Adwords Certified: A Guide to Passing the Google Adwords Exam

There have been quite a few changes to the Google Adwords certification program over the past few months. Google Partners has replaced the Google Certification Program (GCP). The transition includes improvements that will make it easier and more meaningful to become Adwords certified.

If you are just looking to pad your resume with a Google Adwords certification and have no interest in really learning about Adwords, dive into your favorite search engine. If you search the right way, you can find the answers to all three exams and easily pass in a few hours.

For those of you who are really looking to become an adwords expert, let me walk you through the process of doing this the right way.


To take the exam for free, you need to sign up for Google Partners as an individual. Search Engine Journal has a nice step by step How-To on this process.

  • It is very important that you read the study materials Google provides. This is the absolute best resource available to prepare you for the exams. Read everything, watch all of the videos, and take notes. If you have the time and patience, read it again. I have found this information to be very comprehensive, and if you put in the time here, you will have no problem at exam time.
  • Once you feel pretty confident with the study materials, find a practice test or two online. There are a number of paid resources out there that you can use to prepare for the exams; I haven’t used any so I can’t offer an opinion on them. Along with the paid ones, there are quite a few free ones available. I really like the way this one is set up.
  • You are given 120 minutes for each exam. You need to take the fundamentals exam first. It is 90 questions and you need a score of 85% to pass. In order to become certified, you need to pass either the Advanced Search or Advanced Display Exam. The Advanced Search exam is 99 questions and it requires a score of 80%. The Advanced Display exam is 90 questions and requires a score of 70%.
  • If you fail on your first try, don’t sweat it, there is a lot of information to wrap your head around. You’ll need to wait seven days, and then you can take it again. As far as I can tell, there is no limit to the amount of times you can take each test.
  • The exam no longer locks your screen, so if you run into trouble, you are able to look up answers. There is no way to stop the timer though, so only do this if it’s absolutely necessary.

Truly, to become an adwords expert, you really need to dive into a live adwords account, and get some hands on experience. If you are lucky enough to have this opportunity before taking the exam, the exam will be a breeze.

Good Luck!

James Trembulak is the Search Account Manager at Flying Cork.