How to Pass the AdWords Fundamentals Exam – A Comprehensive List

Ok, if you’ve made it to this page then you are surely on your way to becoming a certified Google AdWords Fundamentals master. Passing the test require study materials. Though it is not always clear where to get them all and what you need. This list is my hands down recommended list of materials and notes that you’ll need to pass the test.

1- Fundamentals Training Manual

Special note:
It is pertinent that you obtain the most recent Fundamentals training. As there have been some factors that have changed. One I ran into constantly was “Image maximum file size” which “was” 50k and has since been raised to 150K. Other changes include the # of location targeting elements which were limited before but now raised to 10,000. Though while I did occasionally find some changed discrepancies in the “Questions and Answers” floating around, those discrepancies were not questions in the actual exam.

2- Google AdWords Fundamentals Exam Course Notes

A great resource that I pulled off of a seminar from Christopher Onderstall. The original document can be found here, however I have saved a revised version of this for you that is easier on the ink (original was mostly black backgrounds) and ready to go in .pdf form. This slideshow presentation was SO essential to getting AdWords concepts down in a well presented organized way, that I can’t say enough about it. Print this out and keep it handy….trust me!

4- An AdWords Account
It probably goes without saying……but, as you go thru the lessons, it really make things easier if you have a live AdWords account to reference. Newbies might have to start with a blank account that hasn’t been populated with live data, however if you or your organization has a live AdWords account, you should ask for access to it.

5-  Free Mock test!
This is great! Check out the link and try out a mock exam for free.
Then as you get more in tune with the answers, keep trying again until you can pass with a firm 100% correct.

6- Techniques for the Open Book test  (FYI’s)
– Exam is open book, so make sure to keep all your notes and manuals handy
– Exam works great with a 2 computer monitor set up, 1 for test, the other for referencing AdWords help
(also having a 2nd computer on-hand will do the trick)
– Have a calculator ready in case you are presented a “formula” question
– Having quick Adwords “visual references” such as some of the graphics presented in my #2 recommendation (listed above) will help you to answer some of the questions much quicker

7- AREAS to study? some suggestions……….
Well it goes without saying you should study it all, however I can tell you that there are questions that cover these particular areas, so don’t skim over them without “getting the gist”!
– MCC account (My Client Center)
– Search Network vs Display Network
– Placement
– Keywords match Types
– Broad Match Types
– Negative Keywords
– Smart Pricing
– Enhanced Campaigns
– AdWords Video
– Quality Score
– Phrases you can and can’t use, CTA’s…etc
– Formula’s  (CTR, AdRank…etc)

8- Don’t Wait too long!
In other words, don’t study and then wait 2 weeks to take the test. Make sure you span your studying over a few weeks so that you have given yourself enough time to absorb the content and understand the material. This also assures that you are not studying last year’s material if the content has changed slightly. Then Study, quiz yourself, cram the night before and take the test the next morning.

9-Prepare your surroundings
– turn off phones
– make sure Internet connection is good
– use the restroom
– have coffee made and by your computer
– have notes by your computer
– alert others that you cant be disturbed for at least 2 hours


Passing the test is about 2 things… well you know the concepts & answers and how fast you can answer them correctly. So be smart and have materials ready in case you need to reference quickly. Always watch your time, so you know how long you can take on the harder answers (or how much time you have to contemplate the right answer).

Good Luck!

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