The collaborative and creative nature of Google Apps For Education has transformed the manner in which I deliver instruction to my students. I find myself using Google Drive, Docs, Forms and Classroom with my students daily and thoroughly enjoy exploring these tools. If you’re as passionate about educational technology as I am, chances are you’ve considered becoming a Google certified educator. As an individual that recently attained their level 1 and 2 certifications, I've written this post to provide future Google certified educators with the information I wish someone had given me beforehand.
During the registration process, you will notice a third party company called Kryterion and be prompted to create a Webassessor testing account. Your registration confirmation e-mail will come from this company, not Google! It is easy to misplace this e-mail and mistake it for spam. Unfortunately, I accidently deleted this e-mail and had to wait an additional week to take my level 1 certification. It was an unnecessary headache that is easily avoidable.
Once you've registered for your exam there will be a brief wait period (24 hours or so) before your exam is ready. Thereafter, you will have approximately 1 week to complete the exam.
Studying for the Exam
There are two ways to approach the preparation process. You can either register for a Google Training Bootcamp with a certified trainer or study for the test independently like I did. If you choose the latter, I suggest taking advantage of the Google for Education Training Center. Here you will find everything you need in order to pass both exams. The exam prep materials are organized in separate categories and specific units. You can complete each unit at your own pace and track of your study progress through your Google account. I also suggest implementing the apps into your lessons on a regular basis to deepen your understanding of the software. Although there are 30 multiple choice questions on each exam, the majority of each exam is comprised of practical “in-app” tasks.
If you already incorporate the Google Apps for Education tools into your everyday teaching practices then chances are the Level 1 certification will be relatively straightforward. However, it will still take an average of 10-15 hours to complete the fundamental training course for the level 1 certification exam. For me, studying 30-45 minutes a day for one week was enough to pass the exam in one try. I made a personal goal to complete one or two units each day. Perhaps you'd like to set a similar goal to establish consistent study habits?
The Advanced Training skills are significantly more difficult to master. I suggest studying for this test 60-90 minutes a day for two weeks before attempting to take this exam. This is a rigorous test. I cannot stress the importance of studying every day. The first time I took this exam I failed by two points and had to wait two weeks before registering again (Google policy). During that waiting period, I forgot a small percentage of what I had initially learned and had to study all the information a second time. In hindsight the extra studying forced me to master the content, but, it was not fun. My best advice is to over-prepare for level 2 and complete all the “in app” tasks that are covered in the training center.
Other Test Taking Tips
- Sleep well the night before (8 hours if possible).
- Eat a healthy meal beforehand as each exam is three hours in length. You cannot pause the timer once an exam session has begun.
- Make sure your internet connection is reliable and that your webcam is working.
- Use the internet to your advantage! Google is essentially giving a high-tech “open notebook” test so take advantage of it.
- Bookmark relevant websites and resources as you study. These will come in handy during the exam.
- Once your exam has begun, flag any challenging questions and come back to them at the end of the test. This will help you efficiently manage your time.
Good luck on your Google journey! Please enhance this post by commenting below with other test taking tips or questions you have about the certification process.