GAIQ Test Preparation – Tips from the Veteran + GAIQ Sample Questions


Yesterday I passed the GAIQ (Google Analytics Individual Qualification) Test (test required to become/retain Google Analytics Certified Individual) for the second time.

To be honest I didn’t do any preparation for this test. I passed this test before, in October of 2010 and got the GAIQ score of 95%.  Following are few tips which can help you in passing this test:


Tip #1: Know the Study material for the GAIQ Exam

1. Go through the Google Analytics Training and Certification lessons. There are 14 lessons in total.

2. Register at Google Analytics Academy to improve your digital analytics skills.

3. Practice what you learn. Practical knowledge is very important in order to pass this test. 

4. Majority of questions you get in your exam are based on your understanding of the Google Analytics topics and this understanding can be developed only through practicals.


Tip #2: Understand the new GAIQ Practice Test format

Over the last couple of years, Google has moved away a lot from the factual straightforward questions to logical reasoning based questions.

So if you think you can read the question, pause the test, search the internet and get the answer, then my friend it is not going to work. You may be able to answer few questions with this tactic but it is highly unlikely that you will pass the test esp. the new one which is full of logical reasoning based questions.

If you wish to pass this test, then you must develop a good practical understanding of various reports, metrics and features of Google Analytics.

For example,

just knowing the basic facts about filters through Google Analytics training chapters is not enough. You must have practical knowledge of implementing filters.

Google is unlikely to ask you questions like ‘what is a filter’ or ‘what are the different types of filters’.

It may ask you, which of the following filter is the best solution to solve the problem or whether a particular filter is correct.

To answer such questions, not only you must have good knowledge of regular expressions but you must also know how filters are actually created and processed and which filter type is the best solution for a particular problem.


Tip #3: Understand from where Google selects questions for GAIQ Exam

 One thing that I am 100% sure of now, is that Google doesn’t ask all the questions from the prescribed syllabus.

When the first time I passed the test, I got few questions which I haven’t read anywhere in the Google Analytics Training and Certification lessons. This time I got such questions even in greater number.

Google seems to be using Google Analytics help articles and Google Analytics developers guide & reference to frame questions in addition to the Google Analytics Training lessons.


Tip #4: Cheating is not going to help you

I get dozens of emails regarding preparing and taking the GAIQ exam all the time.

Many people ask, can they pause the test and cheat. The answer is yes.

You can get away with this tactic for some of the questions.  But usually such questions are so basic (like what is the difference between third party and first party cookies) and few that I think you should already know their answers regardless of your decision to take the test.  I mean what is the point of getting the label of ‘certified’ if one struggle with such basic questions.


Tip #5 – Know the worst part of the GAIQ Test

The worst part of the GAIQ test is that, you may never know which answers were incorrect and what are the correct answers.

So even if you retake the exam just to improve your score, it won’t make much difference as you can make the same mistake twice.

There are 70 questions asked in this test and you get 90 minutes to complete the test. This means you have slightly less than 1 and ½ minute to answer each question.


Here is what I got in my test (GAIQ Sample Questions for you)

This time I got questions on new topics like real time reporting, cross domain tracking and conversion attributions. Needless to say, the new GAIQ test is based on the latest version of Google Analytics.

I also got lot of questions on regex and filters, where mostly I was asked to verify whether a particular regex is the best match to solve the problem.

Now I am going to ask you few questions which I got in my test. Let us see how many of the questions you can answer. Let me know the answers in the comments below:

Q1. You notice that the Goal conversion rate in your site search terms report is different from the Goals menu report, what is the likely reason for this discrepancy?
a. This is a bug, the figures should match
b. Not all visits include a site search, only those which did are included in the conversion rate calculation in the site search terms report.
c. The site search terms report is only able to show goal conversion rates for one of our goals.
d. Of those who perform a search during their visits, fewer are likely to convert


