Mastering Your Path: How to Prepare for Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

Nowadays, data analysis is something fundamental that companies implement for their benefit and success. This leads to the search for professionals with high-level certifications like Tableau, as it is one of the leading platforms worldwide with the best tools for data analysis.

In the following blog, we will understand this certification, its importance, and impact on the IT world, how to prepare, and tips for succeeding with this certification.

Introduction to Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

Tableau is the number one tool used worldwide for data analysis and management by large organizations to provide benefits, efficiency, and speed in solving problems through the correct functioning of data.

Being the most popular tool makes it one of the top certifications with great confidence and value as a professional in the eyes of a company. That's why if you aim for a future as a data analyst, Tableau should not be missing from your resume.

Understanding the Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

It's important to understand this certification before taking the exam, its format, and the domains and areas that will be evaluated in the exam.

a. What is Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification?

It is a certification designed for professionals who want to specialize or have knowledge of Tableau Desktop and the use of these tools for data connection, preparation, and analysis.

The exam consists of a total of 45 multiple-choice questions, with a duration of 60 minutes. It is available in English and Japanese, requiring a score of 750 to pass, and no previous experience is required.

b. Benefits of Obtaining Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

  • Confidence in front of companies

    Companies seek certified professionals, which is why having this Tableau certification will give you a better position when applying for a job compared to other candidates.

  • Professionalism

    Having a Tableau certification on your resume is excellent if you want to have a promising future, as it lends credibility to your skills and will help you grow as a professional within the field, being one of the most recognized certifications in this area.

  • Better job opportunities

    With this certification, you can aim for better job positions or a new job with higher salary benefits.

c. Prerequisites for Certification

For this certification, no prior requirements are needed; however, it's recommended to have basic knowledge of Tableau Desktop and a minimum of 1 year of practical experience in the field.

Getting Started: Preparing for the Journey

If you're just starting out and planning to obtain your Tableau Desktop Specialist certification, the first thing you should do is as follows:

a. Assessing Your Current Knowledge and Skills

Before anything else, you should assess your current knowledge and skills regarding data preparation, management, and analysis. You can do this by taking free online practice tests to gauge your level. 

This will help you create a study plan considering your existing knowledge and the areas you need to improve.

b. Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

It's essential to know your goals when preparing, how much time you'll dedicate to your studies, and how you plan to achieve them.

Whether it's in 6 months, 8 months, or up to 1 year, it's important to establish the time frame you want to prepare for so you can properly distribute your study plan and utilize the appropriate resources. 

Whether it's through courses, video tutorials, or official guides offered by Tableau, it's up to you.

Exploring the Tableau Desktop Specialist Exam Blueprint

The exam domains are the aspects and points to be evaluated, the sections and concepts included in the exam, and the percentage of scoring for each of these.

Understanding the exam domains is the first step in your preparation. Each of these aspects will be assessed in the exam, and proper understanding will lead you to success. Additionally, it will allow you to establish key concepts to learn and which resources to use for preparation.

  • Connecting to and Preparing Data 23%

    This part of the exam evaluates if the candidate has the skills to create connections to data sources, create an extract, add joins, create a data model, manage data, and administer data.

  • Exploring and Analyzing Data 37%

    It will assess if the candidate has the skills to create basic charts, bar charts, line charts, create scatter plots, is prepared for data organization, create groups using data panes, apply data analysis, use table calculation, use containers, and more.

  • Sharing Insights and Dashboards 25%

    It evaluates if you are capable of creating data sources, formatting marks as shapes, resizing marks, creating a dashboard, understanding dashboard modification, sharing data, exporting data.

  • Understanding Tableau Concepts 15%

    Understanding Tableau tools, understanding dimensions, the information being handled, measures, understanding discrete and continuous fields, how these fields are displayed, knowledge about aggregations, and more.

Building a Solid Foundation: Essential Concepts and Skills

Preparation with key concepts is essential when taking the exam; you must develop the necessary skills to succeed.

a. Understanding Data Visualization Principles

The concept of data visualization principles is one of the key points to understand to have a solid foundation, such as creating effective visualizations with a simple system, concise and easy-to-locate labels, selecting the correct chart type according to the data.

b. Mastering Tableau Interface and Navigation

It is advisable to have a minimum of 3 months of experience using Tableau. This will help you become familiar with the tools and how to use them, making it easier to understand different concepts as you train.

