Google Analytics Exam Study Guide with Notes to Help You Prepare
What a feeling… I recently took and passed the Google Analytics IQ Exam! I had such a great experience in preparing for the test, that I want to encourage you to take it too!
At first, the idea of taking this exam was quite intimidating (versus taking any other Google AdWords exam), simply because Google Analytics is so much more robust than AdWords.
In about three to four months of slow but consistent reading, training, and practicing, I was able to pass the IQ Exam with a solid score and was able to add another certification notch on my belt! Just as my study method worked for me, it can work for you too.
I have broken down the main resources I used to prepare for the test and allocated a percentage of time I recommend you dedicate to each subject so you can get the most out of your efforts! It is challenging enough to balance one’s personal life, day-to-day working responsibilities, and study time, so this guide is meant to be a simple how-to procedure that follows the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle.
Step 1: Dedicate 35% of your Time to Reading:
Brian Clifton’s book helped me best understand the basics and background of Analytics. I used my iPad to read through the book whenever I had a chance to study. It helps to have the book on a Kindle or tablet, so that you are able to whip out the book whenever, wherever. The portability of the material provides you great independence that does not have to depend on a stable Wi-Fi connection.
This book was great at teaching the basics, configuration, implication, analysis, and more advanced implementations of Google Analytics. We actually shared the book internally here at White Shark Media and started a Book Club for employees. Every week we would meet to discuss chapters in the book.
This not only helped me review the ideas that we discussed, but it also helped me plan out micro-deadlines for the employee’s book reading efforts that added a little hint of healthy pressure on the participants. I would have to read a chapter to be able to participate and give a coherent explanation of each chapter to my colleagues.
I found discussing the book with our talented staff quite stimulating and rewarding. It was great to read a book written by one of the founders and leaders of Google Analytics and its respective Certification Program.
Step 2: 20% of your Time Should be Devoted to Practicing on Live Google Analytics Accounts
Practice makes perfect. Getting acquainted with the Google Analytics User Interface helps a lot to prepare you for the exam. I recommend going through each chapter and accessing an actual Google Analytics account and put these recommendations I give you into practice.
At the very least, you can look for interesting real-life live examples on a chapter-by-chapter basis. It is quite exciting to read about some sort of application within Analytics that can help out your accounts.
AIDA – Analytics is Putting Data into Action – an acronym coined by our CEO, Gary Garth in his latest article, 4 Google Analytics Metrics Every E-Commerce Marketer Should Understand, truly puts it all together. It makes no sense to have site metrics if you do not produce any actionable results.
Step 3: 35% of your Time Should be Devoted to the Google Analytics Practice Test
The practice test is great since it gives actual explanations to the correct responses to the questions on the test. Sometimes we do not understand the rationale behind certain questions and are clueless as to the correct answers. The practice test aids in best comprehending tracking, cookies, profiles, regular expressions, virtual events, and all the more complicated uses of Analytics.
The great part of the practice test is that you can create micro tests (say 25 to 50 questions long) that help you further focus in on a specific section or topic that you feel are weaknesses for you, or of miscellaneous interesting reader content, depending on your study time availability.
These small quizzes are great to take when you have a couple of spare minutes between meetings or when you want to have a small end-of-day review. If you plan on taking the exam soon, I recommend you take practice tests and review incorrect answers frequently for about 2-4 weeks. Personally, I would attribute the greater portion of my success in the Analytics exam to the practice test since its degree of difficulty is so high.
Step 4: Training Videos on Analytics
Google Videos (10%) Google Analytics IQ Lessons
Google Analytics IQ videos are not very engaging, but are very time-effective and go through all the topics you need to master in order to pass the test. These videos are short on real-life examples and leave truly understanding the Google Analytics applications solely on you but are still good for laying down a solid theoretical foundation.
Duration 4h, 54m / Released: Oct 08, 2010, Updated: Dec 20, 2011
Finally, Lynda.com has great video tutorials on Google Analytics. These videos are good on the applications of Analytics and are a good source for a back-to-basics and advanced knowledge application of Analytics. These videos do not come from the original source but are great for large groups, teams and for watching at home. My wife actually understood the value of Analytics by going through the first couple of videos and demanded that I install it on her website!
Study Recommendations for your Exam:
Step 1: Devote 35% of your Time to Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
Step 2: Devote 20% of your Time to Practicing on Live Google Analytics Accounts
Step 3: 35% of your Time Should be Devoted to the Analytics Practice Test
Step 4: Devote 20% of your time to: