When recently asked to take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test, I agreed and continued working as usual. Considering the amount of time spent in analytics, passing the exam wouldn’t be too difficult, or so I thought.
As the deadline approached, I clicked over to the lessons at Google’s Conversion University and started watching the videos. Going through videos in the First Steps, it didn’t seem too difficult. But with each additional section of videos viewed, realization set in that passing the Google Analytics IQ test would not be an easy task.
Memories of cramming for finals in college came flooding back and my stress level grew. As with the Google Adwords exams, you need to know the fundamentals.
For this test, you should know the different types of cookies and how they are used. Understand e-commerce and event tracking. Be able to answer questions on filters and Regular Expressions (RegEx).
Luckily, you can find lots of help online in addition to Google’s videos and help section. One guide that proved helpful came from SEO Boy and PPC Hero. The series of blog posts explain in easy-to-understand terms much of what seems so difficult in Google’s videos. If you want to learn more about regex, you can download a free eBook at LunaMetrics.
Taking the Google Analytics Test
The Google Analytics IQ test includes 70 questions, of which you will need to answer 80% correctly in 90 minutes to pass. You can pause the timer and come back to the test later as long as you complete the exam within a five day period. I preferred to do it all at once rather than putting it off any longer. If you don’t pass the exam, you can retake it after 14 days, but you must pay another $50 each time you do.
One thing making the test harder is that on some questions you are given several answers to choose from and are required to select two or all that apply. A plus is that the Google Analytics IQ test is open book; your computer is not locked as it is with the Adwords exams. In fact, one question about a range of IP addresses hinted to use Google’s tool to automatically generate the regex – enabling you to correctly answer the question. Save time by having that tool already open in another browser window before starting the test. You might also log into your Google Analytics account.
Some of the questions are easy. We know what bounce rate and referral visits are, where direct traffic comes from, and what the difference between a first and third-party cookie is. If you use analytics you know what information can be gained from the funnel visualization report.
But given a list of URLs, can you determine the correct Goal URL pattern and match type that would count all of the given URLs as conversions? Can you identify which ecommerce tracking code is correctly implemented when given multiple sets? Do you know about cross domain and subdomain tracking? If not, keep on studying!
When you do take the test, quickly answer those you know and check those you don’t. You should then have enough time to go back and find answers to questions you weren’t sure about. Be prepared, and have your resources handy.
I scored a 92, which wasn’t perfect, but not bad. Now to apply what I’ve learned to provide even better SEO services.
Have tips for passing the Google Analytics IQ test? Share them in the comment box below!