Well I did the wrong thing in allowing all my certifications to have a perfect storm of expiration dates. Of the 5 exams I stay on top of in effort to keep sharp (3 Google Adwords, Bing, and Analytics IQ) they all have different expiration dates and validity periods. There’s a 2 year, 3 at one year and one at 18 months.
So when not planned out correctly you get all 5 expiring in the same 30 day period, like me.
Today I renewed and passed my Analytics Individual Qualification exam and admit it was harder than expected. 18 months ago when I last got it it was also difficult but is clearly made tougher to pass this time. The multiple choice multiple answer approach is clearly the hardest format. This is the same format that Microsoft used in its IT, Networking MCP/MCSE exams years ago which I also sat for,
Analytics is the hardest one for the sheer scope of the option within it and the options a webmaster may actually use fr their specific clients. Even if you have 5-10 clients with daily monitoring you likely are missing many of the features since you just don’t require them for your stated goals.
In walks Google Tag Manager questions which dominated about 10-15% of the questions n the test I took today. Implementation, ability to change tags, use in non Google tagging all came up and you should prepare for.
eCommerce implementation is pretty well covered as well. Also the difference between goal values and eCommerce metrics. While most will have a few sites under their belt with eCommerce tracking it is not something many people have used on a daily basis in some client portfolios.
I can honestly say it has been about 9 months since I had full blown eCommerce site (14k products) that I needed to track and monitor.
What was lacking, for good reason, was question about cookie type and usage (you know the easy questions). The main difficulty in the Analytics Certification Exam is the question that ask about what could cause a symptom and give 5 choices. They say to choose all that could cause the symptom. In most case 2 are obvious and one or two could possibly cause it, leaving it to the wording of the question.
So Study hard on
- Tag Manager
- Views and tracking subdomains
- eCommerce setup and known issues
And worry less about the stuff that used to be on here, and was absent
- URL Builder and tagging
- Basic symptoms of bad campaigns like CTR, bounce and time on page.
One point that is annoying is that the new Adwords exams I pass show in the Google Partners section and no longer show together with the Analytics. So The is two places to look for the test records of each as opposed to all exam records in one spot. Makes it look like your old cert expired, when really they are in the Partners pages.