Q2. You manage a website that sells household appliances. Your website assigns the product id 17 (pid=17) to all pages related to refrigerators. You would like to have a profile where your data includes only pages on your site related to refrigerators. Which of the following would accomplish this?
a. Filter-1: Type: Custom Search and Replace; Field: Request URI ; Search for “pid=17” and replace with “/refrigerator”
Filter-2 Type: Custom include; Field: Request URI ; Pattern: “/refrigerator”
b. Filter-1: Type: Custom include; Field: Request URI ; Pattern: “/refrigerator”
Filter-2 Type: Custom Search and Replace; Field: Request URI ; Search for “pid=17” and replace with “/refrigerator”
c. Either of these would work


Q3. Why might your reports show visits coming from a paused or discontinued campaign?
a. Because visitors originally referred by that campaign are now returning via another Adwords campaign.
b. Because visitors originally referred by that campaign are now returning as direct visitors
c. Because visitors originally referred by that campaign are now returning via organic search.
d. Because visitors originally referred by that campaign will always be reported as coming from that campaign.

Q4. Does Google Analytics track visits to cached pages?
a. Yes
b. No


Q5. You define a goal using regular expression match and the following regex:
Which pages will count as conversions? Select all that apply

Future of the GAIQ Exam

As Google will enhance the features of Google Analytics, the test is only going to become more difficult as then you need to be aware of many more metrics, reports and features.


Few final tips to help you in your GAIQ Training

1. Before you start the test, read the instructions carefully.

2. You can pause the test as many times as you wish.

3. You can change the answers as many times as you like.

4. Make sure you answer all the questions.

6. When you take the test, answer all the questions you know as quickly as possible.

7. Decide whether or not you can answer a question within 15 seconds.

8. If you are not sure of the answer then mark the question and move on. Don’t waste your time.

9. Once you have answered all the questions, go through the questions you have marked.

10. If you are not able to answer a marked question within 30 to 40 seconds then pause the test and think about it.  Don’t waste your time thinking about a question for several minutes when the test is running.

Remember the clock is ticking and you have 70 questions to answer. Best of luck.

Please share your experience if you have recently taken this exam.

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  • Samer Hadi

    Definately looks harder than the last one. Just like you I got my certifice October 2010, didn’t have the feeling that it was hard or whatsoever, spent just a day on studying. Think I’ll skip this one for now!

    Let’s see if I still got this (don’t think so):

    1: B
    2: C
    3: B
    4: A
    5: 2, 4

    • Himanshu

      Thanks Samer.

    • Karolina

      Hi, allow me to add my comment, I am also preparing to the exam.
      2. A
      According to GA help center filters are applied to the data in the order in which the filters were added so you shoul use the search and replace filter first and then the include filter.
      5. B
      All are wrong because of the ^ but if we forget about it only B is correct because there should be only letters alfter show. No interpunction symbols like ?.
      What do you think?

      • seohimanshu

        you are right about Q5.

  • Shumail

    Wow, amazing! Google is giving tough time to Himanshu(analytics champ)..after reading this people will think 10 time before taking the test.

  • AnalyticsNerd

    I agree with you Himanshu. You really do need to have a deep understanding of Google Analytics to be able to answer the test questions. Thank you for sharing the real test questions. Honestly, i am not sure about any.

    • Himanshu

      But you can still guess the answers :)

  • SEO4Nerd

    Ha, never heard of such exam before. Good to know that Google has such high standards for its certifications.

  • natit

    Thank you for sharing the information. I sat for this exam last month and didn’t pass. Your tips may help.

    • Himanshu

      Best of luck.

  • Robin

    Thank you for this post. I was thinking of renewing my test for quite some time but now i think i need to do the preparation first.

  • Denise

    The last time i took the test, i didn’t get a single question on regex. I think regex based questions can definitely hurt my score this time. Thanks for the tips.

  • Jitender

    Hi Himanshu. Thank you for the tips. What is the fees to take this exam?

    • Himanshu

      It is $50.

  • Jason Spencer

    Thank you for the practical tips on the test. It is good to hear from someone who has sat for this exam twice. I am preparing for the GAIQ exam through conversion university for quite some time. But now i also need to look into the help articles and the developers resource. I have one question. How i can prepare for regex which mainly focus on Google Analytics?

  • Just4one

    Great post. Can you please recommend resources other than the conversion university chapters where i can prepare for the test.

    • Himanshu

      Check out the Analytics Help articles and analytics developers guide mentioned in the post above. Other than these resources, get a practical knowledge of Google Analytics reports, metrics and various features (like advanced segments, cross domain tracking, conversion attribution, filters, regex, real time reporting etc.)