 Practical experience will always be of great benefit for a solid knowledge base and the opportunity to put your skills into practice, allowing you to assess your strengths and weaknesses.

c. Basic Data Preparation Techniques

A starting point is to understand data preparation, comprehending data gathering, cleaning, proper labeling for data exportation and visualization. Understanding and knowing which tool to use in each of these processes to ease and optimize the entire process.

Reviewing and Revising Your Progress

Your study plan is important to prepare properly for the exam. To determine if it's efficient, you should conduct a check by putting your knowledge into practice and evaluating it.

a. Tracking Your Learning Journey

You can make a list of the exam's areas and domains to organize your study plan, adapting it to each area with written study notes or using online notes or different study methods. To track your learning progress and identify areas for improvement, you can take tests, practice labs, or implement ideas using Tableau tools.

b. Identifying Areas for Improvement

To identify areas for improvement, you can use practice exams. It will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus your study plan on the areas you need to reinforce.

Test Day Strategies: Tips for Success

On the day of the exam, you will be under a lot of stress, but there are ways to manage it and control your emotions while taking the exam.

1. Preparing Mentally and Physically

Meditation is a crucial tool for mental well-being; breathing exercises help keep the body relaxed and make the stress and anxiety of the exam more bearable.

In addition to the mental aspect, the physical aspect is also important. Running, jogging, jumping rope—any exercise that helps you release the stress of preparation and the exam will clear your mind and improve retention when studying. 

It is essential to know how to handle our emotions during the exam, as this will determine the success of the certification.

2. Time Management Techniques during the Exam

Time management is crucial; you should organize how much time you dedicate to each question. For this, you can use practice exams to evaluate which types of questions take you more time or which domain of the exam is more challenging to answer. 

Don't waste time if you get stuck on a question; it's better to move on and answer the rest of the exam. It's also important to adhere to your time organization to ensure success.

Post-Exam Actions: What to Do After Taking the Test

When you finish your exam, the first thing you should do is analyze the results to determine if you were successful.

a .Understanding Exam Scoring and Results

The exam is divided into sections, each with a different score. However, all responses are evaluated overall, and scoring is based on the total of correct answers, not by section. In other words, you don't need to pass all sections to pass the test.

The exam is graded on a scale of 100 to 1000, and you need a score of 750 to pass. You will receive a detailed breakdown of your scores within 48 hours, which will help you assess where you went wrong and which areas you need to improve.

b. Celebrating Your Achievement and Planning Next Steps

After obtaining the certification, you can celebrate this achievement, but you shouldn't wait too long to add it to your resume and profiles like LinkedIn and more.

In addition to this, you should continue to educate yourself; explore new certifications that add value as a professional. Stay updated to take courses and obtain more certifications that will give you confidence in front of companies.


Understanding the domains and key points of the exam will enable you to succeed and obtain your Tableau Desktop certification, adding significant value to your resume and advancing as a professional.

By following all the provided advice, preparing with official resources, and putting them into practice, you can enhance your understanding of the exam.

It's important to note that continuous learning is crucial both as a Tableau professional and as a professional in the IT industry. Therefore, you should not solely rely on this certification; strive for ongoing growth to shape your future as a Tableau professional.


How difficult is the Tableau Desktop Specialist exam?

The exam difficulty will vary depending on your level of preparation and knowledge. That's why it's advisable to have a minimum level of experience.

Can I retake the exam if I fail?

Yes, you can retake the exam after 24 hours for your first attempt. If you fail, you must wait 14 days for the second attempt, and if you fail again, you must wait 6 months before trying again. Each attempt requires payment of the exam fee.

How long does it take to prepare for the certification?

It is recommended to have at least 1 year of practical experience to ensure proper preparation and increase your chances of success on your first attempt.

Is hands-on experience with Tableau necessary for passing the exam?

It's not mandatory, but having practical experience will increase your chances of success in the exam.

Are there any prerequisites for taking the Tableau Desktop Specialist exam?

No, but it's recommended to have a basic knowledge of Tableau Desktop.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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