Google Adwords Fundamentals Certification Exam

As many of you know the Google Adwords Fundamentals exam was a little trickier than originally thought. I myself can vouch for this. Boasting a score of 61 percent, let’s just say it was not my brightest or proudest moment in academia. While Google requires a passing score of 80 percent by their standards, but a passing score by academic standards is only a 60 percent. It seems as if Google wants to ensure anyone becoming Google Adwords certified has to actually learn the material and have a working knowledge of the material and be able to apply concepts to real life situations. I watched the videos and read the material, but it was not enough to pass on the first attempt. The worst part of not passing on the first attempt is having to wait for seven days to retake the exam.

 

Is it Really Cheating?

The question whether or not looking up the answers to the exams is cheating was debated by numerous members of class as well as with Ike and Russ.  Russ mentioned if he were an employer and this situation arose he would fire the person, because he would want them to actually learn and know the material. There are websites such as www.coodie.com and www.youtube.com that share answers to the various Google Adwords certification exams. This is where the ethical dilemma comes into play; is it more important to pass the exam by learning the material or looking up the answers?

Google Adwords Certification logo

courtesy of Google

Ethical Dilemma

This is where I would like to ask a few questions that may question one’s ethics and or values.

1) What are your thoughts on the Google Adwords exams? Do you think their expectations are too high?

2) What is more important to you? Learning the material or passing the certifications for a grade?

3) What are your thoughts of websites such as Cootie or Youtube that offer  alleged answers for the exams?

4) Do you think it is ethical to use the answers to help you pass the Google Adwords exams?

I encourage participation when answering these questions, but do remember to answer them wisely as this blog post is public and anyone could see it.

Google Adwords Certification Exams

If you are interested in further information or to sign up and attempt  the certification exams click here.

 

21 thoughts on “Google Adwords Certification Exams

  • March 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm
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    Nice blog post Jesse, very straightforward. Personally, I think I would fire someone too if I found out an employee used external information like that to pass a certification exam. However, we are taking it for a college class for points purposes. Some people already know they want to go into this field as a professional, and some don’t. With that said, I don’t pitty those who cheat if they already know they have no interest in this field. We are at the point in the semester where everyone is just trying to get things accomplished in a timely manner with a good grade as a reward. For some people, especially in certain classes, that’s all that matters and I can totally reason with them on using a cheat sheet. For me, I have higher expectations for myself and will probably only use it if I fail it the second time. (and I will still feel bad so one way or another I will have to pay for it…) I feel like its more important to learn it the hard way than it is to fake it and make it look like you are actually certified. You will probably get fired if you need these skills for a job and it turns out you don’t actually have them. It’s not really ethical to lie about it either.

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    • March 29, 2016 at 9:11 am
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      Alex, I agree with you. I have higher standards for myself and obviously I need to study the material much more to pass the exams. Since I wrote this post I took the second exam and did even worse with a whopping score of 58 percent. I understand Google wanting people to be proficient, but I do feel they are a bit too extreme. As I see it, it’s back to the drawing board to give both of the first two exams another go-round, thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  • March 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm
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    My experience with Google AdWords has not necessarily been a leisurely stroll in the park. As I mentioned in class last week — I think that the Hubspot Inbound certification process was far easier than AdWords because the content was served in smaller portions over a longer period of time. I would estimate that one AdWords module is the content equivalent to two Hubspot modules. I understand that Google wants to set a high standard for the AdWords exam by making it 100 questions, but I think that amount of questions is far too long. To complete one AdWords module I have to set block out roughly four hours of time to cover all the materials in the module and take the exam. AdWords is definitely a challenge and has frustrated me a lot, but I think it will be worth it to be certified in the end. I look forward to taking this certification into the digital marketing field.

    As for the external websites that offer alleged answers to the AdWords exams — I do not trust the content on such sites and I would much rather utilize the in-house exam prep materials provided by Google. I am pursuing a career in the digital marketing field and I prefer to be proficient in the platform upon entering the industry. I believe taking the exams traditionally will help me achieve that.

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  • March 29, 2016 at 9:15 am
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    Eli, I too know the struggle. The exams are much tougher than Hubspot, but I feel as if they carry more merit than Hubspot. I also feel that 100 questions is a bit much, the worst part to me is the lag between questions and that you can’t go back to change an answer. On my next trip through the exams I will have to take my time, study more, and focus. As hard as this may be, ultimately it has to be done. I appreciate your comment and good luck!

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  • March 29, 2016 at 10:08 am
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    Well I appreciate your blog, especially since I am the one in question. I hardly consider looking up answers cheating, more along the lines of prudence. The fact is these certifications are designed to be taken after you have experience with the platforms. Google mentions this in the study material. I studied the same as you guys, and I took multiple practice exams to prepare for the certification. I have no ethical dilemma for my actions and I stand by my grade. As was mentioned before, you can’t trust the sources online. I knew one particular source was valid because I knew the material from studying. I feel vindicated by this blog content and my ability to defeat the internet overlords of Google. Cheat hell, I won!