  • Eric Fettman

    Himanshu, congratulations on passing the GAIQ, and thank you for offering your perspectives on the experience.

    If I may, I’d like to share a free resource: It was designed (by me, with the help of a great team on content reviewers and contributors) not only to help you prepare for the GAIQ, but also to apply GA to specific technical and business scenarios.

    Worth a visit if you’re preparing for the test or just want a good GA challenge…

    • Himanshu

      Thanks for sharing the resource Eric.

    • Piyush Srivastava

      Congratulation Himanshu.

      Eric, I checked the website designed by you, it is great source for GAIQ. I loved the material. Currently trying to crack all 200. Thanks for sharing.

      • Himanshu

        Thanks Piyush

    • odlasb

      Thanks Eric. This is very helpful resource.

    • Joana

      Thank you for sharing the GAIQ practice problems

  • shiv

    hi himanshu,
    i was planning to clear test just by studying the cource material given by google, but now i think i have to reconsider my view.By the great post ” ” its thought clearing post about regex.

    • Himanshu

      Thanks Shiv. I am glad you like the post.

  • Chang

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your post, Himanshu.

    Here are my answers:
    Q1. b.
    Q2. a.
    Q3. d.
    Q4. b. No
    Q5. i, ii, and iii.

    Are you going to share the ones that you DO know?

    • Himanshu

      Thank you for the comments Chang. I shared the questions i remembered.

  • Mary Jeins

    Hello guys, I was confused with these questions:

    The URL for the homepage of your websites is / index and you would like this to appear as “home” in the Top Content report HOW can this be achieved?

    A) Use a Search and Replace custom filter on the Request URI field the where Search the String you “/ index” and Replace String is “/ home”

    B) Use a Search and Replace the String of the custom filter on the the Request URI field where Search is “ / index and Replace String is” / home

    You have two websites with different domains (e.g. and which you want to track under a single Google Analytics account. Why would you link the sites using the _link() method?

    A) to preserve visitor and session information across the two domains
    B) to add to the list of referrals
    C) to allow Flash content from to display on
    D) to clear all the cookie information


    Throughout a checkout process, the request URI of the page (/checkout.cgi) does not change for the last 3 steps. What is the recommended way to distinguish these steps in Google Analytics?
    A) On each page, add a unique request URI as an argument to _link()
    B) On each page, add a unique request URI as an argument to _setallowLinker()
    C) On each page, add a unique request URI as an argument to _setDomainName()
    D) On each page, add a unique request URI as an argument to _trackPageView()

    thanks :-(

  • Mike Douglas

    Hello Marie, I think the first one is A, second question is b and the third one is c. I hope Himanshu helps me to correct that

  • Amalia

    Thank you for listing out the actual questions from the test. To be honest i don’t have the clue about the correct answers.

  • odlasb

    Hi Himanshu! I agree with you about the difficulty of the test esp. if you have not been using Google Analytics for a long time. There are some topics which can’t be understand without studying like topics related to cookies and cross domain tracking.

    • Himanshu

      I agree with you. You need to go through the study material no matter how proficient you are in using the Google Analytics.

  • Joana

    Thank you for sharing information about Google Analytics exam. I have couple of questions regarding the test.

    1. Do you have to meet a certain criteria before you can sit for the exam?

    2. Is it true that you can complete the test within 5 days?

    3.For how long this certification is valid?

    4. Can i retake this test if i didn’t pass?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Himanshu

      Hi Joana,

      1. No.

      2. yes it. But then what is the point of being certified if you need 5 days to complete a test.

      3. The certification is valid for 18 months from the date you passed the test.

      4. Yes you can. But i think you need to wait for 2 weeks before you can re take the test. However there is no limit on the number of retakes.

      I hope it helps.

    • Fred Smith

      There is a magical place with the answer to all of these questions called Google.

  • Rahul Sharma

    Hi Himanshu! I am one of the silent reader of your blog. I love your posts. This is my first comment. What is your opinion about the analytics certification from Market Motive? Is it better than the Google Analytics certification? Can i get a better job in web analytics in India if i am certified from Market Motive.

