How to Prepare for your Alteryx Designer Core Exam

by Louise Le

This month, many of DS11 are taking the Alteryx Designer Core Exam (as well as the Tableau QA), including myself. If you’re interested in my top tips on how to pass the Tableau QA, see my post here 

In this post, I will go through:

  1. The resources I found helpful while preparing for the exam
  2. My experience of taking the exam
  3. My top tips for passing!


What types of Alteryx Designer certifications are there?

Alteryx offers three tiers of certification as seen in Figure 1. These tiers are aimed at beginner, advanced and expert level users. One of the great things about these certifications is that the Core and Advanced exams are totally free and the Expert exam is a reasonable $150. All exams are 2 hours long.

Note: You cannot take the Advanced exam without having taken the Core and you cannot take the Expert without having taken both the Core and Advanced.


Fig 1. Alteryx Designer certification options (link here)



Should I get certified?

Yes. Definitely. Why? Let me tell you why…

  • The first two certifications are free! So why not? If your company has Alteryx licenses, why not add to your CV/resume?
  • Alteryx allows you three goes at certification a month. If you fail, that’s okay, you can brush up on your weaker areas and try again up to three times in the month.
  • It’s low pressure. Because the exams are free and you get three attempts, this lowers the pressure and exam jitters.
  • It’s a learning opportunity. The exam set up allows you to strengthen your knowledge, through your revision and in the exam itself. Personally I learned so many new things from the exam!
  • You’ll get a badge in the Alteryx community website. Now I know it’s not about getting kudos from your peers, but it does make you feel like you actually know your stuff. That little confidence boost can be really beneficial.



How do I book?

So I’ve convinced you! Or you already wanted to take the exams when you clicked on this post…

Anyway, how can you book? Click on this link, and hit the green register button (as shown in Figure 2) on the exam you’d like to take.

Fig 2. Click the register button


Next, you will see the sign up page (Figure 3). This page has all the information you need to know about registering for the exam.

Some things to note: When you register, you are registering to take the exam in the next calendar month. E.g. if I register now (January 2019), I won’t be able to take the exam until February 2019.

When the next calendar month starts, Alteryx will send you an email with your exam login details. Clicking on this link and entering your access code will start your exam.


Fig 3. Registration page



How to prepare

  • I cannot stress highly enough how brilliant the exam prep guide is!
    • Core prep guide here
    • Advanced prep guide here
  • Read the exam prep guide and read it again. It covers all the exam content and even has sample questions!
  • Follow the preparation links in the guides. These are links to other sources of training/exam preparation. I personally did not go through all the material but the ones I did click on were helpful.
  • Go to the help page of all the tools involved in the exam. These tools are listed in the prep guide. Figure 4 shows how you can get to the help pages from Alteryx Designer.


Fig 4. Right click on the tool of interest and click ‘Help’


What is the actual exam like?

  • Watch this YouTube video to see what the exam format will look like.
  • Your exam will take place within your browser.
  • Your exam will be multiple choice and open book. This means you can Google stuff, you can have notes and even the exam prep guide open.
  • You will need access to Alteryx Designer as some questions require you to input data and do some simple joins/summarises.
  • There is no proctor in this exam (I did my exam under a big blanket at home).
  • You can return to previous questions so don’t worry about leaving some questions blank to come back to later.
  • Questions are either 1 mark or 3 mark. The 3 mark questions are practical.
  • At the end of the exam, you will get your results immediately and your certificate will be emailed to you shortly after.



Exam top tips!

  • Don’t stress! Alteryx designed the exams with learning in mind. Take the opportunity to learn and do your best!
  • Revise during the month before your exam month and then take your exam early in the exam month. This way, if you don’t pass, you have time to revise and try again within the month.
  • Use Google if you need to and double check your answers in Alteryx. You have plenty of time so definitely check your answers!
  • Some of the questions in the exam prep guide may appear in the exam (as questions are pulled from a question bank) so it’s handy to have the prep guide open on your computer.
  • Have the help pages of every tool in the exam open in your browser for quick referral. I would have these in a separate window to your exam though.
  • Keep an eye on how much the question is worth and make sure you get the 3 mark questions right.


Check out this post from DS11’s Nick on his Alteryx Core experience.


Best of luck with your exam!

Please tag me on Twitter if this helped you prepare for your exam!



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4 mins read

Thu 31 Jan 2019