Microsoft Office Certification
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is MOS certification?
- Why should you become MOS certified?
- What does it cost?
- Does MOS certification mean anything to my boss or prospective employer?
- Who authorizes the certification?
- How does the test work and how long does it take?
- How do I prepare or know if I’m ready to take an exam?
- May I retake the exam if I am not successful?
- Where and when are the exams given?
- What should I do next?
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification is the world-recognized standards-based certification credential chosen by individuals seeking to validate their skills in using the Microsoft Office suite. Earning MOS certification proves the ability to use Microsoft Office applications for on-the-job needs and provides a valuable distinction in entering higher education or the workforce. MOS offers three levels of certification depending on your skill level and interest.
Master Series: More than a single certification, the Microsoft Office Specialist Master certification demonstrates an individual’s overall comprehension and deep expertise of Microsoft Office programs. Earning this distinguished credential for 2013 requires passing four exams in a designated track and for 2010 requires passing Word Expert, Excel Expert, PowerPoint, and an elective exam (Access or Outlook).
- Achieve industry-recognized certification for demonstrating your skills on the latest technologies
- Boost your resume and achieve a greater degree of success in your pursuit of higher education or a career
- Gain recognition among peers and employers giving you a distinct edge in the competitive job market.
There is no fee to take the exam. Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), in partnership with Microsoft, Certiport and the State of Iowa, is offering no-cost vouchers to individuals seeking Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. There is no requirement to pass any exam, and there is opportunity to retake exams. Individuals may use more than one voucher to pursue certification in more than one Microsoft Office application. Free vouchers are available for both 2010 and 2013 versions of MS Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. Free vouchers may also be used to retake exams. Voucher quantities are limited.
International Data Corporation (IDC) examined 14.6 million job postings between April and September 2013 from 25,000 job boards and staffing companies' corporate Web sites. The most required skills across all occupations include oral and written communication skills, attention to detail, customer service focus, organizational skills, and problem-solving skills. It is notable that the only software package called out within the top 20 skills across all occupations is Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is number 2 on the list of most required skills. In addition MOS certification validates job posting requirements such as “Must be PC proficient and able to thrive in a fast-paced setting” or “Must have strong experience with Microsoft Excel, Access & Word.”
Certification = Employability
91% of hiring managers consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring
89% of supervisors say that Microsoft Office certified employees are more proficient users of Microsoft Office programs
81% of hiring managers feel that certified individuals perform better
79% of hiring managers feel that certified individuals are more efficient
50% of individuals believe obtaining a certification makes them more marketable
Sources: MCP Program Satisfaction Study 2010, Intrepid Survey, Certiport Research 2009
MOS certification is authorized by Microsoft; Certiport is a separate company that delivers the online exam. Transcripts, certificates and test results are available through your account on www.certiport.com and may be accessed or shared with others. Earning Microsoft Office Specialist Certification also allows you access to a variety of benefits and resources to assist in your career. You may participate in national competitions or make your information available to departments or organizations looking to hire additional personnel. Make sure to activate your membership when you are invited via email after you have successfully passed a MOS exam.
The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exam is conducted online in a performance-based and timed format (50 minutes/test) that requires test takers to apply skills in the selected MS Office application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access). Both 2010 and 2013 versions are available for the MOS and MOS Expert levels. Instruction samples/tutorials are available for both 2010 and 2013 versions.
Test candidates should allow 90 minutes to have adequate time for check-in, ID validation, exam setup and exam instructions (which do not count toward the 50-minute exam).
Take our Get Certified Seminar, see the Schedule under #9 below.
Use Objective Domains as a checklist (2010 version or 2013 version) to evaluate what you need to review for an exam. The Certiport website offers additional details online; see note below for information on how to access and use the resources*.
If you need more practice or additional help with certain features or concepts, 1) take a Continuing Education class through Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, OR 2) visit www.gcflearnfree.org and click on the Microsoft Office button, then the desired topic.
1. Click on the desired title to reveal a set of interactive lessons, OR
2. Click on the menu icon in the lower right corner of any lesson title to preview the lesson list, OR
3. Click on the TV icon to see a list of videos
Each lesson is well illustrated and includes a Challenge exercise at the end to practice the skill.
*IMPORTANT! You must register as a test candidate to gain access to the following resources
Test Candidates must register with Certiport at www.certiport.com to set up a username and password to be used for access to preparation resources and online exams at the Certiport Test Center. When registering for an account, candidates will not be registering for a specific exam as that choice will be made at the test site when the no-cost voucher is applied.
The Certiport website features a variety of resources for test candidates (Make sure you register at Certiport first!!):
- Go to www.certiport.com and Login with your username and password.
- For the MOS 2010 versions, Exam Objectives offer information for each exam including an audience profile for Core-level MS Office users and tasks they may undertake in their use of MS Office. The Preparation Guide offers additional detail on Microsoft features and concepts that may appear on the exam.
- For the MOS 2013 versions, review the Objective Domain list and use it as a checklist to assess your readiness for the exam.
If your first test attempt is unsuccessful, you must wait at least 48 hours before taking the same test again. For other exam policies, visit www.certiport.com and login with username and password. Mouse over the “Take an Exam” category and click “Exam Policies.” Policies include test candidate, retake policies and non-disclosure statements.
The Certiport testing site is in Room 215 (computer lab) of the Scott Community College Urban Center, 306 West River Drive, Davenport, Iowa. Make plans to take a MOS Certification exam now! Start with at least one exam, but you are encouraged to take as many as you wish (Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access) in 2010 and 2013 versions. Seats are limited for each testing session. Contact Jené Fuller at 563-336-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a current schedule OR to reserve a seat in the Certiport test center at least 48 hours in advance.All sessions will be held in Room 215 (computer lab) of the Scott Community College Urban Center, 306 West River Drive, Davenport, Iowa. Contact Jene at 563-336-3445 to register for any of the following sessions:
Get Certified Seminar
Register, review resources, prep techniques, Q&A - 90 minutes. A great way to prepare for the exam! Cost $15.
6 - 7:30 p.m.
90 minutes, no cost.Testing by appointment only. Call 563-336-3445 to schedule.
Check in at the appointed time for the MOS Certification exam at the Certiport Test Center, Room 215, Scott Community College Urban Center, 306 West River Drive, Davenport, Iowa 52801. Bring a valid picture ID, Certiport login name and password and your MS Office Skills. Good Luck!
Just 3 easy steps:
- Visit www.certiport.com to register as a test candidate (instructions) and review the objectives for the desired exam.
- Practice and prepare with materials from a EICC Continuing Education class or the www.gcflearnfree.org website.
- Contact Jené Full at 563-336-3445 or email@example.com to register for a “Get Certified Seminar” or to schedule an exam.