7 Google Certification preparation mistakes to avoid

I finally got my Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer Certificate on the last day of summer 2022. In this article I would like to share my experience and hope it will help you to avoid my mistakes and get your certification on the first try.

Before I start I would like to thank Revolt BI for my education budget and possibility to get this certification.

I can imagine that you are looking for a quick and proven recipe to get your GCP certificate easily. My information is verified and tested by me, but it is not easy to do without effort.

Google recommend 3+ years of industry experience including 1+ years designing and managing solutions using Google Cloud before registering for certification.

To give you an idea, my total preparation time for the two attempts was 3 months. I worked on few project with GCP before and I passed Associate Cloud Engineer Certificate (by mistake :)) a month before taking Professional Data Engineer Certification, so I had some understanding about GCP already.

What if you've tried and failed ?

I don't want to discourage you or make you feel you don't have enough experience. The opposite is true.

I got Professional Engineer Certificate on the second attempt because I made some of these 7 mistakes.

So even if you don't succeed the first time, don't despair because you have another chance in 14 days. Which is not a lot and it requires a fair amount of mental power. So try to keep the feeling of pain for use :)

7 mistakes to avoid:

If you think that you are ready and want to take that exam, you may like to use this article as a checklist. 

Common Certification preparation mistakes:

  1. You've probably studied the Data Engineer path from Coursera Preparing for Google Cloud Certification and think that's enough.
  1. You've probably also had a quick read of Dan Sullivan's "Official Google Cloud Certified Professional Data Engineer Study Guide" and it seems easy. Even the questions in this guide seem easy to you.
  1. Have you read Google's boring documentation? You've probably only seen or read it once.
  1. You tested yourself with 20 Google questions and it seems difficult but not that difficult. Yes, it is easier than the exam itself. You underestimate Google's testing capabilities. Again a mistake.
  1. You've tried to find a Google Questions dump with answers (and maybe even paid for them). You studied it and felt you were ready for the exam. Nope.
  1. You assumed you didn't need hands-on labs at all or just weren't willing to pay for them somewhere online.
  1. You assumed that the exam would only have multiple choice questions with obvious answers. No, Google is too smart for that.

I know it sounds obvious but any one of those mistakes can ruin your Google Exam. If you have done two or more - you will definitely not pass the GCP Professional Exam. 

Okay, so let's start to fix that. Before you continue, please, do not expect an easy way to fix or any corner cut strategy. Sorry, I can not help you with that. I can show experience proven by me only and it needs some time but it is worth it in the GCP exam and you will feel confident during the exam. I am really hoping for that. 

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Fix for mistake 1.

This series will not help you alone. The course is extremely good and covers about 80% of all the necessary requirements for the exam. I also recommend getting courses from cloud academy, including labs. You can get it for a trial period of one week or pay for one month. Completing the course in one week can be challenging, including reading the documentation. For me it still was worth it. Mainly, because they allow you to see a different angle on the topic and gain new insights.

Fix for mistake 2.

If you have time, read the study guide again. More efficiently, register on the Wiley Efficient Learning site and answer their questions. Yes, it's 12 chapters and about 175 questions.

Although Google doesn't state a minimum pass rate (they only tell you if you passed or failed)I have observed that if you score between 80-90% on the Wiley's site, you are very likely to pass the Google test. In some chapters you will have a lower score which will conveniently show you the parts you have missed something and you need to read it carefully and answer it again.

Know that there is no point in memorizing the questions and answers. You need to know the answer by heart and understand why. The questions are simpler compared to the actual Google exam. Similarly, there are other two big exams with 50 and 52 questions. You aim here for at least 80%  rate. You will also find 70 flashcards on this page. I haven't tried them, but just know they exist.

Fix for mistake 3.

The solution is very short but boring and time consuming. I cannot stress enough that you should read Google Documentation. Some exam questions are based purely on documentation. You can download the list with links here.

Fix for mistake 4.

On a link mentioned above you will find Google form with 20 questions with explanations and correct answers. You can only trust these 20 questions and be sure that the answers are correct. Do not blindly trust other sources. I'll explain why in the next section.

Fix for mistake 5.

As I said above you can trust only questions from Google. On Udemy you can find many courses with questions and answers. Be really careful and think twice before you buy it. I bought a few and the quality was very poor.

FYI I did not get any questions from Udemy and other sites like Whizlabs on my exam. These sites offer you “Google like” questions, but not real Google questions. Similarly, if you will be lucky and get some question from Google on any Brain Dump site - you can not be sure that answers are correct. In many cases nobody checks if the answers are correct or not. I also try to find questions on Brain Dump Sites. It was not rare that on 4 different sites the same question had 3 different variants. 

Fix for mistake 6.

Some exam questions are based on practical skills that’s why it's handy to have GCP practical experience. Especially if you don't have the recommended 3 years of experience as Google recommends, taking QwikLabs or Quests can help. You can try real work with Google infrastructure. QuickLabs has a free 30 days trial. Or you can get 300 USD as a free credit directly from Google.

Fix for mistake 7.

The questions in the exams are not easy. Be prepared for 4 or 5 very close variations of answars. You have to choose the best one according to the opinions and recommendations of Google. You will not be asked to remember some constants or values. Instead, you'll have about 50 really small business cases.

And finally, a few links that I found useful:

Hope this article will help and save you time during the preparation. Good luck!

-- Vlad

M. Murray
Michelle Murray
Senior Solution Engineer
Victoria Sinfield
Solution Engineer
M. Groom
Matthew Groom
Solution Engineer
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