The Google Analytics Qualification and How to Pass

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As you can see from the oversized badge on the right, yesterday I passed the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test. Huzzah! If you use the software on a regular basis, it’s probably not the hardest exam you will ever have taken but without a bit of preparation, it’s unlikely you’ll pass first time. I was lucky (I think) in that I managed to lock myself away for most of the weekend to brush up on my analytics terminology and familiarise myself with topics like cookies, tracking code and the dreaded Regular Expressions (Regex).

What is the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test?

Well, that’s a good question but if you’ve got this far, I guess you’re already aware of its existence and what it is. Some important points to remember:

  • The test is made up of 70 multiple choice questions. Some are simple true or false questions while others have up to 5 choices. The trickiest of these are the questions in which you must select all answers which can apply.
  • The test is 90 minutes long. This was something I was slightly worried about before the test but in actual fact it wasn’t a factor at all. You have 1 minute 17 seconds per question but some of the questions are so easy you’ll fly through them leaving you with more time to work on the trickier ones.
  • Unlike the AdWords equivalent, the analytics test is open book so you can have several resources open to help you along. I’ve included a handy list below.
  • Each sitting costs $50 and you can’t retake the test for 14 days so it’s good news if you pass first time.
  • The test can be paused at any time and your answers will be saved. You must complete the test within 5 days of starting.
  • The pass mark is 80% so you can afford to get 14 of the 70 questions wrong and still pass.

Before the test

As I mentioned above, the test isn’t painfully difficult but you will need to prepare before signing up and parting with your $50.

The best preparation you can do is to watch all of the Google Analytics IQ Lessons which cover all of the topics and content in the test. The lessons are in video format and vary from 2 to 11 minutes. They are broken down in to the following sections:

First Steps

  • Introduction to Google Analytics
  • Installing the Google Analytics Tracking Code
  • Working with Report Data

Interpreting Reports

  • Pageviews, Visits, and Visitors
  • Time Metrics
  • Traffic Sources
  • Content Reports


  • Account Administration
  • Campaign Tracking and AdWords Integration
  • Analysis Focus – AdWords
  • Goals in Google Analytics
  • Filters in Google Analytics
  • Regex and Google Analytics
  • Cookies and Google Analytics
  • E-commerce Tracking
  • Domains and Subdomains

In-Depth Analysis

  • Advanced Segmentation
  • Analytics Intelligence
  • Internal Site Search
  • Event Tracking and Virtual Pageviews
  • Additional Customizations

Even if you’re proficient using Google Analytics, I’d suggest watching all of the videos as they give a good outline of what might come up.

Certain topics seemed to crop up a lot during the exam so it’s worth paying particluar attention to the Filters, Cookies and E-commerce sections. I read guides which stressed the importance of Regex to successfully pass the test but I wasn’t asked a single question on this topic.

During the test

As the test is open book, it’s worth having a few tabs open before you kick off. Having an Analytics account (make sure you’re logged in!) open while taking the test is a no-brainer and something I referred to a lot. The Google Analytics IQ lessons will be invaluable as will the Google Analytics Help Center. Jens Sorensen wrote some great test notes which also came in handy during the test (just use ctrl+f). It’s probably also worth having a look at a couple of other posts on his site before you start.

After the test

If you hit the 80% passmark, you’ll see a congratulatory note from Google with a link to your well earned certificate like mine below. You can also share this link with potential employers or clients and choose to show them your score as a percentage.

Have you taken the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) test? How did you get on?

Google Analytics Qualification Certificate

Categories: Analytics, Google

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5 Comments to “The Google Analytics Qualification and How to Pass”

  • Eric Fettman May 30, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Brendan, thanks for the summary. Another good link to share might be, a free resource for Google Analytics training and GAIQ prep. 200 test questions available with detailed answer explanations, all updated to GA5.

    Note: I developed the site, and worked with a team of reviewers on the content..

    • Brendan Jackson June 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Eric,
      I actually used your site as preparation for the test. I found the questions to be much tougher that the real exam but I guess that’s good practice!

  • Laura December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Questions about the test. Can you skip questions and come back to them? And if you pause for say a day can you go back to questions you skipped?

  • Laura December 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Can you skip questions and come back to them and if you can skip can you return to them after a pause of hours or days?

  • Vinod February 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Hi Brendan

    Congratulations on y0our certification.

    Did it help you get a job, what salaries must one expect after qualifying? Id the certification good for one to get a job or is this just decorative?



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