5 Tips How to Prepare Yourself for the Tableau Certification Exams

Analytics and visualization work

Before we start, if someone will ask you, Tableau Desktop Specialist title describes foundational knowledge of Tableau Desktop. Specialist with this title have demonstrated understanding of Tableau core concepts and terminology, they are able to connect to, prepare, explore, analyze data and share their insights.

Tableau Desktop Certified Associates are proficient users of the features and functionality of Tableau Desktop to analyze data and solve problems. They can apply mapping, data preparation, and calculation skills in more advanced data analysis.


Why Am I Telling You This?

I am a data passionate Tableau developer who’s using her skills almost every day for creating data visualization in Tableau for our clients. I’ve been using Tableau for the last two years visualizing analysing data. I tried to take Tableau Desktop Specialist exam, passed and now I’m eager to share with you some of the tips I found useful.

From What to Start?

Yes, there are plenty of preparation materials but sometimes you just don’t know what features you need to refresh first (or to learn, if that’s entirely is new to you).

So, here is my first tip: Decide when you want to take the exam (everyone needs some time for preparation regardless of your Tableau experience), and schedule it. If you do not use Tableau everyday or you never worked with Tableau before at all, allow yourself a few months for the preparation before scheduling the exam (it’s not free!). If you already have an experience working with Tableau, still plan for at least a month of preparation even if you’re very confident Tableau guru as the exam’s questions may get very tricky.

Now, tip two:

I found a good starting point to prepare yourself is downloading the Exam Prep Guide. Read it carefully, learn about the exam and check your knowledge. You may also want to explore the info about the exam you want to take on the Tableau website.

Tableau Free Training Videos worth checking out for basic understanding. Also eLearning content for all Tableau skill levels proved to be useful (please notice that eLearning is for an additional charge, but once you buy it, you can access it at your convenience).

In tip number three I want to emphasize not to underestimate the value of YouTube resources. I found Youtube videos covering a wide variety of Tableau topics ranging from some great advice on exam preparation and how to prepare for the interview when you are applying for Tableau Developer role. My recommendation is to take notes of whatever you learn (yes, just like in school), and before the exam (or even a job interview) go over it again. I promise, you’ll definitely feel better prepared and more confident with your Tableau knowledge.

One of the most useful resources during my journey to become certified was Udemy. Great source of training with some practical exercises which won’t break the bank. Below are my personal favorites which I found particularly helpful for anyone who wants to take a shot at Tableau certification exam and just started using Tableau:

And this list is far from full, but at least one-two coursesI definitely recommend to watch, then practice exercises provided there, make notes and practice again!

Tip four – be prepared logistically for the exam. Decide where you will take the exam: at proctor’s location, at home, at work, during Tableau Conference etc.). Make sure you’re alone in the room and no one interrupts you. Also make sure that you will have a good Internet connection. Things like these already taken care of with proctor’s and Tableau Conference options.

Any kind of headsets are not allowed during the exam. And do not panic when during exam your mouse becomes hypersensitive, laggy and overall glitchy – this is all part of the experience, you’ll get used to it. So, don’t panic, relax and concentrate on your tasks.

Tip five – practice as much as you can. My recommendation is to download Tableau Public for free or Tableau Desktop Professional Edition (free trial for 14 days) or, if you’re more lucky, use your Tableau at work.

Then go to Workout Wednesday 2019 and try challenges provided there, if you don’t know how to resolve some tasks, you can see how other people have done it, so you can recreate it by yourself.

Another very popular source is Makeover Monday Tableau, which I’m still participating in and keep trying to complete their challenges.

Now is time to summarize. Plan in advance your certification exam, especially if you are new to Tableau or don’t have much experience. Prepare yourself as much as you can: both theoretically and practically. Remember, that exam questions are usually very tricky, so concentration on your tasks is your friend! Also, if you feel lost about some questions, don’t be afraid to “google” it (I’m not joking). Googling is totally allowed and proctor will not object that (if you are still not sure if it’s ok – ask your proctor in the beginning of the exam).

If you’re currently preparing or just thinking about Tableau certification exam I wish you the best of luck!

P.S.: Please remember to not give up if you fail your exam. Yes, it beats the ego, and yes – it costs money. But anyway, analyze why you failed, take more time for the preparation and I’m 100% sure that your next try will be successful.

Don’t give up! Good luck!

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