10 Tips for the AdWords Fundamentals Exam

Becoming a Google AdWords Certified Individual is possible for everyone. If you’re part of an agency, then your agency can also become a Google Partner. Google Partners is a program that enables agencies who are using Google AdWords to demonstrate their skills and become certified. Signing up for the Google Partners program is the starting point to certification as an agency. Everybody needs to take (and pass) the Advertising Fundamentals exam to become certified and at least one of the advanced exams, which are Advanced Search and Advanced Display. We’ve put together our top 10 tips for that first step - passing the AdWords Fundamentals Exam. Advertising Fundamentals Exam Overview:

  • There are 90 multiple choice questions
  • You need to get at least 85% of the questions correct to pass
  • You have 2 hours to complete the exam

Once you have passed the Fundamentals exam it is valid for 2 years. When you then go on to pass one of the Advanced exams (which are valid for 1 year) you will be AdWords certified!

Top 10 Tips: Advertising Fundamentals Exam

1. Create and manage an AdWords account

If you have never logged into AdWords, then it’s going to be a challenge to understand the core concepts. This certification proves your understanding of the AdWords tool, so it makes sense to have an AdWords account and be running campaigns!

2. Read the Fundamental exam study guide

The Advertising Fundamentals exam guide contains a whole lot of information and it can take a while to read through (especially if you are not a speed reader!), but it does contain all the information you need to pass the exam. We’d recommend investing some time to go through it.

3. Review the different topic areas included in the exam

The exam can include a broad range of questions, from common sense online marketing knowledge, to the technicalities of campaign structure, settings and managing multiple accounts. Core topic areas are:

  • Introduction to AdWords
  • Account management
  • Campaign and ad group management
  • Keyword targeting
  • Language & location targeting
  • Ad formats
  • Budgets and bidding
  • Measurement and optimization
  • Performance, profitability, and growth
  • Managing multiple accounts

4. Be ready for difficult questions and topics

No two exams are alike! The exam questions change almost every time someone takes the exam, because the 90 questions are taken from a larger collection of questions and then randomly given to you. Since it is random, you can end up with a whole lot of tricky questions. For example, sometimes you might get a large portion of questions about Display ads. It’s the luck of the draw!

This means you need to be ready, especially since you might not be using all the features and targeting options in your normal use of AdWords - yet!

5. Read up on Display Advertising

If you are not running Display ads yet, then take some extra time to read the study guide material that covers this topic. We’ve pulled out the individual resources you will want to focus on:

6. Think like an agency

Some of the questions are geared towards people managing multiple accounts. If you are just starting out you might not be using an MCC (My Client Centre) account yet to manage multiple AdWords accounts. If this applies to you then make sure to read the managing multiple accounts study guide section. Following Google’s Best Practices really will make your job easier!

7. Read carefully, narrow the answers and re-read again

You will find questions that appear tricky at first, but if you slow down, read the question and answer carefully you should be able to weed out at least one or two incorrect options.

Lets look an example of this. You might be asked how Quality Score is calculated on the Google Display Network where you have a Placement Targeted ad. The options for answering are:

a) Maximum CPC of the keyword that triggered your ad b) Quality of your image ad c) Your daily budget d) Quality of your landing page

We can begin to eliminate answers that are clearly incorrect. Firstly, because the question talks about “Placement Targeting” we can assume that keywords are not involved. This means we can rule out A. We know Quality Score never looks at daily budget, so we can rule out C and we know that an image ad might not contain text content, so logic would rule out B. This leaves D as the most logical choice for our answer.

8. Look out for similar questions

You might find that you see two (or sometimes more) questions that are very similar during the exam. Try and think back to the previous answer you found for the similar question and use that if you get the question again.

9. Watch the clock

You have two hours to complete the exam. There is no pausing the clock, so keep an eye on it. It will be at the bottom of your screen. If you are getting close to the time limit, then your odds will be better if you answer all the questions (there are no negative marks in the exam, so if you get a question wrong your score won’t go down).

10. Don’t worry if you fail

It’s okay if you don’t pass the very first time you take the exam. It’s a new experience, it’s hard and sometimes you get really confusing questions! Remember that now you have seen the types of questions that will be asked, and it’s going to be a lot easier when you retake the exam.

If you do fail, you can retake the exam again in seven days. Use this time to review the study material (and these tips) again.

Good luck with the exam!