I have helped more than 2,500 educators work on their Google certifications since 2014.
But here’s the thing – only a small fraction of them actually finish the process and become a Google Certified Educator.
Everyone is excited at first, but then the hard preparation begins.
Life gets busy. Priorities change. Stuff happens.
You can overcome these challenges and be one of the few that finishes!
Earning a Google certification isn’t easy. It takes work. This list of 10 Google certification tips will help you beat the odds and become a Google Certified Educator!
1. Make sure you pick the right exam!
Each certification has been designed for a specific type of educator.
The Level 1 exam was created for teachers who are using G Suite for Education, Chromebooks, Google Classroom, etc, on a daily basis.
The Level 2 exam was created for teachers who are not only using the products for the level 1 test, but are also familiar with things like Blogger, YouTube, Google Maps, and Groups.
Make sure you understand the tools and skills that are included on the exam that you plan on taking.
If you are just getting started, jump over to my detailed post on all 5 Google certification exams. This post will tell you everything you need to know about each certification.
2. Take an inventory of your skills
Google Certified Trainer Eric Curts created a comprehensive list of the skills that are tested on the Level 1 and 2 exams.
Before you take your exam, spend some time taking an inventory of your skills to see if there are products that you may need to practice using before the exam.
3. Put together a study plan
After reviewing the skills checklist from Eric Curts, identify the products that you need to learn more about and create a plan to develop your skills!
Google has created a free training course that will help you prepare for your L1 or L2 certification exam. It’s not the most exciting content, but it does cover everything that you need to know.
YouTube is another great resource to help you prepare for your exam. Here are a few channels worth checking out:
- Level 1 training by Frank Avello (2020) – everything you need to know for the L1 test!
- Level 2 training by Frank Avello (2020) – everything you need to know for the L2 test!
- Google Sheet basics – this is a playlist that I put together. It covers the features of sheets covered on the L1 exam.
There is more than enough free material available on the web to help you prepare for the L1 or L2 test.
If studying on your own isn’t your thing, join me for the Google Certification Academy!
This isn’t an online course, it’s an opportunity to work directly with me and a group of ~25 teachers who are preparing for their Google Educator exam.
Check out the event page to sign up for the next cohort!
Study is important, but you also need to be using Google Workspace tools every day.
Make sure you are using Gmail, Drive and Calendar on a daily basis.
Spend time using Google Sites and YouTube for your next class project.
Incorporate these tools into your classroom with your students; don’t wait until you are certified!
5. Find a friend
Preparing for the certification exams by yourself is lonely and boring.
Find a colleague who is also interested in earning their certification and study together.
It is best to work with someone who you can meet in-person, but if that’s not an option, join the Google Educator Facebook Group and you can connect with Google-using teachers from around the world!
You’re halfway through my list of 10 Google Certification Tips. We have five more to go!
This next one might be the most important, but you probably won’t like it!
6. Don’t wait until you “feel” ready
Pick a date on your calendar to take the certification exam.
Take the day off work, hire a babysitter, arrange a block of 3 uninterrupted hours to take your exam. Get it on your calendar and hold yourself to it.
You will NEVER “feel” ready to take your exam. You can always read another blog post on Google certification tips or study just a little bit more.
Even if you don’t pass, taking the exam will help you immensely.
You can retake the exam 7 days after your first attempt, up to three times in one calendar year. Roughly 30% of those who take the exam don’t pass the first time.
7. Register in Advance
After you purchase your level 1 or level 2 Google Educator exam you may need to wait up to 48 hours until you can actually access the exam.
You are waiting for an email from Google with the login credentials for the test (the email will be sent from email@example.com).
Some people have reported receiving the email within an hour while others have waited a full 48 hours.
Keep this in mind if you have arranged a block of time to finish your exam. I recommend that you purchase the exam at least one day before you plan on taking it, just to be safe.
This guide from Google contains detailed instructions on how to register for your exam.
8. Don’t let your exam expire!
Once you purchase your exam you have 8 days to take it.
If you wait more than 8 days your exam will expire and you will need to purchase it again. Get that date on your calendar!
9. Make sure you are familiar with the testing interface
Google has partnered with Kryterion, an international testing company, to administer the certification exam.
The testing interface includes several important tools and features that will help you navigate the test and budget your time.
I recommend that you read this post to learn more about the test format and tools so that you know what to expect.
10. Plan your testing strategy
There are lots of great exam strategies worth considering. Here are a couple of popular options:
- Two Device / Monitor Setup – Use one computer (or a second monitor) to access the testing interface and a second device / monitor to research questions or look up information. This will help you avoid getting “lost” in lots of windows.
- Incognito Window – To avoid any account conflicts while taking your exam you should consider opening the exam in an incognito window. Use this window to sign into the test account that Google provides for taking your exam.
These are two common strategies. Check out this post for 50 tips shared by teachers who successfully passed their L1 exam!
(Bonus) 11. Share what you learn!
Don’t wait until you are certified to share what you are learning.
Offer to lead a 10-minute “tech tip” session during your next staff meeting. Apply to present at a local Google summit or tech conference. Start a blog. Record a series of screencasts and post them on YouTube.
Teaching someone else will help you master the information. Furthermore, sharing knowledge is a key characteristic of the Google for Education program.
We learn so that we can share and make education better for the students we serve.
I hope these 10 Google certification tips will give you the confidence to take your level 1 or level 2 exam!
Remember, you will never “feel” ready. It’s YOUR turn to become a Google Certified Educator!
If you need a hand preparing, I would recommend signing up for my free certification email course or you can RSVP for my next LIVE Google Certification webinar!