Microsoft Excel Certification Program

Why should you get certified in Excel?

Excel certification is important for two reasons:

  1. Microsoft Excel is an industry-standard tool in the business world.
  2. The recruiters that work with Whitman ask us for students who have a solid foundation in Excel.

This certification, called Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 2013, is recognized around the world. It’s proof-positive that you are proficient with Excel; it will set you apart from your peers, and it will give you a competitive edge that Whitman wants for all our students.

To read more about the Microsoft Office Specialist exam, click here.

Please note: Whitman's Excel Certification Program is for Whitman students only. If you are not a matriculated Whitman Student, we will be offering a course this coming Spring that you can enroll in. Check back for details.

What things do you need?

It is possible to study for this certification using either your own computer, or using Whitman's computer labs. Regardless of where you study, you need access to Microsoft IT Academy's Excel 2013 Essentials learning plan. To request access, send an email to wsmstudent@ot.syr.edu.

If you already have access, you can log in to IT Academy at http://itacademy.microsoft.com.
Please note that IT Academy requires Microsoft Silverlight, and is cross-platform compatible.

If you would like to use your own computer to study and prep, here's what you need:
  • Microsoft Windows is an absolute requirement - you cannot fully participate with Mac OS. Click here to find out why, and what you can do if you already own a Mac.
  • Gmetrix, our practice test utility, and its supporting software is required as well. Click here to read about all the required software.

What do you need to do?

  1. Study. Complete the self-paced pre-work that you receive through Microsoft IT Academy.
  2. Practice. Use Gmetrix to take practice exams. Click here to learn about Gmetrix, what it's for, and how to use it. Important Note: you must pass at least five exams with a score of 800 (80%) or better in Testing mode before registering for an exam.
  3. Register for an exam. Once you're done with steps 1 and 2, log into MySlice, and find OrangeLink under Student Services -> Career Services. Once you're in OrangeLink, search for workshops called "Whitman Excel Certification", choose a date, and reserve your spot!

    Please note: if you have not completed the practice requirement mentioned above using Gmetrix prior to registering, your reservation will be cancelled.

Exams are scheduled for Fridays during Spring and Fall semesters, between 12pm and 5pm, and are given in Whitman 009.

What do you need to know?

Facts about certification exams in general

A certification exam follows a general but specific guideline: you will be tested on your knowledge of specific categories/topics that have been selected specifically to demonstrate proficiency in a particular skillset or area.

While the categories are specific, the questions will be random. This means is that you probably won't see the same questions you saw using Gmetrix, but you'll probably see ones that are topically similar. This is because a certification exam is designed to certify that you know how to solve a problem – not just that you know the answer. It’s the same reason your grade-school math teachers asked you to show your work: How is important!

Facts about the MOS Excel 2013 exam

  • The exam you will take this semester is called  Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 2013.
  • The test is delivered by Certiport, a Microsoft Partner and Authorized Testing Authority. This means that Microsoft has approved all of the test content.
  • The score required to pass is 700.
  • You are required to have scored 800 or better on at least five exams using Gmetrix, taken in testing mode. Ideally, these scores should be consecutive.
  • It is a time-metered test – maximum allowable time is 50 minutes.
  • You can register for an exam using OrangeLink. Exams are every Friday from 11AM-5PM. Last registration of the day is at 4PM.
  • The exams will be taken in Whitman room 009, our testing center, unless otherwise noted.
  • Your test will be administered/proctored by Whitman staff.
  • Cell phones and/or other network/internet connectable devices are not allowed during the test.

Taking the Exam

When you are ready to take the exam, register through OrangeLink, as instructed above. We will verify that you’ve achieved the appropriate number of passing scores with Gmetrix, and then accept your registration. At that time, you just need to make sure you’re on time, with your SU ID card, and ready to go.

Have Questions?

Do you have a question about the Microsoft Excel Certification Program? Visit our FAQ.