First, a warning to all those who feel they know analytics inside out and don’t need to prepare for the test, you will struggle to pass! The GAIQ is not an easy test and regardless of your experience with analytics, you will need to prepare for this test. I learnt the hard way by failing my first attempt at the test having used analytics extensively (or so I thought) and preparing for the test by just watching the Google Analytics IQ lessons.
Failing the test on the first attempt meant that I had to wait 14 days before taking the test again. This gave me time to prepare better and I was determined not to fail the test again. I decided that I needed more study materials as I felt the video tutorials provided by Google weren’t enough to pass the test. A quick search around the Internet lead me to an excellent book by Brian Clifton (a former Google employee) called Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics. Now, I thought I knew analytics until I read this book and realised how many gaps I had in my knowledge. For example, because I hadn’t worked with e-commerce sites, I was woefully behind with regards to e-commerce tracking. Brian Clifton’s book is not only comprehensive but it is also very well written in a way that engages the reader with the sometimes complex material. I certainly couldn’t recommend this book enough!
So now you’ve gone through the video tutorials and you’ve (hopefully) read some extra material, all that’s left is to prepare your strategy for taking the test. Although many others have given their advice for taking the test, here’s what I found helpful:
- Make sure you have notes available to view on your computer whilst taking the test. I find it is better to have your notes in a text file so that you can easily use the search function to find what you need quickly.
- You will need to have a few pages open in your browser to resources you may need in the test. These include the IP address range filter tool and the Google analytics URL builder tool.
- Take advantage of the ability to pause the test and return later. You can pause the test as many times as you like and you have five days from when you start the test, before it expires. You can give yourself a lot of time by using this feature wisely.
Hopefully, these tips and advice will help you to pass the GAIQ also. Feel free to share your experiences or test results in the comments below.