NEW: Chris Thomas

Ask me anything … well, almost anything, about Google AdWords. I’ve done the exam, got the certificate and the warm, fuzzy feeling.

That’s Mr Google to you

Chris Thomas

I’ve been a fraud! I’ve been going on about how to extract the best performance from Google AdWords and I haven’t even become a GAP myself! (Google AdWords Professional). There are just 33 GAPs in Australia, so I figured it was time to join this exclusive Club.

On Tuesday, I sat down for the day and studied up using Google’s AdWords Learning Centre.

Then at 4.15pm, I registered for and sat the exam, which consisted of 104 questions over 90 minutes. It’s a multiple choice exam; I had 52 seconds per question.

Yes, there was pressure!

You need a 75% score (78 of 104 questions) to pass. It also costs $US50 each time you sit it, which can only be a maximum of twice a month. Finally, you need to manage a Google AdWords account for at least 90 days (I’ve had one since 2002!) and manage a click spend of over $US1000 in a 90 day period. No problem there.

Make no mistake, much of the exam is difficult, but the advantage you have is that it’s an open book exam; you can reference the learning centre (and any notes you’ve taken) while you’re sitting it.

So if you want to sit the exam yourself, I’m going to give you some Google AdWords exam tips about how to pass it (without giving you the answers, because that would just be cheating!).

  • Tip 1. Take the phone off the hook, turn off your mobile, log out of email and put a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on the door! You can’t pause the exam once it’s begun, so really make sure you’re properly prepared, without any potential for interruption.
  • Tip 2. Study! Even if you’ve been using AdWords for a while, I reckon it’d be almost impossible to pass if you don’t go through the Learning Centre tutorials. There are multimedia and text-based tutorials. I really recommend the multimedia tutorials. If you can correctly answer 80–90% of the “quiz” topic questions, you should be fine with the exam.
  • Tip 3. Make sure you’re using broadband. You don’t have much time, so ensure you have the fastest internet connection possible to speed up page-loads between questions.
  • Tip 4. Because it’s an open book exam, have a few windows open so that if you do get stuck on a question, you can switch to another window to access the learning centre to research the answer. Some questions will only take a few seconds to answer, so that can give you a couple of minutes on the tough ones.
  • Tip 5. Also, have your own Google AdWords account open so you can quickly get to various sections of your own account to research answers.
  • Tip 6. Create a schedule. I knew I needed to be on question 26 at the 23 minute mark, 52 at 45 minutes and question 78 at the 68 minute mark. However, the questions at the beginning were quite tricky, so I found myself running behind. Then midway through, it got easier which enabled me to catch up before they got harder again towards the end.
  • Tip 7. If you get stuck on a question, you can “mark question for review” and come back to it at the end. It’s a small button on the right hand side of the page, so familiarise yourself with it early and use it where necessary.
  • Tip 8. Watch out for question 77! From memory, it asked you to describe the editorial reasons why a particular Ad would be stopped. The problem was that I couldn’t “see” the Ad the question was supposed to be referring to. I made a “complaint” at the end of the exam, where you can offer feedback. It may well have been fixed by the time you sit.
  • Tip 9. There were no questions on Google Analytics, which has a topic section in the Learning Centre, so don’t get too caught up learning about it.
  • Tip 10. There are a few online forums which discuss the exam, so find out more about other people’s experiences by going to Google and typing in “Google AdWords exam tips” or similar.
  • Tip 11. Even if you’re not interested in becoming an AdWords professional, jump into the Learning Centre anyway. You’ll certainly learn lots about the power of AdWords, how to upload image Ads, video “click to play Ads” and more.

In hindsight, I should have spent more time studying, but I got 82%, which was really pleasing!

The best bit? We can now offer “promotional credits” to new and existing clients: “free” clicks etc. Reseo can also display a Google AdWords Professional Logo on the website and company stationery as a Google-approved Qualified Professional! As Google hinted when it explained reasons why you should sit the exam, you get “a warm, fuzzy feeling for this grand accomplishment”.

How true.


Chris Thomas heads Reseo a search engine marketing company which specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

To read more Chris Thomas blogs, click here.



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