Passing the Tableau Data Analyst exam is a challenging task, but with the right strategies, you can succeed on your first attempt. I passed the exam on the weekend and I want to share what helped me pass, what I found challenging, and what to focus on. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success and gain confidence in your Tableau skills.

Cram week: Taking the time to refresh and revise
In the week leading up to the exam, I dedicated myself to intense studying. Despite spending a significant amount of time working with Tableau during my 16 weeks at the Data School, I realised that I needed additional time to refresh and revise my knowledge. By setting aside this week, free from the stress of a heavy workload in the classroom, I was able to delve deeper into specific topics such as extracts, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Server, which turned out to be crucial for the exam.

Maven Analytics: An invaluable resource
To prepare myself thoroughly, I invested in a month’s subscription to Maven Analytics. Their program, “TABLEAU DESKTOP CERTIFICATION PREP,” included a comprehensive 9.5-hour lesson dedicated to exam revision. Additionally, they provided two mock exams. This resource proved to be invaluable as it not only helped me feel less overwhelmed but also narrowed down the scope of my revision.

Share resources: Learning from previous cohorts
Don’t hesitate to reach out to those who have previously taken the Tableau exam. Previous cohorts were extremely helpful in sharing resources with my cohort (DSAU19). Through their assistance, we gained access to three more mock exams that closely resembled the actual exam. These additional resources were instrumental in boosting our confidence and preparedness. This YouTube playlist was also super helpful.

Prepare your exam environment in advance
To eliminate any potential technical issues, it’s essential to set up your exam space beforehand. Since internet access can be temperamental at home, I decided to take the exam at the office on a Sunday morning. This ensured a distraction-free environment and meant I wasn’t stressed out about encountering technical problems during the exam.

Know when to stop: Don’t overdo it
After completing five mock exams with mostly passing scores, I should have recognised that it was time to stop studying. However, I made the mistake of continuously searching for more mock exams and short courses, which only served to undermine my confidence. It’s crucial to recognise when you’ve done enough and trust in the knowledge you’ve acquired.

Skip Udemy: Choose your resources wisely
While opinions may vary, I found that the most popular mock exam course on Udemy was needlessly difficult and did not accurately reflect the actual exam. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the course hadn’t been updated for quite some time. This experience only led to a dip in my confidence. My verdict? Skip it.

Read and re-read the questions: Attention to detail matters
Many of the exam questions are not inherently difficult, especially in the lab component. However, I found that they often required careful attention to fully understand what was being asked. These questions are designed to trip you up, and reading them multiple times was often necessary for me to grasp their true meaning. It’s crucial to take the time to comprehend each question thoroughly.

Be prepared to show everything to your proctor
During the exam, your proctor may request to see everything around you, including your bag and phone. Safe to say, my ‘Mary Poppins’-sized tote was not in a state to be shown off to a stranger.

Focus on Tableau Server and Prep: A significant portion of the exam
Tableau Server and Tableau Prep are essential components of the exam. They accounted for approximately one-third of the questions I received. Allocate adequate time to revise and familiarise yourself with these topics to increase your chances of success.

Passing the Tableau Certified Data Analyst exam is a serious achievement that will boost your confidence in Tableau Desktop, Server, and Prep. By implementing these tips and utilising the right resources, you can increase your likelihood of passing the exam on your first attempt. Good luck!


The Data School
Author: The Data School