How to become a Google AdWords Certified Professional? (2018 Version)

Last modified on March 29, 2018

How to become Google AdWords Certified? What do I need to do? How to appear for the AdWords exams? What is the best way learn AdWords and get certified?

I get such questions every now and then through emails, at events, and on social media channels where I love to share what I know.

Today I thought of writing a post to address these question in a proper way. So, let’s get started.

What is Google AdWords Certification?

The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation program from Google. It consists of 7 different exams covering different aspects of Google AdWords – the premier online advertising program available to advertisers today.

Who is it for?

Google AdWords certification is available to individuals willing to validate their skills of the AdWords system. In general, people who are looking for jobs in digital marketing or the ones who are professionals offering online marketing services prefer to get certified.

To be precise, it is very popular among marketing interns, students, digital marketers, consultants, business owners, marketing trainers, and freelance online advertising professionals. However, there is no limitation. The availability of the certification is not confined to specific individuals. Anyone interested can take the exams and get certified.

Does getting certified for Google AdWords add any value?

Getting certified by Google definitely adds some additional value and credibility to the resume. However, it does not guarantee a job, nor does it mean assured success in advertising. An AdWords certification simply gives successful individuals the ability to demonstrate the recognition from Google. If you become an AdWords certified individual, it definitely means that Google recognizes you as an expert in online advertising.

Where to take the certification test? Is it available offline as well?

The certification exams are available online only, they are not available offline. These exams were being conducted through the Google Partners portal till the very recent months, but now they have been to Academy For Ads. You can prepare, take exams, and earn the certification through Academy for Ads.

Google Partners and AdWords Certification, how are they related?

You, as an individual, can get certified for AdWords and associate your certification with an agency. If you associate yourself with an agency, you can help it become or remain a Google Partner. Your association with an agency will allow it to flaunt you as a certified member of its team.

An agency cannot get itself certified for AdWords. The certification is available at individual level only. The agency can get itself badged as a Google Partner. However, there are a few other requirements to fulfil before an agency gets the Google Partners badge.

How many exams are available?

A total of 7 exams are available which you can take. They are:

  1. Fundamentals,
  2. Search Advertising,
  3. Display Advertising,
  4. Video Advertising,
  5. Shopping Advertising.
  6. Mobile Advertising,
  7. Digital Sales

How many exams to pass to become AdWords certified?

To become an AdWords certified professional, you are required to pass only two exams. The Fundamentals exam is compulsory. So you will have to take and pass it for sure. Other than this fundamentals, you will need to pass one more exam which you can choose from Search, Display, Video, Mobile, or Shopping to become certified.

Is there any fee for certification exams?

No, there’s no fee. You can appear for the exam without paying a penny. However, it used to be $50 a few years ago.

Is there any time limit for the exams?

Yes, every exam under Google AdWords certification program is a timed assessment. You will need to submit your answers before your time is up to avoid an automatic failure.

However, there’s nothing to panic about. You will have enough time to answer questions. They all are objective questions. You simply need to pick the right option or options ad guided. There’s no need to type or write anything during the AdWords certification exams.

Let me tell you about the duration of exams, number of questions, and minimum passing marks you will need to score.

Assessments No. Of Questions Total Time Min. Passing %
 AdWords Fundamentals Assessment  65  90 minutes  80%
 AdWords Search Assessment  100  120 minutes  80%
 AdWords Display Assessment  100  120 minutes  80%
 AdWords Video Assessment  74  90 minutes  80%
 AdWords Mobile Assessment  70  90 minutes  80%
 AdWords Shopping Assessment  63  90 minutes  80%
 Digital Sales Assessment  55  90 minutes  80%

It is also important to note that if you end the assessment early or the timer runs out before you’ve answered enough questions correctly, you won’t pass. So make sure, you complete answering all the questions within the time given time frame. You will be able to see a timer on every page during the exam.

One more thing, once you start the exam, take all distractions away. Switch off your phone and make sure you don’t get disturbed by anything or anyone causing you to leave the exam midway. If the exam gets interrupted for any reason, like your laptop switching off, internet getting disconnected for more than a few minutes, you will lose the exam and will need to take it again.

How to get started?

You will first need to signup for Academy Of Ads to take the available exams.

  1. Sign in to Academy for Ads.
  2. Next, select your company name. If you add the company name, you can see reports on your learning progress and view your earned achievements and certifications.
  3. Select your timezone.
  4. Select your language. The language you choose here will be used to filter the learning content and assessments that are localized in your language.
  5. Select whether you want to get emails from Academy for Ads. Choosing yes is advisable as you will be getting updates about new features.
  6. Click Save.

You are now ready to prepare and take the AdWords certification exams.

Where to find the study materials?

You have the entire internet world to read, learn, and explore. However, it would be overwhelming for you. You might go astray and easily influenced by self-called experts. It will only create confusions.

Here’s a handy list of the resources which you can bookmark and read through to prepare for AdWords certification, get certified, and become a certified AdWords professional:

And the direct links to PDF Guides…

Guide One | Guide Two | Guide Three | Guide Four

Learn through Video Tutorials from Google Partners: Learning through videos are very helpful. In addition to the above text study materials, make sure you watch the videos as well. It will prepare you for the AdWords certification in a better way.

AdWords Help YouTube Channel

Ask questions and connect with AdWords expert around the globe: While learning or working with Google AdWords if you come across questions, there can’t be a better place than Google’s official Advertiser Community. Join, ask, answer, and connect with experts thought leaders from around the world. You will find me as official Top Contributor for Google AdWords.

Official Google AdWords Community

Okay, that’s all for this post. All the very best for your AdWords certification exams. If you feel yourself stuck somewhere and need any guidance about it, leave your concerns or questions in the comment, I will do the best to be helpful to you.

Post Updated: 29th March 2018



Need help with AdWords? Or any other form of online marketing?

Connect with me. Let's talk business. Fill in the query form here, call me at +91 99719 19509 or DM me on @ratanjha.

2 Responses to “How to become a Google AdWords Certified Professional? (2018 Version)”

  1. Jeff Sauer on

    Nice list of resources. Have you found that sticking to just the Google supplied materials is sufficient? Or do you recommend looking at programs outside of what they provide?

    Also, what value do you place on certification vs. hands on experience?

    • Ratan Jha on

      Jeff, officially supplied materials are technically enough as they cover almost all the aspects of exams. But yes, they do not help one get the actual concepts of things. And as long as one does not work practically in the interface, it is difficult to have actual learning and understanding. Hands on experience is definitely required as most of the questions in the AdWords certification exams are concept based.



Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)