Of all the exams I’ve taken in my life, the Facebook Blueprint was by far the most mysterious and vague to prepare for.
Because all participants must agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement before taking it, information on the web is scarce. Few would risk spilling the specific, mysterious contents of the exam for fear of the several penalties. And while Facebook seems to provide a fairly comprehensive study guide full of interactive modules and practice questions to prepare, the format and content of the exam itself may leave even the most primed individuals scratching their heads.
The Facebook Blueprint Exam is the equivalent of having a professor tell you to memorize an entire textbook and gain six months of hands-on experience in order to adequately prepare for 50 questions that look completely different than anything in the textbook. Every other question on the Blueprint exam felt like an exhilarating “YOLO” guessing moment.
In the end, I managed to pass both the Facebook Advertising Core Competencies and Facebook Certified Planning Professional exams. Here’s what I did to prepare and study for the Facebook Blueprint (but described vaguely, because NDA).
Preparing for the Facebook Blueprint
The questions make up the meat of the exam and dictate what you should study.
My summarized thoughts are that Facebook intends the exam to test how well you’re able to put all your Facebook Ads knowledge together to execute best-practice in campaigns. You won’t be tested on vocabulary or how the Ads Manager platform looks, necessarily. Prepare yourself for a whole lot of questions on case studies and detailed scenarios.
Questions are in multiple-choice format (phew!), BUT the catch is that most questions will have multiple correct answers to choose from. You may know 2 for sure, but the last one can be a toss up that leads to a miss.
How I studied:
For the Core Competencies Exam, I started going through the first few modules, then eventually got lazy and only focused on example questions. In memorizing these sample questions, I figured that anything on the exam would be familiar at first glance. I saved all these questions as digital flashcards and reviewed them every morning for a few weeks before the exam. Going into the exam, I could recall all the answers instantly.
I was in for a big, shocking surprise when I started the exam and found that not a single question resembled my flashcards. It was a rough time.
I went into the second Planning Professional Exam more confident, since I had beefed up my study tactics with a better understanding of what to expect. This time around, I went through every official Facebook module for the Planning Professional Exam and took careful notes on anything that stood out to me. I then made flashcards and set aside a bit of time each day to review for a week and a half.
My tip: Actually read through the modules and don’t focus too much on the example questions. The example questions are to make sure you read the modules. You shouldn’t consider these a practice exam for the real thing.
What NOT to study for Facebook Blueprint:
Don’t dwell too long on memorizing:
Specific numbers: I religiously studied and memorized various numbers that stood out to me as important, such as how many days certain information is available or how many times you can change a certain setting.
Again, the focus of the Blueprint is on the implementation of concepts, not so much on definitions and details.
Module example questions: As stated above, these will only get you too far.
What to study for Facebook Blueprint:
I found these concepts make up the foundation of Facebook Ad Campaigns and are critical in understanding how it all works together.
Advertising Objectives: Pay attention to which platforms you can use for each advertising objective, along with the different ad formats.
Buying Types: Know when to use a certain buying type to reach a business goal. What are the pros and cons of each one?
Non-Facebook concepts that seem unrelated: When you start to see concepts like the Nielsen Ratings, TRP buying, or Audience Network, study up! They may not be directly in the Facebook family of apps, but they appear in the study modules for good reason. It’s wise to understand how these all work with Facebook.
Each exam has a different set of randomly generated questions, so take this advice with a grain of salt. While I may not have had a certain type of question, I can’t guarantee you won’t either. The best thing to do is get as much first-hand experience using Facebook ads as you are able. Gain a thorough understanding of how the concepts are all connected.
Know how all this knowledge works together and you’ll be golden!