Tips for Passing the Google Advanced Search Exam

Now that you’ve read up on how to become an AdWords Fundamentals Pro, it’s time to choose a second exam and get certified. To get your shiny Google certificate, you must pass the fundamentals exam as well as any one of the other five options, depending on which is the best fit for your client’s advertising needs. For our B2B clients, search was the natural next step. Similarly to the Fundamentals exam, Advanced Search is 100 questions, has a 120-minute time limit and requires a passing score of 80% or above. The Search Advertising exam covers basic and more advanced concepts, with a focus on creating, monitoring and optimizing Google search network ad campaigns.

Disclaimer: to be eligible for Google AdWords certification you must be a certified Google Partner. Instructions and setup can be found here.

We’ve compiled a few tips for passing the Advanced Search exam on the first try (while maintaining your sanity). Enjoy!

1) Master the fundamentals

So you passed the fundamentals exam? GREAT! Remember everything. This exam will focus on search network advertising, but a surprising amount of this test will cover what you’ve already learned. We highly recommend taking the fundamentals exam and advanced search exams back-to-back, or in as little of a timeframe as possible to master the overlapping basic concepts.

2a) Review the Google AdWords advanced search study binder

The advanced search study guide breaks down each topic into easy-to-follow modules, complete with very helpful videos and tutorials. Be sure to utilize this Google-supplied tool.

2b) Please don’t read the entire Google AdWords advanced search study binder

You would have to destroy a small tree to print out the entire advanced search study guide. Focus on mastering unfamiliar concepts and break these topics up into smaller study guides. Skim over the content previously covered in Fundamentals… that’s what practice exams are for.

3) Embrace formulas

For non-mathematicians like myself, I strongly recommend jotting down important formulas that can be easily applied to practical business challenges. Embrace Google’s open-book policy, but be ready to quickly and accurately apply your skills (remember, time limit!) Brush up on these formulas, specifically:

  • Value-per-conversion
  • Ad group level profitability
  • Average CPC
  • Average impression share
  • Cost-per-lead

4) Understand ROI and why it matters

ROI = (Revenue - Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold

In addition to the formulas above, it’s vital to understand the most important formula of all: ROI. As marketers, we know ROI is crucial to any campaign. Google agrees, and will test your knowledge in the Advanced Search exam.

5) Recognize Google’s tools and resources

Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of Google’s “API” pre-studying either. API stands for “AdWords Application Programming Interface.” The platform is designed specifically for developers representing very large advertisers or third parties. The API takes technical programming skills, and requires a software developer to implement. Speaking as an advertising account executive, you don’t need to understand the mechanicals behind the tool, just the benefits and basics.

In addition to these tips, some test-taking best practices are crucial: take your time, limit distractions, and utilize as many practice exams as possible. We found iPass exam to be a helpful practice platform.

Good luck!