Many professional careers have certification programs, and PPC is no exception. Both Google Adwords and Microsoft adCenter offer certification programs for PPC professionals. In this post, I’m going to talk about preparing for the Google Adwords Fundamentals exam, which is the first step to becoming a Certified Professional.
First of all, if you’ve been actively managing PPC accounts for at least a year or two, you should have a good chance of passing the Fundamentals exam without even studying. But if this is your first time taking one of the Adwords exams, or if it’s been a couple years since you’ve taken it, there are a few things you should be aware of:
• The test costs $50, non-refundable. So if you’re not feeling confident about your Adwords knowledge, don’t take the test.
• You have 90 minutes to complete the exam – and once you start, you have to finish in one sitting. Make sure you have that big a block of time available to take the exam uninterrupted.
• Once you start the exam, the testing interface locks out your computer so you can’t access browsers or other programs. It wasn’t always this way with the Adwords exam – you used to take the exam in one browser, and could have another one open to search for the answers! (Of course I didn’t do this, wink wink!)
• You can mark questions for review later, so if you don’t know an answer or aren’t sure, mark it and go on – you can come back to it later.
If you’re relatively new to PPC, though, you’ll want to study a bit before you take the exam. The best way to study is to review the training materials in the Google Learning Center.
The Learning Center is your home base for preparing for the exam. It contains detailed written documentation on all the topics that will be tested.
That said, there are a LOT of topics. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll want to take the time to go through all of the lessons; you can do this while you’re actively managing a PPC account or shadowing someone else during training.
However, if you have some Adwords experience, read through the lesson description first. If it covers something you feel pretty confident about, skip it. Focus on the lessons on topics that are new to you. If the lesson includes any case studies or examples, pay particular attention, as a lot of exam questions are in the form of case study-type examples that you’ll need to analyze and answer correctly.
Remember that all the rules for taking standardized tests apply to the Adwords exam, too:
• Skip questions you’re not sure of and come back to them
• Your first impression is usually correct
• On true/false questions, you have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer right
• And so on
With careful preparation, you’ll be able to pass the exam and become a Certified Professional!