I recently took the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate exam. I am going to go through my preparation, results and some tips I hope will help anyone that has not yet sat the exam. Before this one I had only done the Alteryx core exam at the Data School. While this was much earlier in our time here it was also free and had three attempts. Going into this brought back the nerves you get as your preparing for a University Exam. For me this isn’t a bad thing I find it helps me do a bit better. The exams where I have gone into super confident I normally make plenty of stupid little errors.
For preparation we started by taking a shorter practice exam. Given to us during a teaching session by JMac. On top of this I went through the example questions in the preparation guide given by Tableau and found a few free example exams like this Mohammed Hemayed did his straight away and did a teacher lesson on the analytics pane, which was a great help during the exam. I followed this up by watching a video done by the Information Lab and the UK Data School. This contained a wealth of knowledge on lots of small things to look out for and I highly recommend it a watch if you are going to be taken the exam.
Not much to say here but I am pretty happy with getting 100%
- Read every question at least twice if not more and read it slowly. There are a number of question where it is looking for very specific filters to be applied. It is easy to miss a year or a category because you speed read over it. This is the best tip for me. When I went back over the questions I found 4-5 questions where I messed something up because I did not fully read and understand the question.
- Once your finished go over the exam again. You will surely make a mistake or two. eliminating any of these could make all the difference.
- Do the easy questions first. Skip any that you don’t know. Help build your confidence up and settle any nerves.
- Open a wordpad and take notes of any questions your not sure of to come back too.
- Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam. The exam is done in a virtual machine which makes it slightly different to using normal Tableau Desktop. For one some hotkeys and your personal setting will not work.
- Continuing from this you will only have one screen. I made a my browser 1/3 of the screen then Tableau the rest. Allowing you to view both questions and your work simultaneously. This worked well for every question bar one on spatial where the browser was too small to view the entire question
- Depending on your connection there will be a degree of lag between your actions, so don’t get too inpatient with it and try to do more stuff while it is still catching up.