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I’ve just taken (and passed) the Advertising Fundamentals exam using the new Google Partners test taking interface. I’m aware that there has been anxiety amongst many candidates who have been busy studying to take the exam. I’m pleased to tell you that whilst there have been no major changes to the exam content or topics, there have been changes to the format and functionality.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Number of questions has changed
The new Advertising Fundamentals exam contains 90 questions. Previously this was 110, with a time limit of two hours. Because the time limit hasn’t changed, the reduced number of questions gives candidates a little bit more thinking time when it comes to answering any tricky questions.
There is no locked browser
AdWords exam veterans will know that until recently, exam candidates were prompted to download a program that locks your browser. No other pages could be accessed to search for answers during the exam, until now! This means you can Google information should you be uncertain on an answer. Previously you were forced to use a tablet or second computer to do this. So this change should not make any realistic difference. It’s worth noting that open book exams sound great until you notice the timer ticking. It’s surprising how long researching can take so it’s best not to rely too heavily on the fact that you have this option.
No Skip or Review
Previously, exam candidates were given the option to mark and skip questions that were challenging, with a view of navigating back to them from a drop down menu before the end of the exam. Being able to utilize that slack time at the end of the exam to review difficult questions was always really useful. This function has been removed so now you need to get it correct the first time. This makes the exam harder as previously the answer to a question could be given in questions further into the test.
A candidate is now presented with the question and options, and upon choosing the correct option a button appears ‘Confirm answer’. Once you have clicked that button, you automatically move on to the next question, you cannot change any of your answers at this point, there is no going back!
The Advertising Fundamentals exam’s validity is two years.
The passing score remains the same; you must achieve at least 85% to pass this exam
So is the exam easier or harder?
Well the lower question count makes it easier but not being able to utilize review time to research tough questions makes it harder.
Having an unlocked browser in practical terms doesn’t really change anything, because we were all using a second device to do this any way.
Having to resit the exam every year doesn’t make the exam easier or harder, but it does make it more difficult to maintain your certified status.
So the answer is 6 of one half a dozen of the other ;) If you want to be Adwords Certified preparation is still the key. Use the Certification center, use a test preparation service such as our iPassExam, and most importantly make sure you have hands on experience with the Adword interface. After all there’s no substitute for real world experience.