If you’re taking your Google Analytics Individual Certification exam for the first time, or renewing an expired certification, this blog post will provide a quick rundown of everything you need to know about the exam, how to prepare for it, what’s on it, and how to pass it on the first try.

If you’re totally new to Google Analytics, you may want to first check out our previously published guide to passing the 2016 analytics exam, which provides more background information. We also have a guide for passing the AdWords exams if you’re interested in those certifications as well. Otherwise, read on to learn more about the 2018 exam.

About The Exam

The Google Analytics Certification exam is a 90-minute test made up of 70 questions. The exam covers everything from basic account setup, configuration, and vocabulary to more advanced tactics, custom reports, and segments for deeper analysis of data. It also covers basic marketing strategies like remarketing and attribution modeling. This exam and its training courses are a great way for new Google Analytics users to learn how to use the platform to its fullest potential, and for existing Google Analytics users to learn about new features and reports, or to gain more experience with features and reports they might not use often.

What’s New for the 2018 Exam?

Much of the exam material is still the same, but there is an added focus on audience reporting (cohort analysis and active users), as well as more questions about custom reports, segments, and dimensions. If you have previously taken and passed an analytics exam, I’d suggest taking the assessments after each unit in the Google Analytics Academy, and then using your missed questions as a guide to help you know what you need to focus on to pass the exam again.

How to Prepare

To prepare for the exam, the Google Analytics Academy is pretty much all you need. There are two training courses, beginner and advanced, and each has four units with about 3-6 lessons each, as well as final assessments after each unit that are 10-15 questions long. There are also short 3-question quizzes after some of the lessons. The courses each take about 90 minutes to two hours to complete, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time.

The Analytics Academy provides informational videos, articles, and guided analytics tours to help you get ready for the exam in whatever learning style suits you. The guided analytics tours use a demo account that you’ll gain access to during training. If you don’t use Google Analytics regularly to interact with website data, the guided tours are a fantastic way to learn by doing. If you’re new to Google Analytics, I highly recommend taking all the guided analytics tours and paying close attention to each lesson. Even if you do interact regularly with Google Analytics, the guided tours can help you better understand features and reports that you may not use as often.

Lastly, some (a lot) of the exam questions are lifted directly from the assessments after each unit. So be sure to take each assessment, and go back and revisit the lessons for each question you missed. I actually suggest taking each assessment until you pass with a perfect score.

What’s On The Exam

The exam will cover:

  • Account setup and configuration
  • Default metrics and dimensions (as well as possible combinations of the two)
  • Custom metrics and dimensions
  • Reports (default and custom)
  • Segments
  • Remarketing
  • Basic AdWords principles
  • Attribution modeling
  • Multi-channel funnels

Everything that’s on the exam will be included in the Analytics Academy training, so if you have no idea what some of these things are, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you pass each assessment with flying colors, and you will be well prepared for the exam.

What Resources To Use During The Exam

When it’s time to take the exam, you’ll do so using the Academy for Ads. During the exam, I found it super useful to have the following tabs open my browser.

  • The Analytics Academy courses and assessments
  • The Google Help Center
  • An active Google Analytics account with plenty of historic data, or the Demo Account used in training

Anything Else?

You’ll need to register before you can take the beginner and advanced courses, but it’s just a short survey where Google asks about your job function and familiarity with Analytics.

You’ll also (obviously) need a Google account in order to access these materials and take the exam. If your company has a Google account, or if your agency/company is a certified Google Partner, you’ll want to make sure the account under which you do the training and exams is registered with that parent account so that you can get points, and, ultimately, free stuff.

That’s it! Best of luck, test takers!