Google · Professional Development

9 Tips for Passing Google Educator Exams

Bilbo GoogleAbout to embark on a new adventure? No, I’m not talking about tagging along with a gaggle of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their homeland, or depositing the One Ring into the fiery pits of Mount Doom (Hobbit release week…my apologies). I’m actually referring to the epic journey of passing the Google Apps for Education exams and becoming a qualified Google Educator. You won’t receive a chest of gold or a one-way ticket to the Undying Lands, but you WILL receive a Google-branded certificate solidifying your mastery of GAFE skills, as well as the badge of honor that you are a lifelong learner with a passion for innovation and sharing with others.

Even Aragorn and the entire Middle Earth is impressed with Google Educator certificates!

The Hobbits just passed their Google Educator exams. Job well done, fellas!

A group of Lake Forest High School students have begun the process of becoming Google Educators (because the real goal is for the student to become the teacher, and the teacher to become the student, right?).  As the students take and pass exams (huzzah!), there’s been a few exam-taking strategies that have been working for them. In the spirit of teaching and sharing, I wanted to pass those tips along:

  1. Use all 90 minutes. Don’t get cocky. If you finish with 40 minutes left give yourself a pat-on-the-back, dance a jig and then review your answers. You need an 80% to pass, and your success could come down to 1 or 2 tricky questions. Dive back in and review your work.
  2. Use common sense. Think about the Google philosophy of their apps, and ask yourself, “Does it make sense that Google would offer this feature?”
  3. Know the tool. Yes, file this one next to the shocking revelation that the Pope is Catholic, but knowing the tool will help immensely. If you’ve never used Sites before, make a Site. If you are unfamiliar with more advanced features of Calendar, start using Calendar. Sure, you could go in cold and just look up everything…but remember, you only have 90 minutes per exam. Having a grasp on the tool will help you eliminate answers that don’t seem to work and also allow you to spend more time on the questions you are struggling with.
  4. Try out the skill. Many of the questions are some variation of (depending on the tool, of course): “You wish to copy an event from a colleague’s Calendar to yours. How do you do this?” The question is followed by multiple choice answers. So, what could be more helpful than simply looking up the answer! Actually try it out! Launch Calendar, and do it…then you’ll know you are answering correctly. Which leads to….
  5. Look stuff up. This goes without saying, but of course I’ll say it and write more than I need to. Part of the beauty of the Google exams is that they are “open book” – so have another device, tab or browser open to scour the internet for answers. You’re not only being tested on what you know, but also how quickly you can find, interpret and evaluate information online.
  6. Have two (2) different Google accounts. Google is such a collaborative tool, and SO MANY questions are about sharing, emailing, document permissions, etc. Having two (2) accounts accessible allows you to go back and forth, check out individual permissions, examine the differences between editors and owners, etc. It helps a LOT.
  7. Use the online Help resources. I strongly recommend and the App-specific areas at –  (check out the table on this Doc with direct links).
  8. Mark it, and come back. Don’t spend 15 minutes on a head-scratcher question (the clock is ticking!). Give it your best shot, click on the Mark icon, and check back in at the end.
  9. It’s okay if you suck. Really, it’s okay if you fail a test. You get to take it again (not immediately, but in 7 days). Learning from mistakes is super important (especially for students), and it may be the most important lesson of all. Take it from the Zuck.

So, there you go. You can access the Certification page here, and soon you’ll be off and running. That Google Educator certificate will soon be yours! And if you are feeling unmotivated, you don’t need to do it for yourself:

12 thoughts on “9 Tips for Passing Google Educator Exams

  1. I am planning on taking some of the tests this week and this was helpful in getting me in the right mindset. Thanks for posting the tips!

  2. working collaboratively within a small group helped tremendously. We worked in a group of six to eight each week and would have partners (one would take the test and the other would resource) when most were finished 1 or two of us would have the (super resource team) to serve their every need. we all passed!

  3. I’m about to ask a silly question….I just got myself certified (!) and I wanted to snag that digital badge to put on my blog. Where did you get yours – I didn’t find anything “official” and since you’re last post was #stealmystuff…..can I snag yours?! Also – awesome idea to get students certified!!

    1. Hi Megan – first off, congrats on passing the exams! It’s no easy feat, so well done! Regarding the badge, that’s technically the badge for the Google Certified Teacher program, which you should totally check out. As far as being a Google Educator goes, I don’t think there’s a badge, per-say, but I’ve seen folks take a screenshot of the certificate and use that jpg in lieu of a badge. And it looks cool, if you ask me!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I just passed Gmail and Calendar, then I found your post. Looking forward to tackling the rest. And, yes — use all 90 minutes!

  5. If a student fails and it says it can be retaken in 7 days, does that mean the student will have to repurchase the test or they can access that same test again in 7 days? The tests are closed until June so I’m wondering.

      1. That’s really unfortunate since they are revising it through June. That makes the other 3 tests pointless and a waste of money.

      2. I know! It was a real shock to us — our district is paying us a bonus if we pass all 5, but now it’s too late for many teachers. But that’s classic Google: they revise all the time.

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