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Yes, I finally pass the Alteryx Designer Core Exam. It took me 2 weeks long to study and prepare for the Alteryx Designer Core Exam. Even though it's open book and open note, I failed the first time. But during the study process, I've learned a lot of helpful resources on the community, and I also received a lot of help by posting questions about the functions of Alteryx. I love Alteryx community, and I will do more self-training to improve my skills and knowledge and help out others in this community.
Very good that you passed the Alteryx Core Designer Exam on your second attempt! That is very impressive!!!!!
I kindly seek your suggestions on one area that is preventing me from passing, that is how to best manage time because, I understand the material very well after studying hard, but, I cannot finish the Core Exam in time.
Now, I do realize that it has been a few months since you took/passed this exam, but, can I ask you what tips that you used to manage your time? Did you have MS Excel files to open, as well as analyze data in Alteryx, when you took/passed the first-level exam this past March?
These are the questions that I am not able to make the time to do and find myself guessing as the time runs out - i.e. the exam automatically submits when time is up with some questions unfinished.
Your suggestions on this concern I have would be very highly appreciate.
@dchandra I saw your question so I thought I would give my ideas, since I also struggled with time on my first attempt at the exam.
I think first you should watch all of the Core Cert Prep videos, if you have not, there are 4. Next, I reviewed the three point question Workflows from previous tests to help me understand where I went wrong or how I could do them faster. Then I really made sure I knew the nuances of each tool as well as I could.
Another thing that really helped me was to pre-load a workflow with all of the tools so when I needed to refer to a tool's configuration it was right there. I also added the tool names in the annotations so I could quickly find them.
I had extensive written notes and Help Docs were open but I found I didn't have much time to refer to these things. So I think memorization is best, although the notes did help with that.
My main strategy was to go through the 1-point questions as efficiently as possible because I knew it could take me 10 minutes or longer to execute the workflows for the 3-point ones. This worked well and I even had a few minutes at the end to re-check some of the 1-point questions.
Thank you very much for these insightful suggestions. I understand, and should probably try them out when I re-take the Alteryx Core Designer Exam this Thursday (which is the earliest that I will be allowed to re-take the test).
You mentioned that there are four videos that give techniques on how to pass this exam; would you be able to please provide me with the link or step-by-step clicks on our member account that would take me to these videos? (I didn't know that there were videos which have the suggestions on how to best pass this exam/manage time. I also just heard that there is a sample 15-question exam, which you can try timed, on the Alteryx Community site - would you happen to know where I can find that?)
I kindly need your suggestion on an additional thing (dealing with the questions involving opening/analyzing Excel files) - that is, how to quickly and accurately answer any question which asks for a particular line item within a very large table. (As a made-up example, if there are 10,000 rows of information on every item that Dick's Sporting Goods, Nike, Skechers, and Adidas manufactures [and sells] in a spreadsheet/Excel file how would you recommend that I quickly find the answer to a two-part question which asks  which product in Adidas had the lowest number of sales? and  what was the item that had the third highest sales in Dick's sporting goods?)
All I am seeking is a tip on how to answer the question(s) that I asked above, not for you to construct/build a workflow that would answer these two particular questions.
Thanks, again, for your useful ideas.
Good luck to you, too, in your future certifications/endeavors using Alteryx!
@dchandra I also had a great deal of trouble determining what tool to use in the workflows. When I first started doing the practice exercises (the workflows in the interactive lessons) and the weekly challenges, it would take me 8 hours to complete! I saw that others were completing them in 15 minutes! My difficulty was twofold:
1) My initial assessment of the question and given data. I just needed more practice and I now give myself more time to really understand the question/s and really look at the content and structure of the data. You will usually end up with less data, right? So think about what is important and ignore the rest.
2) The second thing was to understand the essence of each tool. If you are being asked to come up with a new numeric category/percentage/calculation that will be applied to a whole column or create a new column - Formula or Filter. If you are asked to whittle a large dataset to a small subset or one point- Summarize.
If what I need to be a header is in a column- Crosstab.
If I’m being asked for the largest or smallest number in a given column- Sort, then Sample. And so on. Try to look for key words in the question. “For each” often means you will use
Summarize. The videos help with this!
To find the videos, go to the Academy icon -> Videos -> Video Training Index -> then scroll down the alphabetical list and you will see Core Certification Prep Part I, II, III, and IV. There are a lot of other great videos as well!
For the Prep Guides and practice test, go to Academy -> Certification -> and click around you will see there is a static and an interactive practice exam.
I think this is more than a few days worth of preparation so consider giving yourself an extra week or two before you take the test.
To answer your example questions, it would depend on how many categories:
For question 1, Which product in adidas has the lowest number of sales? I would first consider Sort, Ascending. That puts your lowest number at the top of the list. But what if there are multiple line items per product category that would first need to be summed in order to compare categories? Then I would use the Summarize, which combines the ability to sort with ability to perform some calculation with the ability to drop extraneous columns.
For question 2, you need to determine the sales for each item, so if there is not one total for each item then you must sum the sales under each item category so you have one cell of data for each item category. I would again use Summarize. The tools I would use to take a large dataset down to a small point of information would be: Summarize, Sort, Sample, Filter or Unique. Others will also help, but on the test these were my go-to tools. Practice the workflows from the interactive training and elsewhere.
Thank you very, very much! Great response - I love how you are analytical in answering my questions very clearly and precisely. It makes perfect sense, and I really like your suggestions when I retake the Alteryx Core Designer Exam tomorrow. With your wonderful/useful tips, I have a higher chance of passing /ensuring that I leave enough time to answer every question.
Take care and please let me know if you need any assistance from me, as well.
Thanks again for your helpful tips and pointing me to the resources which will allow me to pass my Alteryx Core Designer Exam tomorrow.
When you provided me the steps to be able to find the sample exam questions, I was able to locate the Static Exam which had five practice problem (in a .pdf file); though, you mentioned that there is also an interactive practice exam on the same page. I did not see that -is this the one where I can pace myself and attempt to do the first-level exam timed? Where on the screen within Academy > Certification will I see the interactive timed exam or is there another place where I can find this?
@dchandra You are very welcome! I could not give you the exact path to the practice exams because now that I have passed core certification, my view of that has changed to just a congratulations message. But I feel sure if you click everything in that Certification area you will find it.
The interactive one is, I believe, the same questions as the static so you are not missing much.
I do hope you pass tomorrow but if you should not pass, save all the test workflows and practice them. Look at the post-test metrics for weak areas to address. Study again the following week while test questions are fresh in your mind. Good luck! I’m sure that with diligence you can do this!