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  • March 29, 2016 at 10:55 am
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    Denny, I really appreciate your reply. This was in no way singling anyone out, because multiple people discussed various ways they tackled the task at hand. I do envy everyone that did pass because these tests are pure hell! Go luck to all you will need it.

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  • March 29, 2016 at 11:55 am
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    I enjoyed your blog Jesse, it is nicely done. The fact remains these test questions are situational, not theoretical. All you can do when studying is learn theory. The situational component requires the ability to blend experience with theory. Without the experience it’s a crap shoot. We must apply our best analytic skills, or critical thinking skills, to pass this test. Personally I would promote someone that worked for me that used this ability to overcome this adversity, not fire them.

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    • March 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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      I agree that sometimes being resourceful outweighs being knowledgeable. Using resources to overcome adversity can be more valuable than just not knowing the answer and moving on.

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  • March 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm
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    Great post Jesse, as many above stated, each exam is a great deal of work. Studying the material and taking the 100 question exam is very tedious in my opinion. I almost feel as though there would be a better turn out as far as grades go if the exams were a bit shorter, because half way through the exam I found myself feeling burnt out and rushing through. I think this also leads to the ethical issue of Google searching for help on questions because, as I mentioned, with a test that long it’s easy to lose focus and lean on tools for help. I am torn about if the expectations are too high, because I understand the importance of understanding the material but when the pass rate is seemingly low, I think it should be made more attainable. The material is extremely important to me, however I don’t yet have much use for this certification yet and honestly doing well in class is my top priority. As far as looking up the answers- while a handout is nice, I almost think that taking a practice test with current questions and available answers would be a more ethical and effective way to retain information. Like I said, I did use Quizlet, which didn’t show me any answers word for word but did make some of the answers more clear. I’m conflicted about the ethical issues of using other sources for answers, because when a grade is so valuable it seems stupid not to use every resource to get you where you need to be but I also believe that you need to put in the effort to receive a certification.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2016 at 10:05 pm
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      I agree that it shouldn’t be an issue to use every resource necessary, but for some reason or another I chose not to do that. Now the dilemma is fresh on my mind as I have to retake both the fundamentals and the search portions. I really hope the third one decides to not make my life completely miserable and throws some good luck and cooperation my way. Thanks for your response

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  • March 29, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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    This is a very interesting blog post Jesse, I personally felt that Google Ad Words exam was too long and very difficult. Some moments I found myself losing focus during the exam and would walk away from the exam and grab a sandwich then continue the exam just because it was a lot of time giving and the length of the exam was just terribly long.
    Personally I’m on the fence if google has high expectations as well if Google felt this is what students who are taking this test this is what they should had learn in the classroom or at an internship opportunity that used google Adwords. I feel like they just wanted to make sure that the student actually knows the material instead of half doing the work.
    Learning the material is definitely important but at the same time the grade is very important but I am really focused on just trying to learned the material as well trying to get a better grade on Google adwords. My thoughts on Coodie.com and Youtube.com is that they could be reason why the exam is so hard because sites like Coodie.com and Youtube is willing to give out the answers makes it unfair for the students are actually trying to learn the material. Therefore it makes it unethical to use answers to during the test unless it is notes that was given during the lessons.

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    • March 29, 2016 at 10:10 pm
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      I also found myself getting up and walking around or breaking to use the restroom. This wouldn’t be as bad if there wasn’t the awkward pause between questions and if it would allow you to go back and change answers. I could see how websites offering alleged answers could become a problem. Thanks for your reply DJ Cuest and good luck on the next go-round!

      Reply
  • March 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm
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    I really thought the Adwords exam was way too long. As you mentioned Jesse, the lag between questions was almost unbearable. At one point I was opening up my twitter page and reading tweets in between questions because it literally took 20-30 seconds. I do think that learning this material is very beneficial for the field we’re all trying to enter and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I have to say I agree with Maranda about how important this grade is and if there are tools available to utilize then I think it’s your decisions. I think that having a certification should be taken more seriously than just finding the whole test and getting a perfect grade. I did search for some of the answers I had no clue about but didn’t actually find a copy of the Adwords exam.

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    • March 30, 2016 at 12:32 pm
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      I really wish Google would fix the delay in between questions. I feel as if that would ease some of the discomfort that comes along with Adwords. The grade is tremendously important and I understand that, I just wish Google would make some improvements to make these certifications more user friendly, because right now they are the exact opposite of that.

      Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 11:26 am
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    I don’t think that Google’s expectations are too high, I mean after all they are basically vouching for us as being an AdWords expert by giving us a certification for it. The biggest problem I had with it, and Denny touched on it a bit, is that I think it’s almost impossible to learn enough to take the exam without having any hands on experience with AdWords.

