Google AdWords Cram Session: Don’t Let Google Kick You in The Ads

December 11th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

To start off this post: yes, we are a Google Partner. No, we do not do Google’s laundry or cook romantic meals for Google. And we try our best not to steal Google’s side of the bed. We are, however, certified and qualified to help you with all aspects of your online advertising campaigns by building an appropriately aggressive website marketing strategy. So what makes us certified and qualified? Well, let me bring your attention back to our lovely Partner: Google.

The Perks of Partnership

Being a Google Partner has lots of perks. From access to live trainings to beta testing opportunities to extra support and professional networking (the list goes on and on, but feel free to peruse here), you can bet we love being a Google Partner. However, along with the perks come some requirements, one of which is obtaining certifications in Google’s products and services.

One of these certifications focuses on proficiency in using Google AdWords, Google’s online advertising platform. This platform allows users to market their products or services in the Google search engine and affiliated sites. Still following? Great! Now, in order to become a certified Google AdWords advertiser, you will need to pass a couple of tests. In the upcoming paragraphs, I’m going to give you (1) a quick overview of each AdWords exam, and (2) a few general test-taking tips. You’re welcome.

Google AdWords Exams


There are a total of four exams for AdWords certification: Advertising Fundamentals, Advanced Search, Advanced Display, and Video Advertising. Google requires you to pass the Fundamentals test along with at least one of the advanced tests in order to become certified.  However, here at SI, we like to take both advanced tests for good measure. We’re thorough like that. After getting certified in AdWords, you then have the option of taking the Video Advertising exam.

1. Advertising Fundamentals – 2 Hours. 90 Questions.
This is the exam that covers all the basic features of AdWords. Questions will pop up on topics like campaign and ad group management, ad formats, and budgeting and bidding options. In order to pass this exam, you’ll need to achieve an 85% or higher. The good news? If you achieve a passing score, it’s valid for two years!

2. Advanced Search – 2 Hours. 98 Questions.
This exam goes more into detail on best practices for managing campaigns on Google’s Search Network and Search Partners. Questions will be on topics like ad and site quality, AdWords API, understanding ad performance, and performance optimizations. In order to pass this exam, you’ll need to achieve an 80% or higher. The validity period for this exam is one year.

3. Advanced Display – 2 hours. 88 Questions.
This exam focuses on best practices for advertising on the Google Display Network and on YouTube. Questions on this exam test your ability to plan, design, implement, measure, and refine display and video advertising campaigns. In order to pass this exam, you’ll need a score of 70% or higher. The validity period for this exam is one year.

4. Video Advertising – 1.5 Hours. 74 Questions.
This exam focuses on video ad campaign creation and management on YouTube and the Display Network. In order to pass, you’ll need a score of 85% or higher. The validity period for this exam is one year.

General Tips


If you’re hoping for more test-specific tips, don’t worry…more posts on AdWords certifications to come. However, to get you started on your studying, here are a couple of general test-taking tips!

1. First and foremost: have a plan. (What is this? Standardized Testing 101?) Don’t cram all the studying into one day or even one week and then rush through the exam hoping you’ll pass. Do this instead:

  • Set a realistic test date for yourself. Might I recommend giving yourself a one-month study period?
  • Take a look at the study guides provided by Google and come up with a time frame that will allow you to go over and understand each section of the study guide thoroughly.

Google provides you with a wealth of studying material for each exam because Google wants you to succeed. Use the materials provided. Stick to a timeline. And don’t panic!

2. Which brings me to my second tip: don’t panic. Google is a very forgiving partner and is big on second chances! If you don’t pass on your first try, you can try again in seven days.

3. Log into AdWords and play around on the platform a little. Not only will this help familiarize you with the many aspects of the AdWords platform, but it will also give you a point of reference when going over the Google study guides for each exam. Plus, haven’t you heard of the phrase “hands-on learning?” It very much applies here.

On that note, I’m going to cut myself short so you can process all the information you just read. If you’re interested in becoming AdWords Certified, click here. If you’re interested in getting some professional help from an awesome team of AdWords Certified Individuals, click around. You’re in the right place. We’re a Google Partner, after all!

Thanks to Search Engine Land for the Google AdWords Image, to Google for the cute Google cartoon, and Renee Jacques for the cute cat gif!