Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tips for Passing the Google Adwords Exam

It is rare to collect your cloud of thoughts and form them into one specific sudden determination. An epiphany I would say. And this rare kind of epiphany happened to me on one ordinary afternoon in my ordinary unremarkable office setting. Just in a split of a second, all the power in the universe (now I'm talking like Oprah) helped me to form one stern conviction

I am determined to be certified for Google Adwords. 

Well, fast forward four days later, I passed the first exam: Google Fundamental Exam. And don't worry, this post is not about me bragging, but about me giving tips since the test was more challenging than I thought. Plus, Google just renewed the test format last April, so as someone who just took the test, I can offer you the most relevant tips. It's about relevancy, relevancy and relevancy right?

First, Google changed the test time from two hours to three. This is a good news considering the number of questions remain the same. 113 questions for three hours!! You can even get a cup of coffee in the middle.

Second, here are some topics you might want to focus on.
1. Location & language targeting. Make sure you are unreasonably familiar with this concept. Lots of questions on how you target a person speaking in X language, residing in X location, with IP address from X country. Again, the level of familiarity: not pretty familiar or quite familiar but unreasonably familiar.

2. Although there were not tons of them, they were enough to startle you. Review some concepts on My Client Center (MCC). They are per se not on the study guide, but know what it is and the main benefit of having it.

3. Variety of ad formats and their best practices. If you were like me who deal mostly with text ad and tend to ignore the other format, I beg you not to. I think there were equal number of questions on each format - learn what's the best practice to improve the ad.

4. Google Search & Display Network. Know them like the back of your hand. This includes their difference, how certain attributes are evaluated differently on each network, how ads are displayed, contextual targeting vs managed placement, etc. This is a huge topic.

5. Access level - which access level warrant what action etc. Again, not on the study guide but Google simply thinks it would be fun to shock us and see how low our jaw dropped.

I think those were topics that came out a lot. Read them ravenously. For you textbook nerd, commit to understand them, not memorize them! There were only a handful of theoretical questions, most of them tested your understanding of the concept. You should have ample of time to review the questions. Remember to answer questions you know best first, mark those you're not sure of and review them later.

That's all for the tips. Whenever you're ready, here is the link to the test and I wish you the best of luck. I'm preparing for the advanced test now, glance over the materials and pretty much discouraged by the level of difficulty and the crazier amount of reading. Will post more information once I'm done with it.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the tips! Overall pretty strong. My friend took the fundamentals test a week ago. He said that section 11 was heavily covered and so was section 4 like you said.

Arpit Singhi said...

The exam is quite tricky and it is difficult to complete in 120 minutes for a newbie but i have managed to get 95 and 94 percent respectively in fundamentals and advanced exam.

Arpit's Exam Result

I must say that being in industry and a worked as a freelancer for past 3 years have helped me to ace this.

P.S you can contact me at the email address mentioned in the RESULTS url

Gerry C Joeng said...

Wow, I must say 94 and 95% are pretty impressive. Kudos! Mine is going to expire this year, not sure if I want to take it again.