During Q3 2019, I challenged myself to obtain a few different Adobe Certifications by the end of the year. As the end of the year came-and-went, I ended up with three Adobe Certifications. I’m now an Adobe Certified Expert in Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager and Target.
The first certification I pursued was the Analytics Business Practitioner certification or Adobe exam AD0-E202. Although I had a few years of experience in Adobe Analytics (including back in the Omniture days), and a decade of solid data and analytics experience to draw from, preparing for and taking the Analytics exam was difficult and challenging. To be completely honest, I found the Analytics exam much more difficult than the Audience Manager and Target exams. That’s part of the reason why I found the training materials and curriculum so impressive and rewarding. Before I get into the curriculum and the resources I used to prepare, I first want to cover the basics of the exam, how it is structured, and the requirements to pass.
Adobe Analytics Business Practitioner Certification (AD0-E202) Exam Structure
- Questions: 69
- Time to Complete: 120 Minutes
- Type of Test: Multiple Choice & Multiple Select
- Delivery Method: Online Proctored (webcam & mic required)
All Adobe exams require a score of at least 550 to pass. Your test score can range from 300-700. When reading these requirements for the first time, most people have the same questions; how many questions do I need to answer correctly in order to get at least a 550 passing grade? In my search for this answer, I stumbled upon many forums with comments from people who had the same exact question. The best resource to use, in order to find this answer, can be found in the Adobe ACE Passing Percentage Guide (found here). This list will tell you the passing percentage needed for each exam. If you use the percentage on this list, along with the number of questions on the exam you are taking (found here in the Adobe exam guide for your particular exam), you can calculate the number of correct answers needed to score a 550, or above, and pass. For example, there are 69 questions on the AD0-E202 exam, and you need a 72% (as of writing this) to pass. 72% of 69 is 49.7, so you would need to answer 50 of the 69 questions correctly to pass.
Adobe Analytics Topics Covered
There are over 24 hours of on-demand video training, as well as several instructor-led courses, on the Adobe Partner Solutions website for Adobe Analytics. However, the exam boils all that info down into five main topics:
- Business Analysis (25%): Determining the best reporting strategy, conversion funnels, interpreting the Solution Design Reference (SDR), outliers and anomalies in reports.
- Reporting & Dashboarding (25%): Configuring projects using the appropriate tool, fallout & flow visualizations, Report Builder, Data Warehouse, sharing projects, setting Alerts, and looking up dimensions/components.
- Segmentation & Calculated Metrics (25%): Developing & configuring segments, sharing segments, comparing segments, applying segments to projects, generating calculated metrics and determining metric types.
- General Tool Knowledge & Troubleshooting (15%): Identifying data quality issues, defining types of dimensions & parameters, bringing data in and out of Adobe Analytics and configuring Report Builder.
- Administration (10%): Configuring Marketing Channel reports & Processing Rules, Classification Importer & Rule Builder, Marketing URLs, configuring Virtual Report Suites and Report Suite Admin Console settings.
Exam Prep Resources
Below is a list of the resources I used in order to prepare for the exam. On top of using these resources, Adobe recommends that you have 2 years of analytics experience before taking the exam.
- Adobe’s Partner Sandbox Environment: If you work for a company that partners with Adobe, you can most likely get access to their training sandbox environment, which gives you hands-on access to Adobe Analytics, and any other Adobe tools you want to gain more experience with. Talk to your Adobe admin.
- On-Demand Training: On the Adobe Partner site, found here, you can get access to several hours of free training videos. These videos were great and made it easy to understand and retain the info.
- Adobe Certified Expert Exam Guide: Each Adobe exam has its own exam guide. It includes the topics the exam will cover, the number of questions, the amount of time and a checklist of the specific tasks you should be able to perform within the tool before taking the exam. These guides can be found on the Adobe Partner website mentioned above.
- Adobe User Guide: Found here, the Adobe User Guides are the online manual to all the workings of all the Adobe Experience Cloud tools.
- Adobe Forums: I regularly visited https://forums.adobe.com, https://community.adobe.com, and https://helpx.adobe.com. These forums helped me further dig into topics covered on the User Guide site.
Adobe also offers in-person and online instructor-led training, but those come at an extra cost beyond the free on-demand training they give their partners access to. I did not use any instructor-led classes.
How to register
In order to register for an Adobe exam, you must visit https://www.certmetrics.com/adobe and create a profile using the same email address you used to create your Adobe partner ID when you logged into the on-demand Adobe Partner website. Once you create your profile, you can view a list of all the different Adobe exams offered, and register for any exam you please. You will then be taken to another website belonging to Adobe’s partner, PSI. There you will need to pick a day/time, pick between online proctored or in-person exam, and pay $180. You may also want to run the PSI system check to ensure your computer setup and webcam meet the standards needed to run the online exam.
What to expect on test day
As I mentioned in the section above about the exam structure, I took the online proctored version of the exam, as there are no physical Adobe testing locations near me. The Adobe online proctored exams are administered by Adobe’s partner PSI (found here). You will need to log-in and give them access to your webcam and mic. Next, you will need to show a valid ID, use your cam to take a picture of yourself, and do a room-scan with the webcam. Adobe and PSI require that you be in an enclosed room, by yourself, with no distractions. You can’t have any food or drinks in the room, you cannot have your phone or use any other tech devices other than the computer being used to take the test. Adobe and PSI do not allow any notes, screenshots or internet browsing while testing. No one is allowed to enter the room while you are testing, all doors must be closed and all windows must be blocked from view. They also ask that you do not talk during the test, including reading the questions out loud. You can’t even mouth the questions as you read them to yourself. Once inside of the testing environment, the clock starts and the first question is displayed. They also provide you with a calculator tool, if needed.
Once you complete the exam and click the submit button, you will be asked to answer a few survey questions about your testing experience. After that, your preliminary results will be displayed. You will get a Congratulations note if you pass, and a “sorry, but…” note if you did not pass. Usually, 2 or 3 days later you will get your official results, which include your score (550 is passing) and a breakdown of your performance on each of the five topics I mentioned above. Each exam question falls under one of the five topics, and you will be given a percentage of questions you answered correctly for each of the five topics. This gives you an idea of those topics you need to improve in before a re-take, if necessary.
I was genuinely impressed with the Adobe Analytics on-demand curriculum. Not only does it do a thorough job of teaching you all aspects of the tool itself, but it also arms you with additional knowledge that can help you be a better data analyst, a better implementation architect, and better at building and growing client relationships. It goes through the technical documentation you need to create to implement the tool correctly, it teaches you who the client stakeholders are that you need to build relationships with, and what questions you should be asking these clients. Even someone like me, who has over 10 years of analytics experience, can learn several new and valuable aspects that will help make you a better data/tech/consulting professional all around. It is fair to say that Adobe not only met my expectations but far exceeded them with their impressive curriculum.
That great experience and wealth of knowledge I picked up through the Analytics Certification process led me to go after two more Adobe certifications, as I mentioned. I plan on following up this blog post with a mini-series highlighting my experience while preparing for, and taking, the Audience Manager and Target Certification exams.