A review of Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications and their value to students.

A Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) qualification is a professional certification demonstrating knowledge of programmes such as Word, Excel and Power point. MOS is a formal exam where you have to go to a local exam centre to sit it.

A Microsoft qualification is not easy to gain and are often quite confusing and challenging. In order to pass the qualification you must undertake lots of practice and there are practice tests you can take where there is guidance on how to do each question if you do not understand it. The practice tests are similar to the actual tests that you will get in the exam and therefore it is wise to do as many practice tests as possible to ensure you are on the right track for the exam.

A MOS qualification has a very high value to students. Firstly it will help students to gain better knowledge on programmes that are relevant to their work and assignments. University modules often involve the use of programmes such as word and excel and therefore it is beneficial for students to be comfortable in the use of these programmes to give themselves the best chance in assignments and in university in general.

These qualifications are also very useful when looking for a job and applying for placements. Employers want candidates who have good computer literacy skills and these MOS qualifications can provide evidence. They are something you can put in your CV and may differentiate you form other candidates in the employers eyes.

I have found MOS exams very difficult and currently have not yet passed a Microsoft qualification. I have only taken one Excel exam which I did not manage to pass and I am now studied for the Word exam as I have found Word to be more easier than Excel. I like the fact that when practising you get to click on the answers and therefore you can use these answers to work backwards to learn the solutions for the original questions. Computer literacy is not one of my strengths but studying  for the MOS qualifications is improving my ability and knowledge on computers and I personally think they are very valuable to students. When you first start undertaking and practising them, they are very difficult and confusing but the more practice tests you undertake the easier they become.

The tests cover a wide range of IT business skills such as creating tables, managing worksheets and applying formulas and functions. It is also valuable to students in the sense that Microsoft is not going away and therefore this qualification will be an investment in the students future. Microsoft are constantly investing and are likely to keep growing and therefore knowledge of Microsoft programmes is increasingly essential, proving the fact that this qualification is highly valuable to students.

Here are some images showing what Gmetrix practice looks like with regards to when it provides hints for questions and the home screen where you have save tests:-


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