The first step in becoming a certified Alteryx user is crucial. This blog will give you certain tips to help you with your preparation and passing the Alteryx Designer Core Certification exam.
Unfortunately, I did not pass the first time I took the test and was not so happy about it. But second time was the charm. I believe this was mostly due to the summarisation sheet that you receive after completing the test. The sheet outlines the areas you performed well and not so well. Therefore, the second time I took the test, I focused on the areas I lacked the most. That is a really major benefit in terms of preparing yourself again for the second time if you happen to not pass the first time. This point ties into my first tip that is:
Tip #1: Do not worry if you fail the first time. It’s Free on Demand
As I mentioned before, I did not pass the first time. While scouring the internet, I found that quite a lot of people did not as well. I believe it is because I did not prepare well the first time. Adding to that, I found that my preparation was a lot more effective due to the summary sheet of my performance on the exam. That way, I found it very easy to focus on the areas I lacked the most and got a much better idea on the timing constraints and the type of questions that are asked, just by doing the exam. And remember, the exam is free on demand. You only have to wait seven days to do it again if you do not pass.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t prepare as much as you can. It is definitely possible that you pass your first time with flying colours. That way, you will have more time to prepare for a potential Alteryx Designer Advanced Certification.
Tip #2: The Prep Guide is the Best Starting Point
In preparation for the exam, the prep guide is no doubt the place with most information. It offers contextual information about the exam, the tools that you should know how to use as well as tasks you should be able to perform, tips, links to extra resources, and more. All in all, a very well packaged guide that explains every detail on how to prepare for the exam. This should be the first thing you check out for your preparation. The guide can be found on the “Certification” page here. There is also another prep guide that is slightly varied, I also followed that through as well.
Tip #3: Do not Skip out on the Weekly Challenges
In the prep guide, there are certain examples of weekly challenges that you can do. I would 100% recommend doing as many weekly challenges as you can, around 20-30 to really get all the capabilities of the tools necessary to sink in. Weekly challenges allow you to have the most hands-on tasks with Alteryx for preparation. And the many varieties of challenges allow you to excel in different areas of the software, allowing you to think faster and know the steps to take for a given question better. In my opinion, this is the most helpful area to improve in Alteryx skills for the exam.
Tip #4: Keep Google and Alteryx Open
This one would be the most important tip when it comes to doing a quick search on areas where you are not really sure about the right answer. This exam is an open book exam, meaning that you have the right to access information through search engines and/or other sources. As you might know, countless people asks questions to the internet when they need help. Alteryx is no different. You can find a lot of help in the Alteryx community and documentation. One example could be that you are not sure how to filter out null rows. Just do a fast search on Google. Most likely, you will find the answer you are looking for at the top. But do this in moderation as well. You might end up losing a lot of valuable time if you get lost in your search.
Keeping Alteryx open is probably an obvious tip but it still should be said. You do not want to waste your time in the exam trying to wait for Alteryx to load. In addition, there are practical questions in the exam where you have to use Alteryx to reach to the solution by working through provided datasets. It is also useful to use Alteryx rather than Google for some questions that are asked since you can reach your answer faster. Saving the most amount of time is very important for this exam.
Tip #5: The Text Input Tool
I know that when I use Alteryx, I barely use the text input tool. However, in this exam. It was a must. Especially when you are not 100% sure that you know the answer immediately. Using this tool is most useful in questions where a basic dataset is given. It can be worth it to quickly replicate the dataset and the question to save some points while losing a bit of time.
Tip #6: Allocate Appropriate Times for Questions
Since time and pacing is very important in this exam. Make sure you do not spend too much time on questions that do not get you a lot of points and fly past the ones that do. Some questions get you 1 point, some get you 3. Pay attention to how much points a question gets you and allocate your time accordingly.
Tip #7: Use the ‘Bookmark’ Feature
The exam environment allows you to bookmark specific questions. This tool can be useful in strategising on how you approach the exam, but that will be up to you. Maybe you can try going through every question and bookmark the practical questions, or the questions you think you will spend more time on. This way, when you finish the easier questions faster, you can focus on completing the harder ones separately.
In conclusion, the tips discussed in this blog are extra information that can help you perform more efficiently on the exam day. Your first go-to resource for preparation should be the prep guide. In addition, the weekly challenges are not to be shied away from, they will give you the most practical knowledge. Moreover, you might need to quickly search for things to keep Google and Alteryx open and use them where needed. The text input tool is a very useful tool to replicate questions if you are not 100% sure about the answer. It is also important to pay attention to time and pace yourself with paying attention to the points of the questions. Spend less time on questions that are worth less. This strategy can be implemented by using the bookmarking capabilities of the exam environment.
And finally, do not worry if you fail the first time, you will learn the most on what you need to improve on and do it again for free on demand.
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