If you are trying to get ahead in you career today, you will know that the computer skills you have under your belt are what will make the difference between you moving up the ladder or down. When it comes to trying to prove your computer competency in using office applications there is no other certification path that stands out like the Microsoft Office Specialist program. With over 3 million exams now undertaken and well over 2 million Microsoft Office Specialist Certificates issued, this certification has become the one to get to prove your skills in using Microsoft Office.
One thing I have found though is that many people fail these exams first time around and there really is no reason for it. The way the Microsoft Office Specialist exam works is that you will be taken into a room and sat at a computer. On this computer you will be asked by the computer to carry out a series of tasks. Each set of tasks is designed to represent tasks you would be expected to do on a day-to-day basis. office.com/setup
These exams really are a good representation of what people would be expected to do on a day-to-day basis. I should say I am a little bias since I am a Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor and my company is a Microsoft Office Specialist Authorised Testing Centre but having trained about 4,000 to 5,000 students through my training centre in Townsville, Australia the certification exams really do represent the skills you would be expected to perform in your workplace.
There are in fact seven exams in the Microsoft Office Specialist Program and they are the Microsoft Word Core and Expert Exams, Microsoft Excel Core and Expert Exams, Microsoft Outlook Core Exam, Microsoft PowerPoint Core Exam and the Microsoft Access Core Exam. If you were a Secretary or Personal Assistant, I would expect at a minimum you would have passed the Microsoft Word Core Exam and the Microsoft Excel Core Exam. If you hold the position of a salesman, I would expect you to have the same certifications as the Personal Assistant or secretary plus the Microsoft PowerPoint Core certification and maybe the Microsoft Excel Expert Certification and Microsoft Access Core Certification.
Ok, so how do we prepare for these exams.
First of all, you need to choose how you want to study for these exams. In terms of passing these exams it doesn’t matter whether you want to do a course at a training centre, buy a self paced training program or doing the training on the Internet. Use the form of training that you feel most comfortable with. Me personally, I prefer to use self-paced training where as many of my students prefer classroom based training. Each training method has its own advantages and disadvantages. One thing to note, if you are going to go to a training centre, make sure at the very least they are a Microsoft Office Specialist Testing Centre and that they will give you a training manual and exercise disk to take home with you to keep. If the training centre doesn’t give you a manual then don’t waste your time with the course even if they might be the cheapest. In computer training, cheapest definitely does not mean the best.
Step 1. Once you have done the course or studied the Self-Paced material make sure you redo all the material within 7-days!
One mistake many people make, is thinking that they can do a two-day computer training course then walk away as an expect. If that’s what you think, than it is totally fanciful. Computer Training is like a sport, if you want to be a professional then you must train as a professional. The first step you need to do in any training regime is to go back through all the material you did in the computer training course in the first 7 days after you the finish of the course.
Studies have shown over the years, that each 7 days you don’t review your material, you will loose 50% of the material. Each week you don’t review the material you loose another 50% which means in 6 weeks or so, you will remember nothing from your course. All in all you may as well, not have done the course in the first place.