August 4, 2011
The first time I was studying for the AdWords Fundamentals exam I was extremely nervous. I had been managing accounts for about 4 months but was still unsure if I knew enough to pass the exam. It didn’t help that we were told by those at Hanapin who had already passed “no one has ever failed the AdWords exam, well except for that one intern and nobody’s really sure what happened to him…”. Needless to say I didn’t want to be the first one to fail.
The first time I took the test I studied for about 2 weeks on and off going through the materials and ended up passing with a 95%. The second time I reviewed only what had changed in the exam lessons and passed with a 100%. If I still lived at home I would have made my mom put the print out of the results on the fridge. I wanted to share my experience with preparing for and taking the AdWords Fundamentals Exam to alleviate any stress you may be feeling and to let you know that even if you only have a few months of PPC experience you can ace the exam.
Fundamentals Exam Basics
Number of Questions: 113
Time Limit: 2 hours
Passing Score: 85%
Length of Validation: 2 years
Retake Policy: You can retake the exam once every 7 days, paying the $50 fee each time.
How To Study
I used two resources to study for Google’s Fundamentals Exam, one free and one paid option. I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have passed, and definitely not scored 100%, without either one of them. The most important resource is the Google AdWords Learning Center. Here you can access the study materials for the AdWords exams as well as see what information is covered on each test. I prepped by reading through all of the Fundamentals information from beginning to end and went through the elearning presentations for any areas I needed extra review. The process was time consuming, but worth it.
The second study resource I used was the Fundamentals practice exam from iPassExam. The exam costs about $28 for one month of access but it is the most similar practice exam to the actual exam I have found. It offers over 400 questions covering all of the exam lessons and is also revised pretty regularly to reflect updates to the actual Fundamentals exam.
How To Access The Fundamentals Exam
In order to take the Fundamentals Exam you’ll have to create a Google Certification Program profile. Once you log in click on “My Exams.” From this page you can access the Fundamentals and Advanced Exams by selecting “Take this exam.” You’ll also want to make note of your Candidate ID because you’ll need to enter that number when you register for the exam. Click on the image below to enlarge.
5 Tips For Taking The Exam
Below are five tips that will help in taking the exam:
Take the exam in a quiet, comfortable location. 113 questions is a lot to read through, so make sure you are taking the exam where you won’t get distracted.
Once you start the exam, you can’t pause the timer. Because of this I recommend you use the restroom beforehand or else it could make for an uncomfortable test taking experience. Also make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged into a power source. If you computer shuts down or your browser closes the time will continue to run. You can reopen the test but you can’t get the lost time back. If you do have any technical difficulties you can email firstname.lastname@example.org where they will review the circumstances.
You cannot open another browser during the exam. The AdWords exam will open up in its own browser page and you cannot access any other part of your computer until the test has ended. This means you can’t look up answers or chat on your computer while taking the exam.
You can mark questions for review and come back to them later. If I didn’t know the answer to a question within about a minute, I marked it for review and moved on to the next. This way I answered all the ones I knew and could spend time going through the more difficult ones without stressing about how many questions I still had left. With the 3 hour exam limit I had more than enough time to go through all of the questions I had marked.
Some questions have many right answers, but only one best answer. Working with PPC you know there are multiple ways to solve a problem and improve performance so there were some questions where I could identify multiple “right” answers. However, Google wants you to choose the “best” answer based on the material from the Learning Center.
If you are taking the Google Fundamentals Exam post any questions you have below and I will share more about my experiences. Also, if you have any other tips please comment!