How to Pass the Google Analytics IQ Exam in 2016

Predicting trends for 2016 have been the focal point of feeds for weeks and there isn’t a better time than now to focus on attainable goals for the present. Here’s one you can begin to check off today:

Take the next two weeks to study for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Exam and get certified!

Whether you’re new to digital marketing, or a seasoned guru needing to brush up your credentials to impress clients or C-suites, passing the GAIQ exam is a great demonstration of proficiency and will allow you to better leverage Analytics within your business or agency. You might have already come across some resourceful guides that demonstrate how to prepare for the exam in a matter of days. Success in such a short time will depend greatly on your previous knowledge and experience using Analytics. As a GA novice, I found two weeks to provide just the right amount of study-time to get a comprehensive grasp on the content, without leaving a large enough time gap for having to relearn previous material. Here’s the breakdown of how I studied for the GAIQ exam, while keeping my eyes dry the entire time, and passed!

The Logistics

  • 70 Questions
  • 90 Minutes
  • 80% in order to pass. You must answer 56 questions correctly.
  • Valid for 18 months.
  • Questions will come in forms of Multiple Choice and True/False.
** You will find that in Google’s provided course material below, some Multiple Choice questions will come in the form; Check all that apply, meaning that if 3 answers for a single question apply, and you select 2 only, then your answer for the entire question is incorrect. The actual GAIQ exam is much more straightforward than this, providing 1 correct answer only for each question. Whew!

G exam


What’s Changed?

  • No Charge. The GAIQ exam is completely free
  • No Badge. Instead of a completion badge, you may print your personalized certificate or promote it on your Google Partners profile page.
  • No Revisiting. Questions appear in sequential order and once you have selected an answer, you will not be able to return to the question.
  • No Discouragement. You may retake the exam 7 days after the initial attempt if need be.

The Essentials

While Google Partners offers four courses of actionable material pertaining to Analytics, the bread and butter of the exam are within the first two courses. Be sure to know these well: Digital Analytics Fundamentals and Google Analytics Platform Principles. Each course consists of a series of Units, with corresponding Activities and a Final Assessment. The units are somewhat lengthy and full of video content (you can opt for the text transcript version if you’d like). Do take the time to absorb the content of each course in its entirety and take notes; you will be thanking yourself later. Here is an sample 2 week study calendar that helped me to stay on track:
Monday TuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Week 1D.A.Fund Units 1&2D.A.Fund Units 3&4D.A.Fund Unit 5D.A.Fund Unit 6Final Assessment
Week 2Platform Principles Units 1&2Platform Principles Unit 3Platform Principles Unit 4Final AssessmentTake GAIQ Exam

What You’ll See: 

You can almost guarantee to see these topics, covered in the Digital Analytics Fundamentals and Platform Principles courses, on the exam:

 Attribution Models: 

Understand the overviewLast Interaction. Last Non-Direct Click. Last AdWords Click. First Interaction. Linear. Time Decay. Position Based.

Analytics Tracking: 

Know how Google tracks via mobile, desktop, or other digitally connected device. Where do you place the GA tracking code on a site?

Types of Goals:

Goal types are Destination. Duration. Pages/Screens per session. Event. Why define a Goal Value for non-ecomm websites?

Campaign Tracking:  

Practice using the URL BuilderDestination URL. Source. Medium. Campaign Name. Campaign Content. Know the mediums auto-tracked by Analytics vs. mediums needing manual tagging.

Analytics Process & Structure:

The process flows in this order: Collection. Configuration & Processing. Reporting. Understand how configuration and processing coincide. Structure from top to bottom looks like this: Account- Properties- Views


Image Source: Analytics Academy 

Importing Data to GA:

Brush up on these concepts: Account Linking. Data Import.Dimension widening. Cost data import.

Dimensions and Metrics:

Know the difference between dimensions and metrics and understand scope.

Reporting Tools:

Be sure to get these common reporting tasks down: Date comparison. Table filter. Table sort. Plot rows. Primary dimension. Secondary dimension. Pie chart. Pivot table.

Behavior Reports:

Dig into the Behavior Flow of your Analytics for this one and explore Site Content: All Pages. Content Drilldown. Landing Pages. Exit Pages. Site Speed. Site Search. Events.  

What Threw Me:

These few topics didn’t stand out as much to me throughout the course material. Be sure to brush up on the following:

Measurement Protocol:

Developers can measure how users interact with their business from almost any environment.


Know these two types of alerts: Auto Alerts vs. Customer Alerts.

Real Time:

Understand the capabilities and limitations to monitoring instant web activity.

Site Speed:

Know the Site Speed reports metrics measured.

Had Enough?

  After 2 weeks of being anchored to the fundamentals and principles of Analytics, you are as prepared as you’ll ever be, so don’t stress! Open up Google Partners in Chrome. Sign up if you haven’t already. In a separate browser, leave open your notes and an active Google Analytics account, if you have one, or use the one you set up as part of the practice courses. Take a deep breath, and begin! To help set a mellow, relaxed mood, I went for the Study Time Starts Now playlist.  Get in your zone and let Google track your time and progress in the bottom corners of the test screen.

 Best of luck to you!

As always, Stryde is here for any web traffic, content, or specific Analytics questions you may have regarding your ecommerce or lead generation site. What are your study tactics for the GAIQ exam? Let us know in the comments below!]]>

Kirsten is a graduate of Brigham Young University, earning her print journalism degree in April 2012. Before coming to Stryde, she was a sports reporter and then the sports editor for BYU’s newspaper, as well as a remote sports editor for Deseret Connect. Although she’s from Missouri, she’s a die-hard Kansas basketball fan. When she’s not watching KU play or pumping out content for Stryde, she’s most likely watching movies or Netflix in her workout clothes whilst drinking a Pepsi and eating popcorn.

8 Responses

  1. Thanks for the informational post Emily and for the playlist (its perfect for studying!). I’m planning to take the GAIQ very soon. I have a weird query and I hope you can help me with it. If I take the test and pass with say 80%; can I retake the test to score better like above 90%? Or am I stuck with the 80% for 18 months? Thanks.

    1. Thanks Reva! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      You should be able to retake the exam in seven days, even after you’ve passed. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t be able to view any answers you missed the first time around so be sure to note any topics you feel uncertain about as you go along. Good luck to you!

  2. Hi Emily – Super helpful and detailed post! Did you run through any practice exam questions anywhere you felt were useful? If so, can you make any suggestions and/or provide links? Also, in the GA Academy the tutorials breeze over regular expressions but have read some other posts where some folks had mentioned the exam gets into the weeds a bit. Thoughts?

    1. Thanks Matt! I’m so glad you found it useful! Honestly, I really dug into GA Academy and didn’t look to any external practice questions. That said, I did run through every activity and took the final assessment for each of the first three courses. The best advice I could give here is to not overthink it! I felt that Google provided ample study material so I just stuck to that!
      As far as regular expressions go, the exam covered these related topics:
      1. Filters—how and when to use them, exclude internal traffic by creating an IP address filter.
      2. Match types for destination goals—when to use begins with, equals to, and regular expression. The last type came up least in the exam.
      Feel free to connect if you have any other questions and good luck!
      Twitter: @emily_C27

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






Join an E-commerce Newsletter Worth Reading

Subscribe to our weekly, no-fluff newsletter packed with actionable insights to help grow your D2C brand!