Hi everyone! Those of you familiar with my blog posts on my Alteryx Challenge (which is to finish all Alteryx Weekly Challenges by the end of the DS training, read this to get familiar with the idea), may know that I’ve had some experience with Alteryx. That is if you count finishing 40+ challenges as experience 😉

Last week, Jon reminded our cohort to register for Alteryx Designer Core Exam so that we could take it in March. And so we did. I decided to have a casual go at the exam over the weekend which turned into two hours of hard work and I actually passed it! (With 92.9% score, I didn’t actually expect it during the exam so I’m quite pleased)

The Certification

The Alteryx Designer Core Exam is part of Community Certification and it’s the first step. The next certificate is Alteryx Designer Advanced. These two are free of charge and you have to pass Core first to go on with Advanced.

Once you register for the exam (Register button on Alteryx Designer Core panel), you’ll get a confirmation email. The exam will be available for you from the 1st of the next calendar month and you’ll have three tries to pass within that month. Don’t worry if you don’t manage it, you can register for the next month as well.

The Core exam has to be finished within one sitting and is time-limited to 2h. There are 80 questions about various tools and the Designer itself.

Once finished, you’ll see your result straight away and will get a confirmation email. I had to wait a few hours to get the email with the certificate so don’t stress out if you don’t get it immediately.

The Preparation

If you want to take steps to prepare for the exam, check out the Prep Guide. It has information about the exam itself, the curriculum and some mock questions. I went through the content of the exam and decided I know enough. Then I did the mock questions that felt alright so I thought to give it a go.

Another option is to do some Weekly Challenges, this should get you fairly familiar with Alteryx. Doing the challenges forces you to learn various tools which is quite good in this scenario.

The Exam

As I mentioned, I thought I’d have a casual go at the exam but that didn’t happen. I have actually found it more stressful than I anticipated and it seemed like there wasn’t too much time. The questions vary quite a lot, there is no order to them. Or at least it didn’t seem like there was any.

What helped me a lot was having Alteryx Designer open so that you can check the answers in the program itself. Sometimes the questions will be about the functionality of a tool. Sometimes you’ll be asked about the result for specific action on specific data.

The annoying bit is that the data is presented as an image so you can’t copy and paste, sadly. The good news is the data is so small you can easily and quickly type it into the text input tool. You’ll be also asked about results for some datasets that you’ll have to download on your machine.

Tip: you can drag and drop data files onto the canvas and it will be automatically imported. This should save you some time… (I was reminded of it during one of the question, which of course had to be towards the end of the exam…)

In the summary: have Alteryx open and do as much as you can in Alteryx to make sure your answers are correct.

If you have some experience with Alteryx, sign up and have a go. It’s free and you get many attempts at it, so no stress (unless you’re as competitive as I am). It’s also a good learning experience because you get to test many different functionalities of various tools.

If you want to read more about Alteryx Designer Core Exam, check out other posts on the Data School Blog by Louise Le and Nicholas Bowskill.

Good-bye and good luck!