I just recently passed the Google Educator Level 1 Exam, which covers the fundamentals of Google Applications. While I am not allowed to disclose any of the test questions, I can give a generic overview for how to best prepare for the exam.

The exam will cost you $10 to take and will run for 180 (3 hours) without stopping. I had no idea what to expect other than the fact that there would be some questions about the applications and then some performance assessments to gauge my ability to use the different applications. I had found an article at AppsEvents that outlined some good tips for preparing for the exam, but it sounds like they were offering advice on how to complete a different format of the exam, because I only had to take a single exam, rather than 5 separate sections.

At first I had signed up for the exam thinking that it would be a piece of cake as I have a fairly good understanding of Google Apps and what I couldn’t figure out would be simple enough to just intuitively pick it out. However, I decided I would at least go to the Official Google for Education training modules to test how much I knew. There were a few things here or there that I didn’t understand, but I performed fairly poorly on the end of unit review questions because the training modules are extremely nitpicky. For example one question on the training module read:

7. YouTube gets better and better at delivering content for your classes the more you use it. YouTube uses your watch history to try to predict other channels and videos that you might be interested in and suggests them under What to Watch on your Channel. Additionally, Channel __________ allow you to be notified about subsequent uploads to a channel you like.

I had entered the word subscription and I was marked incorrect. I then scoured the internet trying to find the correct answer and then I decided that maybe I would try subscriptions instead, and of course I was marked correct. A lot of the fill in the blank questions on the training module are very sensitive, which can be quite frustrating, so I continued to spend a few hours taking all the review tests at the end of each unit to make sure there was absolutely no chance of making a mistake on the actual exam.

However, when it came to me taking the actual exam, I was pleased to find out that there was not a single fill in the blank response. You take your exam using an auto-generated e-mail that includes a Google Apps for Education account tied to it (so no worries if you do not have your own Google Apps for Education account). You will begin the exam by taking a photo of yourself using your webcam and then you must continuously allow the exam site to activate your webcam to continuously record you taking the test, which is Google’s way of proctoring your exam and making sure no one else gets behind your computer and finishes the exam for you.

Then I completed roughly 20 multiple response questions, but the exam includes notes about the exact number of responses that you should select. For example out of the 5 responses, the exam tells you to mark only 3 for that question.

After completing the 20 multiple response questions, I then completed 11 performance assessments that were divided into mini-tasks. Honestly, the performance assessments were easier to complete for me than the multiple response questions (not that the multiple response questions are that difficult either). Even things I did not initially know were features of Google Apps were easy to figure out from just clicking around for a few seconds.

So my advice for you, if you have a pretty good grasp of basic Google Applications including Gmail, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Calendar, you probably won’t need to spend too much time studying for the exam. I think the few hours I did studying was overkill and I didn’t even come close to approaching the estimated amounts of time for each unit that Google listed on the training modules. However, if you have a decent understanding of Google Apps, but don’t think you can intuitively figure out different features of Google Apps, I would spend a couple of hours reviewing the free official training modules just to be careful.

I don’t know how the Google Educator Level 2 exam will compare, but I will provide updates after I have completed my Level 2. If you have any additional advice on how to pass the the Google Educator Level 1 exam or any other questions that aren’t too specific, I would love to hear from you guys in the comments below.