Certification exams for Office end users

A lot of us mainly focus on a certification track or path to support our current or desired job role. Database professionals take MCTS exams for SQL server while developers plow through the MCTS certifications for Microsoft Visual Studio. Office professionals would, of course, take exams for Microsoft Business Certification (or Microsoft Office Specialist, if still on Office 2003).

Office professionals, you say?

Unless you’ve worked in or been involved with someone with an office assistance or support staff position, you probably are not aware that companies, like staffing agencies, use Office certification testing for their manpower or resource talent pool (the academic community is another channel where much of Office testing is used).

And with recent programs such as Microsoft’s Elevate America and Certiport’s partnership with Kelly Services out the door, the audience for these exams will continue to grow.

Are office exams like MCP exams?

Office exams are exposed to the same quality and development standards as MCP exams, but unlike most of our MCP exams, Office exams are actually performance-based (and I say “most” and not “all” here because we have already started to use technology that supports performance-based testing in MCP exams such as 70-640). The Office exams are delivered for us by a company called Certiport.

When you take an Office exam MS-Office (and not a simulation of its interface) runs concurrently with testing software in the background. What this means to you, as an exam taker, is that you will be asked to perform tasks and whether you do it by using menu selections or keyboard shortcuts, you will be evaluated in the same way: the end result. I’m sure you’ll agree that this outcome-based approach works well with Office, since most people are much better at performing a task than answering multiple choice questions about it.

Are all Office exams performance-based? Well…..almost. While our Office suite of exams (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint) is all performance-based, one exam, 77-600 (Windows Vista® for the Business Worker), is actually a simulation because of the complexity if creating a live application exam for an operating system.

Does this make you eager to show off your shortcut for changing text case or capitalization? Forgot how to do it? Highlight a paragraph or group of words, then press SHIFT and F3 (and if you want to stretch this further, keep your finger on the SHIFT key and press F3 again to see what happens next). Enjoy!

Posted By: R.v.KirubaKaran
Microsoft Certified Professional

1 comments:

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