Tips For Passing Google's Mobile Certification Exam

By Diane Anselmo | @diane_anselmo | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

Even though it’s been “The Year of Mobile” for about five years now, there is finally an AdWords certification exam that tests our knowledge and allows us to tout ourselves as mobile advertising experts to anyone who will listen. As a recent addition to Google’s menu of available exams, you might be thinking about adding another feather in your cap and taking the exam. Well, there are a few things that you’ll need to know to successfully get you to the finish line.


Getting Prepped


Even if you have extensive experience managing mobile campaigns, you’re still going to need to do your fair share of preparation for this exam. A great starting point is to visit Google’s study guide, as it focuses on many topics on which you will be tested. You might also want to visit and work your way through some mobile practice tests. Once you feel well prepared, give the exam a shot.


The Test


Understanding the structure of the test will better help you understand what you’re in for once you begin the exam. This exam is made up of 70 questions for which you have 90 minutes to answer. Passing is 80%, but if you don’t pass you can re-take the exam in seven days. As with many other Google certification exams, the questions are a mix of multiple choice and true/false. The best part is that once you pass this exam, you don’t have to worry about passing it again for another 12 months!


Image of mobile exam requirements
Mobile exam requirements


While there are 70 questions on the test, we can break them down into broader categories so that you can have a better idea of what areas are more important for you to focus. Let’s start with the basics.


The Basics


You will definitely encounter some questions about the basics of mobile on this exam. For instance, questions about what time of day mobile traffic peaks or how long it takes mobile users to make a purchase-related conversion. My advice is to read up on the mobile stats that are in the Google materials, as you will find a few of them on the test. Also, these are the questions that you’ll want to make sure you answer correctly, as there will be plenty of more complicated questions within the exam.


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Mobile facts


Conversion Tracking


The test also presents quite a few questions about conversion tracking, so make sure you invest some time learning about how mobile conversions are recorded. A few items that you should keep on your radar are how app conversions are tracked, how calls are tracked, and specifics like SDK tracking.




Throughout the exam, I encountered a few questions about bidding. To prep for this, make sure that you have a solid understanding of the different bidding strategies available, such as automatic bidding and flexible bidding. Think about how these bidding strategies can be used within a mobile campaign, as well as bid adjustments.




Reporting was also a common theme on this exam. With mobile comes a whole arsenal of different reports—and lots of accompanying analytics. I fielded questions about the mobile app acquisition report, mobile app analytics behavior report, and the app overview report, just to name a few. Know and understand the differences between each one and what each can offer you, as there will definitely be a few questions about these.


Image of Google Analytics
App acquisition report




One thing is certain, there are plenty of questions that address apps from all different directions. Things to stay on top of include:


  • App downloads
  • App remarketing
  • App engagement ads
  • In-app display ads
  • App install ads
  • App conversions
  • Mobile app analytics


Take the time to get to know about all of these features, as there will be related items to address on the exam.


Image of search listing
Choose to take an app action


Ad Extensions


Though I wasn’t expecting it, there were a handful of questions about ad extensions for mobile. Keep sitelink extensions, store visit extensions, and location extensions at the forefront of your mind while taking this exam.




There was quite a bit about conversions on this exam. Study up on call conversions and cross-device conversions so that you can have a better handle when these questions are asked I also found a few references to codeless conversion tracking solutions and how they can be used with mobile. Consider attribution when reviewing these items, as you may encounter a question that addresses this topic.


Display Campaigns


Though I really wasn’t expecting it, I did encounter some very general questions about Display campaigns within the exam. I was actually excited about that because it gave me a break from some of the more technical stuff that was on the rest of the exam. Still, you want to make sure that you get these questions right, so take the time to brush up on the Display Network basics.


Final Thoughts


Overall, the exam was challenging. While there were some basics, the content also had a highly technical side to it. These are things that you wouldn’t be able to infer from the context of the question. Rather, these are things that must be learned and applied within your accounts to truly understand. After preparing for the exam, you will certainly feel as if you’ve got expert knowledge on Google’s mobile advertising. However, besides being able to add another certification to your resume, preparing for this test will ignite ideas for mobile campaigns that you can apply to the accounts that you currently manage.