Why you need to apply for Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam

Taking the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certified exams can do wonders to improve your efficiency and performance at work. This article explains exactly why you should not ignore it as just another exam. You will know the advantages of the MOS exam, the format and fees of Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certified exams. You will also get information on the application procedure and preparation guide for MOS exams.


Some of us have learnt how to use the MS Office programs on our own, while some of us undertook formal training by registering at a computer institute. Either way, what we learned we considered enough for our knowledge.

However, as far as complete expertise on these programs is concerned, we may not be up to the mark. For example, in MS Word you can type pages of text with good speed & can even put in proper paragraph formats. However, you may fumble over setting the margins and spacing the sentences. You probably may find it difficult to give page numbers in headers & footers and to create a table with proper column widths. This is where an evaluation program will come in handy. That is to say, an exam for being certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist in Word will determine your efficiency levels (or lack of it) in MS Word.

Let's have an in-depth look into the various current Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certified exams, which are available as Core and Expert levels for 2013.

List of Microsoft Office Specialist 2013 certified exams

You can acquire the following Certification titles:
  • MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft Office Outlook 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft Office Access 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft SharePoint 2013

  • MOS: Microsoft Office OneNote 2013

Benefits of Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams

Successfully going through any of the Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams has huge benefits. For one, as the name implies, your knowledge of one or all of the MS Office programs receives an authentic stamp of expertise.

Here's a list of some more advantages of becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist:
1. You increase your skills in the MS program.
2. You become more competent in your day-to-day work.
3. Your efficiency levels increase.
4. You get credibility when you apply for a job as your expertise has been verified by the certificate. Thus your chances of landing that job is extremely high!

How to apply for the Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams

All the Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams are conducted only by a Microsoft Authorized Testing Center. You have to visit the official website of Microsoft, go to the section on certification & exams and check out the exam for which you wish to apply. You will see links on the exam features and a link which will lead you to the page that provides the date of the exam. You can also check out the list of Microsoft Authorized Testing Centers in your area.

You are allowed to sit for more than one of the exams, such as MS Word and MS Excel, in a single day at the same center. This can help you to reduce time on commuting to the center again for a second exam. However, as Microsoft itself advises, it is best not to attempt more than 2 exams on one day as it could get quite stressful both physically & mentally!

Format and Scoring of Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams

The Microsoft Office Specialist certified exam is an electronic test to be done online at a Microsoft authorized testing center. The test must be completed within the time duration provided for it, which is usually within 90 minutes.

The languages available for MOS exams 2013 are: English, Chinese traditional, Korean and Japanese.

The format of the test consists of certain tasks. For example:
(i) For the MS Excel exam it could be creating a formula or collaborate worksheets or using an analysis tool.

(ii) For the MS Word exam you could be told to draft a letter and create an envelope with the name and address of the recipient.

(iii) For the MS Power Point exam you may be given the task of creating a slide template, inserting a picture and making it animated.

For the exam you will be working hands-on on the actual MS program. However, since this is after all an exam, don't search for that Help tool on the tool bar! Another key feature that will not be available is the shortcut keys.

As for the scores, you need to get at least 80% correct to be certified as having passed the exam. You will see your exam results right away on completing the exam. No waiting for results announcement dates & mental pressure for waiting! The certificate itself will be mailed to you within a few weeks.

Best ways to prepare for Microsoft Office Specialist certified exams

You just may know somebody who has appeared for the exams and could give you a heads-up on what it is like. The best preparation method, though, is to get hold of practice exams and work on them hands-on.

Microsoft suggests:
(i) The website of Certiport (www.certiport.com) offers practice exams. This is the official firm which creates the exams.

(ii) You can also get great advice and guidance from the online magazine CertCities (certcities.com).


Don't miss a great opportunity to get a good job or one that is better than your present one by applying for the Microsoft Office Specialist exam. Let this performance based exam which tests both your knowledge and efficiency be your stepping stone to a great career. The Microsoft Office Specialist certified exam fee is just over $100. A fee worth paying for to bag the world's best IT certification!

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Article by Vandana
Vandana is a freelance content writer with over 15 years experience in this field. As Managing Editor of reputed education portal IndiaStudyChannel.com, she has plenty of responsibilities but nevertheless finds time to indulge in her favourite past-time, namely writing! Hence she has her own blogs to follow her writing passion while here at Techulator.com she writes mainly about gadgets, smart devices and apps.

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