Inner Geek

SQL Query Essentials

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flyingpuma lessons

SQL Query Essentials is a free course on learning SQL – compliments of If you would like to learn how to write queries with SQL and are a complete beginner, then this course is for you.

The SQL Query Essentials course consists of 14 lessons. The average length of each lesson is just 7 minutes and 24 seconds. The idea behind the short lessons is that you will practice the concepts presented in each lesson before moving on to the next lesson. This course is intended to be hands-on.

The course uses Microsoft SQL Server (Express or Developer edition) and Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). To get the most from this course, it will be helpful to have these installed so that you can re-create the queries presented in the lessons and have hands-on practice. These can be downloaded (free) from Microsoft here:

There is a sample data set that is used by the course when demonstrating queries. Lesson 003 will cover installing the sample dataset into your SQL server instance.
That sample dataset can be downloaded here:

Complete Course Syllabus

Lesson 001 – Course Overview (Video length: 4 minutes 55 seconds)
This lesson provides an overview of the course and the software prerequisites.

Lesson 002 – Intro to SQL and Relational Data (3 minutes 55 seconds)
This lesson provides a brief explanation of SQL and relational databases.

Lesson 003 – Using SSMS and Installing the Sample Data (5 minutes 23 seconds)
This lesson shows a quick tour of SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) and shows how to install the sample dataset.

Lesson 004 – Using a Database and The Structure of a Query (6 min 29 seconds)
This lesson shows how to select a database in SSMS (the USE command) and the basic structure of a query.

Lesson 005 – The WHERE Clause – Part 1 (8 minutes 51 seconds)
This lesson covers specifying criteria in a WHERE clause using these operators:
= < >, AND / OR , IN, and BETWEEN

Lesson 006 – The WHERE Clause – Part 2 (7 minutes 59 seconds)
This lesson covers specifying criteria in a WHERE clause with a focus on these topics: LIKE / NOT LIKE , Using Wild Cards, and dates in criteria.

Lesson 007 -Select All, Top, and Comments (6 minutes 48 seconds)
This lesson covers selecting all fields, the TOP command and entering comments in a query.

Lesson 008 – Joins (8 minutes 43 seconds)
This lesson covers joins: Inner Join, Left Join, Right Join and Full Join.

Lesson 009 – Table Aliases and Best Practices (8 minutes 27 seconds)
This lesson covers using table aliases and some best practices when writing queries.

Lesson 010 – Grouping Results (11 minutes 54 seconds)
This lesson covers grouping results using GROUP BY and the DISTINCT statement.
Aggregate Functions of SUM, AVG, MIN, MAX and COUNT are also covered.

Lesson 011 – HAVING Clause and Ordering Results (6 minutes 32 seconds)
This lesson covers the HAVING clause and how to order query results (ORDER BY).

Lesson 012 – CASE Statement and ISNULL Function (5 minutes 39 seconds)
This lesson covers using the CASE statement and ISNULL function.

Lesson 013 – Exporting Results from SSMS (14 minutes 44 seconds)
This lesson covers some basic methods on exporting query results from SSMS. Tips on cut and pasting to Excel as well as sending results straight to a file are covered.

Lesson 014 – Assessment and Certificate (4 minutes 17seconds)
This lesson is the ending course summary. It discusses taking the course assessment and obtaining a course completion certificate.

Complete Video Playlist of all Lessons in YouTube

Course Assessment

Once you have finished the course you can take a free course assessment exam to see how well you have learned the material presented in the course.

Registration is not required to take the exam, it can be taken multiple times, and there is no time limit. The exam consists of 50 questions that are true/false or multiple choice. To pass the exam, you must get at least 45 questions correct (minimum passing score is 90%).

If you are ready, you can take the exam here:

Course Completion Certificate and Donation

If you have taken the course and passed the course assessment you can create and download a course completion certificate. A small donation is requested to create the certificate.
To create and download a certificate click the Donate button below.
This will take you to a PayPal donation form where you can specify your own donation amount. After you complete the transaction you will be directed to a page that allows you to create and download the certificate.

If you have any problems creating and downloading the certificate please use the Contact Me form and I will be happy to assist you.