Excel Training and Certification Program

Microsoft Excel is an industry-standard tool. This certification will set you apart from your peers in today’s competitive global job market. Recognizing this, we are offering access to the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 365/2019 certification program. This MOS certification is provided through Certiport, Microsoft’s premiere certification organization.

Online Testing: The exam is given online and proctored by an ICT Maxwell School staff member through Certiport’s approved system. The basic requirements include a strong internet connection and a personal computer. 

Who Can Enroll in the Program?

This program is only 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. 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 welcomed to participate.

How Do I Study and Prepare?

LinkedIn Learning

A full range of 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.

GMetrix has two modes


  • Training mode provides step-by-step help for each test question, with no time limit.


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

  • Testing mode simulates the test as closely as possible – there is a time limit, a specific number of questions, and no help.
  • 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 be aware that taking a very small number of exams (such as 1-2) and scoring above 800 in testing mode does not constitute adequate preparation and does not fulfill the preparatory requirement.

Registering for GMetrix

  1. Using your SU email address, send your Syracuse University ID number to testingcenter@syr.edu with “GMetrix Code Request” in the subject line.
  2. Your proctor from the ICT Testing Team will reply with an authorization code for GMetrix.
  3. You will then go to the GMetrix web site and create an account using your @syr.edu email address.
  4. Once your account is created, you can start taking practice exams by navigating to the “Courses” option in the left side bar. Exams that are specific to the Excel Specialist certification have names that start with “Excel Associate 2019 Practice Exam”.
  5. You can see how many GMetrix exams you have taken, their scores, and what areas you need to work on by clicking the “Completed Tests” option (found under Tests) on the left side of the page.

Additional 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

To register for the Certification Exam

1.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.

2. After taking practice exams, email testingcenter@syr.edu to request a testing date with “Test Appointment Request” in the subject line.

Please note: exam availability is limited and by reservation only and exams must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Exams are typically offered on Fridays at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm EST.

3. The testing proctor will email you an agreed upon date and time and will then send you a link to the online exam room.

  • Before the day of your exam, create an account with Certiport. This account will be used to log into the exam.
  • 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 per semester 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

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.