I recently took the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate exam and passed after 2 months of training at the data school, so I felt compelled to write a quick guide about the resources I utilised. Taking the exam was a great confidence booster in my knowledge and it’s also a great opportunity to prove to yourself that you know and understand Tableau.

The exam is done online and you have a proctor who watches you through the exam; I know it sounds creepy having someone watch you through the webcam but honestly you forget they are there once the exam starts. The exam is 2 hours long it’s honestly more than enough time to finish the exam and review your answers. Furthermore, the great thing about this exam is that once it’s over you straight away find out your results, which leaves you with the freedom to not have to sit there for day wondering how you did in your exam, anxious with anticipation to find out if you passed or failed. I was so relieved after I hit the submit button to read the sentence: “Congratulations! You’ve passed.” The exam consists of 36 questions: these are a mixture of theoretical and practical questions, all of the questions need to be answered so you can submit your test. It’s crucial for you to know that you need at least a score of 75% to pass the exam and be qualified.

Read the Tableau Exam Prep Guide & take the practice paper in the guide it helps provide guidance on what topics you should focus on for the exams also it definitely helps you get used to the way the questions are worded in the exam. Getting used to the wording of the exam is critical it’s something I struggled with the most and why I found the questions difficult at times so my best advice is to break down the question into key points, read them carefully and then re-read them again. Also, remember you are allowed to use google in your exam!

LearningTableau.com is an amazing site that was key to helping me pass and learn. It has practical exams, quizzes in all of the key topics that could come up in your exam and is a great source of knowledge. I would recommend working through all of the example questions, quizzes and going through the step-by-step solutions guide. There are also practice papers which you can practice and take they cost £7 and I would recommend paying for it, it’s great at covering the topics and preparing you for the exam with a mixture of practical and knowledge-based questions.

Extra Tips:

The exam expects you to know how to plot different types of trend lines:

What is R-squared?

R-squared is a statistical measure of how close the data are to the fitted regression line. It’s the ratio of the variance of the model’s error, or unexplained variance, to the total variance of the data.

R-squared is always between 0 and 100%:

  • 0% indicates that there is no significant relationship between the variables in the model
  • 100% indicates that there is a significant relationship between the variables in the model

In general, the higher the R-squared, the better the model fits your data.

What is the P-value?

P-value is a measure of significance, it reports the probability that the relationship between the variables was not due to random chance. An important thing to remember is that the smaller the p-value, the more significant the model is. A p-value of 0.05 or less is often considered significant.

Box Plots

Box plots show the distribution of values along an axis. Building box plots and knowing how to read box plots is critical to the exam and is something that could come up. Tableau has created a detailed guide on how to build box plots and how to read them here

All about joins

Make sure you understand joins, how they work and when you’re likely to use unions, joins and data blending. This is critical because you may be asked to perform a join.

Paula Muñoz created a data visualisation about the exam that I would definitely recommend you take a look at here 

I hope you found these tips useful in your own journey to becoming certified.

If you have any tips of your own feel, free to add them in the comments section below.