After completing and passing the Tableau Data Analyst Certification Exam, I thought I would write this blog as an opportunity to help others increase their chances to become certified (I also wrote this blog to make up for my short-lived Tableau tutorial series but I’ll let that slide). In this blog, I will:

  1. Share advice and tips for preparing
  2. Describe my experience with the exam
  3. Provide 6 sample questions (with solutions) and additional resources

 

Tips

Firstly, be familiar with the format of the exam and questions. As an overview, the exam is 2 hours long where you will be assessed on questions related to Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Server/Online – with Tableau Desktop being the main focus. The exam consists of 3 sections:

  1. Knowledge-based section comprised of 30 questions which will include multiple choice, multi-select responses, drag/drop, building and re-ordering lists, and hot areas.
  2. Performance-based section comprised of 10 hands-on tasks completed in a lab environment. This is where you will be asked to create content and make modifications to existing content.
  3. Knowledge-based section again comprised of up to 15 questions with similar formatting to section 1.

Secondly, understand the content outline that is assessed. The exam tests your knowledge in the following 4 domains which can found in the official exam guide.

Figure 1: Tableau Certified Data Analyst Main Content Domains

Each domain can be further drilled down into subsections which can be found here. As a teacher in my previous career, I would advise my students to use the Traffic Light method to help them prepare for their HSC exams. Since I found myself in a somewhat similar situation, I thought it would be best to take my own advice. To understand this Traffic Light method, I have provided my Domain 1 spreadsheet as an example below.

Figure 2: Traffic light method for exam preparation

Everyone’s approach for exam preparation is different, but this was most effective for me to identify concepts I am struggling with and therefore focus most of my time and energy in these. My preparation involved revising workbooks covered with Bethany and Natalia (it definitely helps to organise your training workbooks by week and topic), using the links from the study guide, and watching useful YouTube videos.

Lastly, time your booking to your preference. When you schedule for your exam, check your calendar and select a period that best suits you. For example, you may want to book your exam on the weekend of dashboard week since Tableau will be fresh in your mind. Or you may want to schedule it earlier – a time period before the intensity of training starts to escalate. For example, the weekend before dashboard and consecutive client project weeks. You don’t want to be burned out when it comes to exam day!

 

My Experience

There are two ways to sit for the exam:

  1. Online-proctored or;
  2. In a test centre

I chose to sit for the online-proctored exam. So while you complete the exam, this means a person (proctor) monitors you through your camera. Luckily for me, I did not experience any technical problems, so be sure that your computer, connectivity and environment are prepared on exam day. This includes testing if your microphone and webcam is compatible with the proctor platform. More info on technical requirements can be found here.

In terms of the content and domains, I found the performance-based questions (section 2) to be the easiest as they were straight forward in comparison to the knowledge-based questions. 2 hours is plenty of time to finish the exam so time was not an issue. Just be aware that when you transition to a new section, you cannot go back to review marked questions from the previous section. I was guilty of rushing through the first 2 sections, so do your best to stay calm and double (or even triple) check/review your marked questions.

As a final tip, use process of elimination when it comes to multiple choice and multi-select questions. Using this method involves crossing out all the options that are incorrect (and they will be obvious) and focusing on the remaining answers. This will greatly increase your likelihood of choosing the correct answer.

 

Sample Questions

Question 1

What steps should you take to allow your end users to swap a dimension in the view? Select 3 answers.

(A) Create a set

(B) Create a parameter

(C) Create a calculated field containing parameter in the view

(D) Show parameter

(E) Create a filter on calculated field containing a parameter

Question 2

You want to add a custom colour palette in Tableau. Which file needs to be modified?

(A) Preferences.tps

(B) Preferences.config

(C) Preferences.txt

(D) My Tableau Repository

Question 3

You want to find out how much total profit the Superstore generated since it first opened. How would you calculate this? Select 2 answers.

(A) { [Profit] }

(B) { FIXED : SUM( [Profit] ) }

(C) { EXCLUDE [Date] : SUM( [Profit] ) }

(D) { SUM( [Profit] ) }

Question 4

What is returned by the following function: Right(3, “Tableau”)?

(A) au”

(B) Tab

(C) eau

(D) “Ta

Question 5

What method/feature would you use to group the following in Tableau Prep?

  • Oliver, Inthavong
  • Oliver Inthavong
  • OliverInthavong
  • Oliver: Inthavong

(A) Manual Selection

(B) Pronunciation

(C) Common Characters

(D) Spelling

Question 6

One of your extracts is taking a long time to refresh. What methods can you use to help the refresh complete faster? Select 2 answers.

(A) Decrease the size of your extract

(B) Add Data Source Filters

(C) Refresh at a different time

(D) Hide all unused fields

(E) Use Tableau Bridge

 

Sample Answers

  1. B, C and D
  2. A
  3. B and D
  4. C
  5. C
  6. B and D

 

Further Resources

Tableau Desktop Specialist Practice Questions

 

If you have made it this far and you are preparing, then best of luck for your exam!