My Experience with the Tableau Specialist Certification Exam
Saturday, November 17th, 2018
Please note that this post is related to a previous version of the Specialist exam. For the current version, check here.
How difficult is it to pass the Tableau Specialist certification exam? Here’s my experience:
So what’s the exam like?
- I had a lot of trouble logging in to the virtual machine to actually start the exam. On my first attempt the proctor spent about a half hour with me trying to get me logged in, but then realized that the virtual machine was not working at all, so I rescheduled. The second time it took about 45 minutes for the proctor to suggest trying to take the exam on a different computer. I switched computers, and was finally able to log in and take the test.
- There are the same number of questions as on the Tableau Qualified Associate exam, but there are fewer hands-on questions, and the hands-on questions are much simpler… no calculated fields, just simple aggregation (sum, avg), filtering, sorting.
- A few of the knowledge based questions asked about features that I hadn’t heard of before, so I found myself googling for at least 3 or 4 of them to try to find an answer. I skipped quite a few questions that initially puzzled me, and came back later.
- Some of the knowledge-based questions ask you what steps to do to perform a task. I found it helped to open Tableau and test things, to verify the best answer to the question.
- Compared to the Qualified Associate exam, one test taker commented that the Tableau Specialist “has incredibly easy hands on part. But the theoretical questions are the vast majority and are almost same as in the other exam. Maybe just more theoretical.” I would agree with this – the hands-on questions were very simple, but the knowledge based questions seemed about as difficult as the one on the Qualified Associate exam.
I finished about 15 minutes early and got a 92% correct.
Also check out Chelsea’s post on the exam or take my Udemy course which includes two practice tests and videos covering all Specialist topics.
Note that this post applies to an older version of the Specialist exam. Here’s the post on my experience with the current version.
22 thoughts on “My Experience with the Tableau Specialist Certification Exam”
It is not mandatory, but you want a very reliable internet connection during the exam so that you don’t get disconnected from the virtual machine.
Will the proctor allow a laptop to be plugged in to a singe monitor if I turn off screen on my laptop ? It sounds like no. Where can I find a list of formulas other than COUNTD that can turn a string into a measure?
https://mkt.tableau.com/files/Tableau-Certification-4-steps-to-exam-success.pdf mentions, “You are only allowed to use one screen during your exam. A larger screen is recommended as you must navigate multiple windows in the exam environment.” If you are only using one monitor you are good.
Regarding your second question, I haven not seen such a list. I can tell you COUNT will also turn a string into a measure, as will LEN.
I tried to use the set up of laptop as CPU and webcam and one external monitor (used only one screen). I showed my proctor the display setting. My proctor refused this setup. I had to argue a lot, and eventually I ended up using the smaller (13 inch laptop screen) monitor. I did not fair well.
I am trying to take my case with Loyalist but, I have not heard back from them.
I bought practice exam quizzez 3, This will helpfull for me to prepared tableau specialist exam.
please guide me,almost i spend 3 months to prepare. i dont have any background related tableau.
But i want to take tableau specialist exam. online exam i never had experience before.
please guide me
Hi Ashwini – I would recommend going through the Tableau free training https://www.tableau.com/learn/training/20202 and my Udemy Specialist course. The Udemy course includes access to the practice exams.
Is it compulsory to have external webcam for laptop, can we only use our laptop’s webcam?
your laptop webcam should be fine.
I don’t trust my wifi. Can I use my phone hotspot?
Try using the connectivity checker to see if your connection with the hotspot is good enough. See the Exam Setup document
Can we browse answers for any questions on the browser?Are answers from all the sites displayed or only tableau website is displayed
The virtual machine has a regular browser, so you can search anywhere on the web for help during the exam. You can’t use the browser to communicate with other people during the exam, though.
If my laptop’s in-built microphone/speaker has problems, are we allowed to plug in and use headphones while conversing with the proctor?
I don’t see anything about that in the exam FAQ, so I’d email email@example.com to ask if this is okay.
Hello there – I have registered for the Tableau Desktop Specialist Exam for early November but I do not see the quizzes for that on your site. I have completed the Tableau courses / tutorials that are offered online and wanted to try the quizzes that you offer. But I don’t see these on your site. If you could identify those please?
Will it be enough if I do the tableau desktop fundamentals course and your three specialist exam bundle pack and appear for the exam?
Most likely yes, that’s why I have the guarantee. Make sure you understand any questions you get incorrect on the practice tests.
Can the proctor see you during the exam?
Yes, the proctor can see you the entire time.
I want to take the exam.
I have laptop on Windows. but do I still need a virtual machine for the exam? I don’t understand.
When you take your exam, you use your own computer (with a webcam) to connect to the proctor. The proctor will then help you to connect from your laptop to a virtual machine which includes a copy of Tableau Desktop and the datasets. You’ll use your laptop to access the virtual machine.