Excel Training and Certification Program

Important Notice:  Microsoft has approved a new online system for test takers to have the option of taking the Excel Certification exam remotely. More information can be found on Certiport’s website here. The basic requirements include a strong internet connection and a personal computer. For more information and to schedule an exam, please email testingcenter@syr.edu.

Microsoft Excel is an industry-standard tool in the business world. Having a solid foundation in Excel will set you apart from your peers in today’s competitive job market. Recognizing this, the Maxwell School, College of Arts and Science, and the iSchool are offering students access to the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 365/2019 certification program, which is recognized around the world. Becoming a certified Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel is proof-positive of your proficiency with this tool. This MOS certification is provided through Certiport, the premiere certification organization endorsed by Microsoft for their office products.

Who Can Enroll in the Program?

The Excel Training and Certification Program is available to Maxwell School, College of Arts and Sciences, and iSchool matriculated students who are actively enrolled in courses during the semester in which they are attempting to participate in this certification program. If you have not declared a Major or Minor in the Maxwell School, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the iSchool and are not actively enrolled in courses, you are not eligible to participate. Faculty and Staff are also welcome to participate.

How Do I Study and Prepare?

Study Excel on LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is an online library of high-quality video tutorials, created by industry professionals teaching a wide variety of software tools and skills. The full range of these tutorials are available to current faculty, students and staff. Learn more about how to access this resource on our LinkedIn Learning web page or on Answers.syr.edu.

You will find a wide variety of Excel training courses in the LinkedIn Learning library including the Cert Prep: Excel Associate – Microsoft Office Specialist for Office 2019 and Office 365 course, which specifically relates to the MOS Excel Certification.

Take Practice Exams through GMetrix.net

GMetrix is a service offered by the Maxwell School, College of Arts and Sciences and the iSchool that provides practice tests for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam. These practice tests help you accurately determine your skill and knowledge level prior to taking the certification exam and allows you to familiarize yourself with the testing software and overall experience.

Using GMetrix, and fulfilling the GMetrix requirements, is the greatest predictor of success on the actual exam. University studies demonstrate when students properly utilized GMetrix, their certification pass rate was over 95%. Learn more about GMetrix on their site.

GMetrix has two modes – Training and Testing:

  • Training mode provides step-by-step help for each test question, with no time limit.
  • Testing mode simulates the test as closely as possible – there is a time limit, a specific number of questions, and no help.

You must pass three GMetrix exams in Testing mode with a score of 800 or higher in order to qualify for the Excel Certiport certification exam.

  • Exams that are specific to the Excel Specialist certification have names that start with “Excel Associate 2019 Practice Exam”.
  • There are multiple exams that are applicable to the preparatory requirement. You should take three different exams.
  • You can take each practice exam an unlimited number of times.
  • Prospective test candidates should also be aware that taking a very small amount of exams (such as 1-2) repeatedly and scoring above 800 in testing mode does not constitute adequate preparation and does not fulfill the preparatory requirement.
  • You can see how many GMetrix exams you have taken, their scores, and what areas you need to work on, by logging into gmetrix.net using your GMetrix username and password, and clicking the “Completed Tests” option (found under Tests) on the left side of the page.

Registering for GMetrix

  1. Qualified Maxwell, College of Arts and Sciences, and iSchool students must go to the GMetrix web site and create an account using your @syr.edu email address.
  2. Using your Syracuse University email address, send your Syracuse University ID number to testingcenter@syr.edu and someone from the ICT Testing Team will provide you with an authorization code.
  3. Once your account is created, you can start taking practice exams.

Ways to access GMetrix Practice Exams

  • For Remote Access – You can access GMetrix remotely by going to Syracuse University Remote Desktop Service.
  • Maxwell Department Labs – GMetrix is installed in all Maxwell department labs if you already have lab access.
  • Labs in Arts & Science (when available) – GMetrix software will be installed on the following labs:
    • 124 Carnegie (Math)
    • 231 Sims (African Studies)
    • 005 Heroy (Earth Sciences)
    • 530D Huntington (Psychology)
    • 621 Skytop (Communications and Sciences and Disorders)
  • Public Labs on campus (more info):
    • Brockway 202
    • CST 1-114
    • Goldstein Student Center 107
    • Graham 016
    • Huntington 020
    • Kimmel 029
    • Lawrinson 202
    • Physics 115
    • Schine Student Center 126A
    • Schine Student Center Ludwig Lounge 035
    • Eggers Hall 040
    • Eggers Hall 034
    • Eggers Hall 240 (undergrads only)

Register for the Certification Exam

Requirements: Any Maxwell, College of Arts and Sciences, or iSchool student desiring to take the MOS Excel Certification exam will observe the following required steps:

  • Complete three different practice exams using GMetrix. Please note, the following criteria must be met:
    • Each qualifying practice exam will have a minimum score of 800.
    • Each qualifying practice exam will be taken within one month of your desired exam date.
    • Satisfy these requirements before registering for the exam.
  • If you fail the exam on the first attempt, you must then complete five different practice exams using GMetrix (each with a minimum score of 800) before registering for the second attempt.

After ensuring the above steps are taken, email testingcenter@syr.edu and include your Syracuse University ID number to request your test date.

Excel Certification Testing:
When you are ready and eligible to take the exam, email testingcenter@syr.edu to request the next available dates and times. Please note: exam availability is limited and by reservation only. We cannot guarantee a specific date and time.
Candidates must register for a Certiport account here  BEFORE you take the exam.

  • Before the day of your exam, create an account with Certiport. This account will be used to log into the exam: Certiport User Registration.
  • You must be available 15-minutes prior to the start of the exam.
  • Students must present their Syracuse University ID to take the exam.
  • Maxwell, College of Arts and Sciences, and iSchool students are allowed two attempts at the Certification exam at no charge. Students wishing to take the exam after their second attempt must pay for subsequent exam attempts.

Important Information About Certification Exams

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 that you probably will not see the same questions you saw using GMetrix, but you may see questions 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.

  • The exam you will take is called: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 365/2019.
  • 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 exam will be administered/proctored by Maxwell staff.
  • The score required to pass is 700.
  • It is a time-metered test – maximum allowable time is 50 minutes.  The Maxwell Staff has no control over the exam time.  (Note: There is an option for students with disabilities to get additional time. To request additional time for the exam please go to Certiport and fill out the form.  Your paperwork will be submitted to Certiport’s accommodation group along with proper documentation showing a diagnosis of a condition that requires additional time. The turnaround for the accommodations request is 10 business days.)
  • If you do not achieve a score of 700 or higher, you’ll be permitted to reschedule the exam one additional time (maximum 2 exam attempts per semester)
  • Cell phones and/or other network/internet connectable devices are not allowed during the test.