Alteryx Designer Core Certification has been chosen as a benchmark for Data Schoolers to see how much we have learnt after our Alteryx training. It is very common at this point that you are comparing yourself to people around you and are driven away from focusing on your own growth. I just want to remind you that everyone’s Alteryx Journey is different, and our goal is to see how far we have come from the beginning, to learn and understand Alteryx Designer, to solve problems with it. It is not just about passing the exam. It did take me 2 attempts to obtain my Core Certification, and looking back, I am thankful for my first unsuccessful attempt because I could see my area of improvement and focus on honing my skills in that area. My skills would have not improved that much in 7 days if I just passed the first attempt to keep up with my peers.

In this blog I will note down how I prepare for the Core Exam and share some tips and thoughts as someone has been through the journey.

I am a person that loves to understand the foundation of stuffs before jumping into it, so I spent quite an amount of time to go through the theories part.


Learn the foundation of tools from Alteryx Interactive Learning

I must say this is one of the most important steps in my journey. You may think that you know enough about the tools after days of training but believe me there are small details and features that we have not yet known, and often than not these details will be in your Core Exam. It is an open book exam so surely you can google and search for help, however, there will be time constraint. The more knowledge you have, the more time you get to spend on tougher questions. Here is the link for these interactive lessons about the fundamental tools: Interactive Core Cert Prep Guide – Alteryx Community. I highly recommend you spend time on it to prepare yourself for the exam.

Prepare to deal with questions you do not know the answer to

Being able to search for help is such an important skill to work with technology. You should familiarize yourself with using help and search functions in Designer, maybe getting used to text input some data to try on a specific tool when needed, google the answer, look for answer from Alteryx Community, scan for key words, etc…

Be prepared that there will be questions that you don’t know, and you will need help, how would you go for it?

Do the Micro Certification

After my first unsuccessful attempt, I did feel sad and disappointed to realize that my Alteryx skill is not yet there. And it is okay if you are in the same situation and feel the same, we are human and we have emotions. I decided to take the Micro Exam, to fill in the gap of my journey. What I did not expect is the Micro Certification has given me such a confidence boost for my next attempt. Also, collecting Alteryx Badge is kind of good feeling, for me at least 😊. If I could turn back, I definitely would do it before my Core, taking baby step is necessary sometimes.

The fun part: Practical Questions

There will be 7 practical questions, which each worth 3 points. (1 point for multiple choice, Partial credit is awarded and deducted for matching and multiple-response questions (“Select all that apply”). Before sharing tips and lessons I have learnt from my exam, I would like to show you the result of my two attempts for practical questions:

1st attempt:

2nd attempt:

The first attempt has helped me to understand that I did not fully know how to use Transform tools to answer a specific business question. Hence, I need to work on this to improve my skills.

Alteryx Weekly Challenge is my key to success. You are allowed to take 1 attempt of the exam every 7 days. So, I spent my 7 days to work on my area of improvement by doing weekly challenges. You can choose challenge to work on based on certification level and main subject.

Weekly Challenge Index & Welcome – Alteryx Community

I must say doing these challenges has helped my improved so much. I found that most of the Core exam practical questions mainly focus on using these 3 important tools to solve. It is essential that you understand them and are able to use them.


Read the questions carefully

  • Questions with screenshots: pay attention closely to the tool configurations and the output.
  • Practical questions: read carefully and break down business questions into steps of the analysing process.

Time management

The exam is 2 hours for 80 questions. It is recommended that you spend about 75 seconds on each 1-point question and 4 minutes on each 3-point practical application question. Answer every question but do not spend too long on one question.

Use the “Bookmark” feature to flag questions

Make use of the Flag function for question you are unsure and go back to it when you have spare time. At the end of the exam, you can click on “See all questions” to view all unanswered and bookmarked questions. However, I do not recommend to bookmark lots of questions, just those you really need to recheck. Believe in yourself and do not second guess.

That’s it, all I have to say about my Alteryx Exam Journey. I wish you all the best with your exam, it is a part of the learning process. Focus on your learning and the passing part will come naturally.

Good luck! You Can Do It!


The Data School
Author: The Data School