    With it being 100 questions long and covering so many different, specific subjects and being timed to only be able to take two hours to do it, they’ve got it designed to where you’d better know your stuff before you take the exam. You can’t really read a question and then look it up in the materials without going over on the allotted time. That made it incredibly hard to take and do well on, for me at least, because it’s really hard to memorize that much stuff without really messing around with it and having hands on experience.

    I ran into the same problem this week. Like Maranda said, it’s super hard to stay focused especially with the timed element of the test. I found myself halfway through the exam with less than half my time left, and just started powering through. I know of at least 5 time when, during the lag in between questions, I thought to myself “I just answered that wrong” and would come up with the correct answer, but it was too late.

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    • March 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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      Blake, I also would realize that i answered incorrectly and during the lag, the question would still be on the screen and I would try and change the answer even knowing I couldn’t. I understand having high standards, but what I don’t understand is expecting someone with zero Adwords experience being able to read a few modules, watch a few videos and be the Grand Master of Google Adwords, just not practical by any means. I have really appreciated all of the responses from everyone and it helps to know that there are other human beings that think their can be some improvements made. Not improvemnets to compromise the integrity of the certification but changes to make it a smoother process.

      Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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    The google adwords exam definitely took me by surprise after receiving my score, which wasn’t a passing one. I don’t necessarily think their expectations are too high because it’s helpful for people wanting to be professionals in this field, but I do feel that the exam is way too long. The most important thing for me is passing the certification for a grade because I don’t desire to continue on in this field after graduation. I also think it’s equally important to learn the material as it is passing because I do plan on expanding my brand and with my social media knowledge I am confident that my brand will do better then those who don’t have that same knowledge.

    If someone were to use coodie or youtube I would think that they are just taking the exam for a grade because who would risk using that on a job and potentially get fired. I feel that it is unethical to cheat but I don’t judge people who do it because it’s not really my business and maybe the’ll end up learning something while they cheat. But I do agree with Russ about the whole firing thing because I wouldn’t want someone working for me who isn’t truly qualified for the job because they cheated.

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  • March 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm
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    I don’t think the expectations are too high though I did feel a little rushed to learn the material. Reading over it once doesn’t take long but reading it once doesn’t commit everything to memory. One thing I would have liked changed is the lag between questions. I know we’ve all talked about it already but that really cut into my exam time.

    Learning the material is definitely more important but a teacher in high school taught me something about interviews. We were applying to student leadership positions and after all of the interviews were complete he gathered us in the classroom to give us interview tips for the future (though results had not been posted yet). He told us that if any of us said something in the interview that was not entirely true then we had time now to make it true. If we fibbed on a skill then it was now time to learn that skill because if we end up getting the position he expects us to live up to what we told him.

    That always stuck with me and I try to recommend it to others as they search for jobs. Of course, you don’t want to lie in an interview but if you leave the interview realizing you said something false, fix it.

    I’ve never heard of Coodie/Cootie before but I’m not surprised that YouTube has alleged answers on it (even though Google owns YouTube). This seems to be a blatant form of cheating because the user likely hasn’t even read over the material if they are using them. Also, you are chancing that the answers are actually correct. How will you know until you click ‘submit’?

    As stated above, I believe it is unethical to use deliberate answers. If a student gets stuck on a question though, is it that bad for them to look up the answer within the material that Google has provided? I do not believe so.

    Reply
    • March 30, 2016 at 9:15 pm
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      Thank you for your response Olivia, interesting tip your teacher passed on to you. It definitely seems to be something that could be used any many situations in life. I am really at my wits end with Adwords especially after taking the search exam. Hopefully, by some random miracle I do much better on the third and final one and manage to make my way through the first two. Once again thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm
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    What a thought-provoking post, Jesse. I think that Google has high expectations because they are such a highly regarded company and their certifications seem like they will hold more weight in the real world than some of the others we have done for class. After reading a few comments, I really side with Maranda on this whole issue. I understand that most of us want to get a good/passing grade on this test, especially because that grade is counted toward our final course grade. However, it is very important to actually learn the information, especially if one is planning to go into this field.

    I studied the information Google provided for about two or three hours prior to taking the exam. I made notes of information that stuck out to me or that I thought was complex and I may need to reference. About half of the questions were fresh in my mind, but the other half were iffy…I tried to look back through Google’s material, but I felt rushed. I also tried to go back through and check the answers I were fairly confident in, just to make sure I got some correct.

    I believe it would be unethical to take the exam and find the answers on youtube or another site without even trying to learn the information. But I feel that looking back through your notes or the information provided is acceptable, because you actually tok the time to try and learn the info (although I think that having hands on experience with it would make things easier).

    Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    I may have to consider taking notes for this third and final exam, thanks for your response Abby. I will also use every possible moment to study and learn the material and hope that it works, because let’s face it whatever I’ve done so far hasn’t been to successful!

    Reply

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