This post was originally published in January 2020 by Alex Landro, and last updated in March 2022 by Sara Niemiec.
The Google Analytics IQ can be daunting when you approach it, whether you are redoing your certification or if it’s your first time taking it.
As marketers, Google Analytics is one of the most important tools we have at our fingertips -- knowing how to use it can be critical! Google rolls out new features all of the time, like their newest version called Google Analytics 4, so maintaining an up-to-date certification every 12 months is strongly recommended.
Whether you’re looking to start your career in Analytics, another branch of digital marketing or you’re an industry vet looking to recertify, read on for our top 5 tips on how to get your Google Analytics certification:
- Take Advantage of Study Guides
- Give Yourself Enough Time to Study
- Get Used to the Google Analytics Interface
- Choose a Quiet Place to Take The Exam
- Pick a Time to Take The Exam & Stick to It
What is The GAIQ Exam?
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification, also called the GAIQ exam, is a free exam and certification offered by Google Analytics Academy that allows marketers to test their knowledge and learn advanced concepts within the platform.
Some of the benefits of becoming GAIQ certified are:
- Gain hands-on experience within the GA interface
- Earn a downloadable certification that is valid for 12 months (add this to your LinkedIn or resume to show off your skillset!)
- Show off enhanced credibility among your clients and business associates
- Improve your analytics knowledge and expertise
How is The Exam Formatted?
No need to worry if you are a bad test taker or get stressed at the thought of multiple choice. The Google Analytics certification exam is 90 minutes and includes a total of 70 questions that vary from multiple-choice, true/false, to matching (no fill in the blanks here!)
You need an 80% to pass this exam, but it can be taken multiple times - you just need to wait 24 hours between attempts.
💡 Related: GAIQ Frequently Asked Questions
1) Take Advantage of the Study Guides
Google has a ton of resources out there to get you ready for the exam.
Google recommends reviewing both study guides prior to taking the GAIQ exam. Every time I’m preparing to retake my GAIQ, I always find these courses immensely helpful as a refresher. They offer mini-assessments after each section, so you can get a feel for which sections you know well, and which you might need to double down on studying further.
Also, both guides are go-at-your-own-pace, so you can take the classes when it best fits your schedule.
In addition to helping you prepare for the GAIQ, after you study and pass the supplemental certifications, you can add them to your LinkedIn profile to help showcase your skill set:
2) Give Yourself Enough Time to Study
Speaking of going at your own pace, the study guides are there for a reason. The GAIQ is by no means easy, but if you give yourself enough time to actually review the material, you should have no problem passing on your first or second try. Here’s my tried and true study schedule:
Space Out Your Preparation
Studying over several short periods of time vs. one massive block might be more effective for you. Don’t be afraid to try out different styles of studying to find out what works best for you!
Schedule Time to Study on Your Calendar
Actually put 30 minutes to 1-hour study blocks on your calendar each week and stick to it! Rewarding yourself with something you love after studying is also a great motivation. If you are able to prepare during your 9-5, adding a calendar event can also help others know when you are busy and might be slow to respond.
Follow Google’s Study Units
Each study guide is broken up into 4 units. Break up your study time so that you are only reviewing 1 unit at a time. Even if you work on multiple units at a time, make sure to break up the time into blocks so you can digest the information.
At the end of each unit, there is a small quiz that you can use to test your newfound knowledge. For additional practice, you can write down these questions on flashcards so you can study on the go.
3) Familiarize Yourself With the Google Analytics Interface
If you want to take the GAIQ and you’ve never actually logged in to Google Analytics, it might be more challenging for you to pass the exam. Most of the exam is made up of scenario-based questions so you will want to take it for a test drive so you can get a better understanding of all of the available resources.
It’s recommended to have Google Analytics open while you’re working through the study guides so that you can pause the study videos and put your learnings into practice right away.
Don’t have access to Google Analytics? Ask your boss if you can have view-only access to your company’s GA. If that isn’t an option, the Google Analytics YouTube channel has several videos and walkthroughs of the interface.
4) Choose a Quiet Space to Take the Exam
When you’re ready to take the exam, nothing’s worse than setting up at the trendy coffee shop on the corner and failing because there was too much noise and you couldn’t focus. Before you know it, you just wasted an hour, failed the exam, and the only thing you have left is that expensive half-finished latte.
After all of your dedication to studying, the last thing you want is to blow your chances of passing the exam because you failed to pick a good spot to take it. Here are a few great places you might want to set up as your exam space:
- Your home office
- A conference room at your work
- Your university library
- A quiet room in a shared working space
5) Dedicate a Time to Take the Exam and Stick to It
Just like earlier when you set time on your calendar to study, the same idea applies here for taking the exam! If you choose a specific time and place to take the exam, you’re less likely to put it off for another day.
When the day of the exam comes, remember this:
- Set aside the full 90 minutes on your calendar to take the exam. The GAIQ exam itself is typically 60 minutes, but it's best to give yourself some extra buffer room to get settled before starting.
- Check your WiFi connection before you begin the exam.
- Once the exam is started, it must be finished. If you leave the exam, your process will not be saved and you will need to retake it.
You’ve Got This
The last tip I’ll leave you with: you’ve got this! If you’ve put in the time to study and prep, be confident that you’ve got this and can pass the exam.
Even if you don’t pass on your first try, don’t lose momentum! Get back up, study more in the units that gave you the most trouble, and try again.
Good marketers take a loss and learn from it, and soon, you too my friend can be certified with a Google Analytics Individual Qualification.
GAIQ Frequently Asked Questions
How Hard is The Exam?
With the right preparation, the GAIQ exam can be completed with ease.
Make sure to dedicate time to studying and getting ready, but you can always retake it if you don’t pass, or want a better score!
How Much is The GAIQ Exam?
Like all Google certifications, the GAIQ is free to take.
The study materials and videos are also accessible for free in case you want to learn more but aren’t interested in a certification.
How Do You Take the GAIQ Exam?
The study guides and GAIQ exam are both located in Google’s Skillshop.
In order to use these resources, you will need to create an account. You might want to check with your boss before making an account to determine if they want the certification associated with a personal or work email. After passing the GAIQ exam, you can access your certification, as well as any additional certifications you pursue, within this platform.
Do Google Certifications Expire?
Google Certifications do expire.
The GAIQ exam, as well as the Google Ads search certification, need to be re-taken every 12 months.