    • Himanshu

      Hi Rahul! The best person to answer this question is ‘Avinash‘ himself. Market Motive certification can’t be compared with Google Analytics certification. The former is geared towards ‘web analytics’ and the latter is geared towards ‘Google Analytics’. So no course is better than the other. I would suggest you to get both of the certifications if possible. Regarding Job prospects in India, i am not sure about it.

  • Vijay

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Can you recommend any good book on Google Analytics?

  • James

    Hey the answer to question three can be found in the Conversion University under the section called “Interpreting Reports – Traffic Sources – Slide: Campaign Attribution”
    If a user returns directly to the site and his last visit was from a adwords campaign then the campaign still gets credit.
    See notes below.
    By default, Google Analytics attributes a conversion or sale to the campaign that most recently preceded the conversion or sale.
    For example, if a visitor clicks on an AdWords ad (Campaign 1 in the first session) and then later returns via a referral to purchase something (Referrer 1 in the second session), the referral will get credit for the sale.
    However, if instead the visitor returns directly, then the AdWords ad (Campaign 1) will still get credit for the sale.

    • Himanshu

      Thanks James.

  • Alex

    Can you explain Q.5? I don’t understand it

  • Kieran Flanagan

    When was the GAIQ exam updated. I just did it after reading this post as I thought it must contain a lot of new questions. I got 90% the first time I did it in 2009 and got 94% just now. I didn’t really find it any different. Is there some type of option to select in order to do the updated one ? or have I just passed it ? I just went to the normal link (you gave) and bought the test.


    • Khawaja

      Hi, do you see changes in Questions and share some more information about your experience and some links which helps us

  • Sachin

    Finally I am certified , and i scored 91% but still i need some thing more to get mastery in Web Analytics

    • seohimanshu

      Congratulations Sachin. 91% is a good score. Well done. I would like to point out that Web Analytics is not the same as Google Analytics. GA is a just a tool used in web analytics. If you consider GA, omniture, web trends etc as cars than web analytics is the traffic rules.

  • Esben Rasmussen

    Is Q5 a trick question?

    To me it looks like it won’t match any of the listed options due to the “^” – which indicates that the string has to start with “products”… But they all start with “/shop/”, “/sales/” or “/show/”.

    If it wasn’t for the “^”, it would match 2 and 3.

    • seohimanshu

      no it is not a trick question.

    • Kernc

      it only matches #2.

      • Esben Rasmussen

        Argh, You are of course correct. Only matches #2… if not for the “^”. Still don’t see how any of the possible answers are correct, since the strings in GA will be


        and the regex command “^products” only validates strings that begin with “products”.

  • Diego
    • seohimanshu

      nice. Thanks

    • Khawaja

      following the above link, can you or anyone suggest with correct answers. The links on each question is a broken and google move or remove them.

  • sitelessanddataless

    I’m preparing for the Google Analytics IQ exam. I don’t have a website and data (e.g. traffic, AdWords, etc.) to play around with to learn everything that’s covered in Google’s Google Analytics online training. I recently created a blog, but since that has very little traffic and data, it’s not very useful. Does anyone have advice on another solution so I can have a site/data to practice with?

    • seohimanshu

      You need to ask one of your friends to give you access to a Google Analytics account which get at least decent traffic and manages an e-commerce website. Other than this contact a charity/business in your area and offer them to set up a free Google Analytics account for their website. In this way also you can get access to a website with decent traffic.

  • Dani

    This article has been useful for me to prepare the review, approve it after I wrote an article telling my experience.
    I hope can be useful too.

  • Geert

    Hi Himanshu, i’m more like a lurker regarding the exchange of online knowledge but i’m definitely a convinced ambassador of you. Great articles !

    My question : i run some lead generation sites in Belgium, no e-commerce. Is it an absolute must to have great knowledge of the e-commerce part in order to succeed ? Since i am not that familiar with e-commerce (yet), i’d like to know what amount of questions are referring to the e-commerce part ?


  • aditya

    If i couldn’t pass the exam & retake the exam.Do i need to pay the fees again?

    • seohimanshu

      Yes. Every time you take the test.

