Veronica With Four Eyes

Earning The Google GSuite Certification With Low Vision

Several weeks ago, I became Google Cloud Certified in GSuite, after I had previously earned the Google Certified Educator certifications earlier this year. As someone who uses Google products on their mobile devices and with different student groups on campus, I was excited to finally have a certification that shows that I am proficient with GSuite that I can add to my resume or use to help teach others how to use GSuite. Today, I will be sharing my experience about becoming a Google Cloud Certified in GSuite and passing the GSuite exam as a college student with low vision.

What is Google GSuite Certification?

The Google Cloud Certification for GSuite, also known as the GSuite certification, is an official certification from Google that allows users to demonstrate proficiency in GSuite applications and how they can be used in the classroom or in the workplace. Once users complete the study guide or practice with the applications on their own, they can register to take the Google GSuite certification exam in their home with ProctorU and pay $75 to take the exam, with a 50% discount available for students and teachers through Google’s academic pricing program. After passing the exam, users will receive a certificate and badge they can add to social media or resumes, and the exam is valid for two years.

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Who can take the GSuite exam?

The Google GSuite exam can be taken by anyone and has no required prerequisites, although users will need to be at least thirteen years old prior to taking the exam. Students who are between the ages of thirteen and eighteen will need to have a teacher, librarian, or other school official proctor the exam. Teachers and other education professionals who are interested in learning how to implement different GSuite tools in the classroom should also check out the Google Certified Educator program, which shows how different applications can be used for everything from class projects to classroom management.

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People who can benefit from taking the GSuite exam

While I personally believe that everyone who uses Google products regularly can benefit from taking this exam, some examples of people who can benefit from taking the GSuite exam include:

  • College students
  • Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs)
  • High school students looking to add skills to their resume
  • Assistive technology specialists
  • People who use Google applications at work or school
  • Users who are already certified with other productivity apps, i.e Microsoft Office Specialists

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Topics covered/How I studied

Applications that are covered in the GSuite exam include:

  • Drive
  • Gmail
  • Hangouts/Meet
  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Forms
  • Slides

Since I have used these programs frequently over the years and already had strong technology skills from working with similar products, I found that I didn’t need to study much for this exam. However, users can benefit from the free Google Applied Digital Skills video lessons to learn more about various products, and take a free practice exam to determine if they are ready for the exam. I took the practice exam twice in order to feel prepared for the GSuite exam.

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Registering for the exam

Registering for the GSuite exam is a little bit confusing, as users will need to do it through the ProctorU website- users can find the link on the GSuite certification page. Users will need to provide an email address associated with their Google account, as well as their legal name, email, address, and other information that helps Google learn about who is taking the test.

After registering and paying the $75 testing fee, users will schedule a date and time to take their exam with the virtual proctoring service- I chose to take my exam two days after registering. Users will need to install the proctoring extension before the exam and allow at least 15 minutes for a virtual proctor to inspect their testing environment.

For teachers registering students under 18, the process is a bit different, as they will need to register on behalf of students. I’ve linked the instructions for how teachers and students can register for the exams below.

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What is the GSuite exam like?

People who take the GSuite exam are required to sign an NDA, meaning that they are unable to disclose the exact contents of the exam. However, what I can share is that the test consists of a mix of multiple-choice questions and simulation exercises that are done within the Google Chrome web browser, and the practice exam and my experience with GSuite exams prepared me well for the exam.

Users will need to have a webcam so that the software can monitor them as they take the test, in order to ensure that the same person is taking the test at all times. It’s worth noting that I had to get approval to wear tinted glasses for the exam (my normal prescription glasses) as the proctor was unable to see my eyes, though this accommodation was granted in less than an hour and I didn’t have to worry about taking the exam wearing different glasses.

Users will find out if they passed the exam or not 24-48 hours later.  They will receive a copy of their digital badge and a personalized certificate in the same email that confirms their test results.

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Accessibility for the GSuite exam

One of the things that I love about the GSuite exam is that it is taken within the Google Chrome browser, so I can easily use assistive technology such as a screen reader or zoom in on my web browser. I didn’t need to use a screen reader for my exam, and just used the existing magnification settings built into the web browser and Windows Magnifier, though based on previous experience I assume I would have been able to use a screen reader with no issues. The simulations had the same accessibility settings available as the Google apps normally do, so I didn’t have to worry about not having access to certain settings.

The test itself is 120 minutes long, and users can apply for extra time if needed, as long as they provide medical documentation. I did not apply for extra time as I believed I would not need it since I was testing at a familiar location and had access to all of my accessibility settings, and I ended up finishing before the two-hour mark.

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Final thoughts

I’m excited to have earned my Google Cloud Certification for GSuite, and learned a lot from the certification process. As a result, I now feel more confident using Google tools to collaborate with other students as needed for college assignments, and I can easily help others who are learning to use Google products, which is awesome for my readers who are in Google-centered school districts. I highly recommend taking the Google GSuite exam to anyone who is interested in becoming more familiar with Google products and how they can be used both inside and outside the classroom.

Earning The Google GSuite Certification With Low Vision. I'm GSuite certified! Learn more about earning the Google Cloud Certification in GSuite, available for professionals and students 13 and older