One of the biggest names in marketing is HubSpot, which develops software designed to help businesses attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. This includes tools for social media marketing, email marketing, content management, landing pages, and SEO.
As a student interested in inbound marketing, I recently took and passed the HubSpot Inbound Certification. Free to anyone wishing to try it out, the Inbound Certification is made up of 11 classes that cover the four stages of HubSpot’s Inbound Methodology. These classes will help you develop an understanding of the fundamentals of inbound marketing, including website optimization, blogging, building a landing page, and amplifying the content you produce with social media.
After watching the videos for each class, you are then required to take an exam before receiving your certification. If you’ve been out of the classroom for a while, taking a 75 minute test can be a bit daunting. Here are my 3 biggest tips for passing the HubSpot Inbound Certification exam.
1. Set Aside Two Weeks
Busy schedules can get in the way of a lot of things. We’ve all been there. But if you’re serious about getting the most out of the Inbound Certification, focus on developing a plan on how to get through the 11 classes and accompanying exam in two weeks.
Why two weeks? Well, watching and reviewing the content over the course of a few weeks rather than months will make it much easier for you to retain the information and understand how each class relates to one another. It might be easy to watch one class a month, but if you don’t remember what was talked about come test time, it won’t do you much good.
Try getting through a set number of classes each day or leave most of the classes for days you know you won’t be as busy. It’s up to you to decide how you can get through the content as effectively and efficiently as possible in order to increase the chances each concept covered is still fresh in your mind when taking the exam.
2. Take Notes
Since the exam at the end of the certification is administered online, you might be tempted to just sift through the PDF slide decks available at the end of each class. Please don’t do use this strategy. While it might be helpful to have the slides in front of you as a reference, don’t rely on them come test time. You only have 75 minutes to answer 60 questions. The slide deck for each class is fairly extensive, meaning you probably won’t be able to finish the exam if you plan on searching for each answer in the slides.
Take some notes as you watch each class in order to make sure you have the most important information rather than every last detail. Not only will this help narrow your focus as you prepare for the exam, but a few pages of solid notes can be a valuable resource moving forward in case you ever want to review the concepts covered.
3. Study Up
If you follow the two steps above you will be in good shape for the exam. Nothing, however, can replace some good old fashioned studying. Since the classes combine to equal more than seven hours of content, there are going to be things you end up missing or need to look over one more time.
Spend some time reviewing your notes and rewatching parts of classes you still have questions about. Also be sure to take a look at the HubSpot Inbound Certification Study Guide, which covers all the most important points from each of the classes.
Once you feel ready, go ahead and take the exam. Don’t worry if you fail your first time either! You can take the exam a maximum of three times in 30 days. Although HubSpot does not reveal which specific questions you got wrong, you will know how you did in each section. Brush up on the sections you had trouble with and give it another shot.
Making the Most of Your Certification
Once you pass the certification exam, be sure to let people know! (After all, you did spend hours earning it). If you’re not sure where to start, check out this great article from HubSpot covering 7 Ways to Market Yourself Using the Inbound Certification.