How I Tackled the Google AdWords Certification And Survived (+ Tips)

Ashley Wilson-Rew

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I did it. 100 questions carefully crafted to challenge everything I know about Google AdWords. Squashed under my conquering foot like a bug.

When my boss asked how the exam went, I could only reply, “My head feels like it was beaten by 100 tiny fists.”

You’re probably wondering, how did you do it?  How did you do this thing that thousands of other people have done before you? Let me share my experience - and my secrets.

How I Tackled the Google AdWords Certification And Survived

Step 1: Try to take the exam without studying. Fail.

Turns out there are some really difficult questions. 0/10, would not recommend.

Step 2: Sit in Google’s time-out corner for a week and pout.

Turns out if you try to take the exam unprepared like an idiot, Google puts you on a one-week ban list for that exam. Put notification in calendar for one week later: check. Wallow in shame: check.

Step 3: Prepare properly. Pass with flying moving colors.

There are a few weapons you can arm yourself with before attempting the AdWords certifications.

  1.  Experience

If you already have practical AdWords experience, you can probably jump right in. There may be some theoretical questions you’ll have to look up, like Google data shows that people do X after seeing Y.

  1.  ⭐ AdWords study guides

When you first sign away two hours of your life to the exam, Google will offer a list of resource links. CLICK THOSE. You will need them. The information is very straightforward and broken into manageable chunks. It's easy to work through in sections - great for anyone who can't power through in one sitting. Topics include:

  • Setting up campaigns of all types
  • How to make sure your ads are visible to the right people
  • Bids and budgets
  • Managing, measuring, monitoring, and optimizing
  • Automation and reporting
  • All the different AdWords tools available

If you're still new to AdWords, these resources are invaluable. They're instructions straight from the source. DO NOT attempt to use AdWords without understanding these - you have the potential to waste a lot of time and money on inefficient practices.

I found the information about AdWords tools especially helpful. These include AdWords Editor, API, Keyword Planner, and Opportunities. 

  1.  Google itself

If all else fails, you can ask your trusty Google machine. This feels a lot like cheating because technically it is. 

What do I need to know before I take the AdWords Certification?

Once you’re armed and ready, here’s what to expect.

  • Google gives you two hours to complete the exam, but it probably won’t take that long.

  • Most questions are very straightforward, so don’t overthink it.

  • Take notes on any questions you’re unsure of. Look into these topics once the exam is over.
  • ⭐⭐There is A LOT to know. If you have the luxury of time, spend a few days reading through the info links provided by Google. Take notes, practice the actionable items, and get familiar with AdWords. This will be the most efficient path to passing the exam (and learning how to use AdWords successfully).

There you have it. Advice from a newly knighted AdWords Search Certified human. Follow this advice, don’t make the same mistakes I did, and you should have no problems getting certified.

If you have any questions about the exam, please leave a comment and I’ll answer to the best of my ability!

Thanks for reading. You’re beautiful. 💖

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