paused as many as times you want but it is not recommended. I would highly recommend you to take all the answers in one sitting as it not only increase your confidence but also you will see that there will be questions more of common sense and general awareness rather than any typical rocket science 🙂

What is next?
I hope, you have liked your journey so far so here are some links to help you for more advanced tasks:
Google Analytics Help Center: http://support.google.com/analytics/?hl=en
Google Analytics Developer Program: http://code.google.com/intl/en/apis/analytics/

I am working on a series of posts about Google Analytics and it’s certification program which will cover how to learn Google Analytics concepts in two weeks as well as to clear the exam with good rank. The primary purpose of this post series would be to bring a general awareness about the exam terror and the brilliance of Google Analytics

This is my story. I am eager to know yours too. Please share your story and experience with me, use comment box below and let me know how did you make this possible 🙂 Cheers!

Some good references:

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-analytics-certification-how-to-pass-the-gaiq-test

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