The MOS Excel Associate certification measures a student’s knowledge of using Microsoft Excel to manage and represent data.
The MOS Excel Associate certification is the only Microsoft-recognized foundational Excel certification in the world.
When a student earns the certification, Microsoft acknowledges them and their proficiency in using Excel.
Because many employers look for this proficiency in any position, earning an MOS Excel certification will prove the candidate has those skills.
That’s why so many computer teachers across the country incorporate it into their classes!
But how do you know you’re teaching the right information to help your students pass the MOS Excel Associate exam?
On this page, you’ll learn the details of what’s on the MOS Excel Associate exam and some tips to prepare your students for test day.
We’ll focus on the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Associate 2019/365 Exam (Exam MO-200) because it’s the most current version of the Excel certifications at the time of publication.
With that, let’s get into the details of the MOS Excel Associate certification exam!
The MOS Excel Associate 2019/365 exam proves students have mastered data analysis, manipulation, and presentation when using Excel.
The exam includes 35 questions across five categories called objective domains:
Each domain includes “subdomains” that focus on more detailed information.
Then, these subdomains include the tasks and information students need to become proficient with Microsoft Excel, referred to as objectives.
The Manage Worksheets and Workbooks domain includes five subdomains related to the basics of using worksheets in Excel:
In total, these five subdomains cover 18 concepts and tasks students must know, such as inserting hyperlinks, adjusting row heights, freezing worksheet rows, and displaying formulas.
The Manage Data Cells and Ranges domain is made up of four subdomains to help students become proficient at using Excel for basic tasks:
Overall, there are 17 tasks across these subdomains, including inserting columns, merging cells, wrapping text within cells, and applying cell styles.
The Manage Tables and Table Data domain includes three subdomains to help students effectively use tables within Excel:
In total, there are eight specific tasks related to these subdomains, such as creating tables from cell ranges, configuring table style options, and filtering records.
The Perform Operations by Using Formulas and Functions domain has three subdomains that help students understand more detailed features of Excel:
These subdomains are made up of eight tasks, such as performing calculations by using the AVERAGE() function, performing conditional operations with the IF() function, and formatting text by using the UPPER() function.
The Manage Charts domain includes three subdomains that help students use charts to present data from within Excel:
In total, there are eight specific tasks students should be able to complete, including creating charts, modifying chart elements, and applying chart styles.
Overall, students have 50 minutes to complete the MOS Excel Associate certification exam.
When they pass, they earn the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Associate digital badge and are officially certified!
Now that you know what’s included on the exam, how do you prepare your students for success?
Getting students ready for the MOS Excel Associate exam may seem fairly straightforward.
In fact, most teachers plan to use the test prep materials and call it a day.
But study guides and practice tests are only meant to measure how ready your students are for the exam — not to teach new material!
In addition, teaching to the test can harm your student’s long term retention and accidentally lead you to skip important information that the exam doesn’t include.
That’s why it’s smart to use a two-step approach when preparing students for the MOS Excel Associate exam:
This approach helps you teach the overarching information and skills your students need to learn for success in the future and get them ready for the MOS Excel Associate exam at the end of your class!
Start by teaching the foundational Microsoft Excel skills your students will need to know.
This can include the basics of Excel, such as understanding cells, rows, and columns; entering data in a spreadsheet; and changing spreadsheet views.
These details aren’t found on the MOS exam, but your students will need to know them in order to start using Excel in the first place!
After the introductory lessons, you can move onto the more detailed information found in the exam objectives we outlined above.
To do this, you’ll need a curriculum that both highlights the foundational concepts and the advanced Excel skills.
Once you’ve gone through most of your semester, it’s time to switch gears and break out the test prep materials.
You can administer practice exams to see if there’s a need for any last-minute review or remediation -- and don’t forget the study materials!
Overall, for this process to run smoothly, you’ll need to find a good balance between teaching the material and focusing on exam prep.
That’s why so many teachers use digital curriculum to do the heavy lifting when it comes to teaching Microsoft Excel skills for the MOS exam!
Thousands of computer teachers across the US use the Business&ITCenter21 digital curriculum system to teach Excel skills and prepare students for the MOS Excel Associate exam.
Business&ITCenter21 is specifically designed to help your students earn the MOS certification by providing pre-made curriculum, hands-on activities, scenario-based projects, and automatically-graded assessments.
Daisy Questell, a middle school computer teacher in Florida, has used the system to teach classes and prepare her students for the MOS certifications for years.
By using the system, she’s able to save time with lesson planning, improve student engagement, and increase MOS exam pass rates!
Click below to learn more about how Daisy uses digital curriculum to prepare students for certification!