  • Zi Za Zam

    Iam new to this GA thing and studied behavioral science. Help me understand the Q5, i put down ii and iii as the correct answers. ii is obvious but iii


    Correct me now if iam wrong, but here is how i think, the regex dont specify the $ so its not the end of a string and the regex dosent say that it has to end with [a-zA-z] so it maches the .php part but not the rest. Or do i have to think of the .php?id=167012 as one expression match?

    • seohimanshu

      Please see the ‘Karolina’ response in the comment above.

  • Vyto Johnson

    I found the website with all correct answers :) But first guys try get answer yours self :)

    • seohimanshu

      Thanks for the link

  • CrisV


    Congrats for the article, and for the general subjects you work on in your site, I find them so useful in order to study for my IQ exam.

    I’m currently struggling with 2 specific questions, can you (or anyone) help me, please?

    4) Which of the following technologies on your site
    influence how you implement Analytics?
    a- query string parameters
    b- responsive web design
    c- Flash & AJAX events
    d- server redirects

    42) Which of the following reporting dimensions would be useful to reduce if you
    were rebuilding a website?
    - Language
    - Screen Colors
    - Browser
    - All of these dimensions
    - None of these dimensions

    OMG, there are really hard for me!!! Thanks!

    • Shaazia

      hey cris..Did you find the answers to the above 2 questions you posted?

    • Rahul Singh

      Cris when u gave GAIQ Exam
      Answers of the those question i think
      1st one ) has multiple answer : a,and c
      2nd one) None of these Dimension

  • Ngo Ngan

    Hey, I can take the test for you fastly if you don’t have time to study. Guarantee of passing.

    Please pm me to my gmail: nhinquattran

  • Sarita Tripathy

    Dear Himanshu, Recently I cleared GAIQ with 88% score. I am still in doubts for some questions. Hope this forum will help me in clearing my doubts thru veteran analysis.

    Que 1:

    Which two metrics below would be the best KPIs for measuring the performance of an ecommerce business? Select two
    a. Pageviews
    b. Revenue
    c. Average order value
    d. Bounce rate

    As I think b,c to be the answer.

    Que 2:
    Which of the following could be measured by defining a goal in GA? Select all that apply.

    a.The percentage of visits that contain only one page view
    b.Conversion rate
    c.The percentage of visits that result in a site registration
    d.The percentage of visits during which visitors spent at least two minutes on the site

    Hope all will be applicable. But here i’m confusing with another similar kind of question.

    Setting of goals allows you to see —.Select all that apply.
    1. ecommerce revenue
    2. conversion rates
    3. bounce rate
    4. conversion path.
    5. a list of transactions

    Is it 2 & 4 option?

    Que 4:

    Specifying a goal value allows Google Analytics to calculate —(Select all that apply)
    a. Average Order Value
    b. Goal Revenue
    c. Revenue per click
    d. Bounce Rate
    e. Ecommerce value

    Que 5:

    Which of the following technologies or features can be used
    to add data to GA? Select all that apply.

    a. Real Time
    b. Dimension widening
    c. Intelligence
    d. Cost data Import
    e. Measurement protocol

    Here if we consider about data import then Dimension widening and Cost data import will be the answer. But if we consider how send data to GA then Measurement protocol will also come into picture along with above 2 options. I’m not clear on this particular question.

    Que 6:
    In order to set up commerce tracking, you need to _____. Select all that apply
    A) Add commerce tracking JavaScript to your receipt page or “transaction complete” page
    B) Add an commerce campaign variable to your URLs
    C) enable ecommerce tracking in at least one of the views for a property
    D) have linked an AdWords account with your Google Analytics account

    Que 7:

    You are interested in exploring metrics by campaign and traffic source. Which of the following sections will have this report information by default?

    a. Conversion
    b. Behavior
    c. Admin
    d. Acquisition
    e. Audience
    Campaign and Traffic are part of Acquisition. But still confused between d & e.
    Kindly clear my doubts. This is open for all the GA veterans.

    • optimizesmart

      Ans 1. Revenue, Average order value

      Ans 2. a), c), d)
      Setting of goals allow you to see conversion path.

      Ans 4. b)

      Ans 5. b) d), e)

      Ans 6. a) c)

      Ans 7 d)