I recently took the Google AdWords Search Advertising Advanced Exam. It proved to be quite the undertaking, not because of the number of questions (100) or the time limit (120 minutes), but because of the storm that popped up in the middle of my exam and kept knocking out my internet connection. The good news? Google recognizes the interrupted connection and essentially pauses the test. Once the connection is restored, you pick right back up where you left off with no time lost.
Having passed the exam, I have a few tips to offer to help you study and pass, whether you’re taking the test to get certified for the first time or re-taking the exam to remain certified.
1. Use Google AdWords
Absolutely nothing will help you study for and pass this exam better than actually using Google AdWords will. If you’re taking the exam, chances are you have been working in the platform already. If not, set up a mock campaign and manage it for a week or two. Digging in and getting hands-on experience will prove invaluable come test time.
2. Read Google’s Study Material
Besides actually using Google AdWords, reading the material Google has in their Google Certification Program Learning Center will help tremendously. Even if you’re an AdWords pro and have been using the platform for years, reading over the material can only benefit you. I found while studying that the material was being updated even days after I read it the first time.
Fair warning – the study material didn’t entirely mesh up with the test, most likely due to the fact that I took the exam in the midst of the Enhanced Campaigns transition. Don’t let that scare you though. Reading all the material and using Google AdWords will still be adequate for passing the exam.
3. Allow Adequate Study Time
Don’t think you can just sit down and read all the material in the Learning Center in one sitting. There is a lot of it. My approach was to get an idea of how much there was to read and then break it into manageable chunks that allowed me to really study and comprehend the material. I even gave myself deadlines and treated it like college-issued homework.
I also took notes. Real, handwritten in a notebook, notes. That’s how I study best, but use whatever approach works best for you.
4. Be Wary of Non-Google Study Material
A quick Google search will turn up a plethora of study material, everything from flashcards to sample tests. Take those with a grain of salt. Google’s material changes frequently. The test too is updated often. While the non-Google study material can be helpful, the fact that it’s not Google issued is also a hindrance.
5. Use The Full Time Limit
Maybe you’ll breeze through all 100 questions with plenty of time to spare. Maybe you won’t. Either way, use that full two hour time limit to your advantage. Review your answers, particularly anything you may have marked for review later. Also, make sure when you begin your test that you’re in a space that will remain quiet for the full time period.
These are just a few tips for passing the AdWords Advanced Search Advertising Exam. Experience is the best teacher, so the more you use the platform, the easier passing the exam will be. Good luck!
Got additional study tips? Leave a comment or tweet them to me @Sarah_Wyland!