A Microsoft Excel Certification validates a professional’s abilities to work with MS Excel applications and tools. A spreadsheet application distributed by Microsoft and the basis of all data entry jobs, it enables the user to be able to use easy spreadsheet functions like graphic tools, calculators, formulas, charts, macro programming language, and other pivotal tools. The latest version of the software is MS Excel, which provides users with a wide variety of tools that make database jobs simpler and more comprehensive.

Many recruiters claim that just being proficient in Excel isn’t enough. Candidates need to have an industry-standard certification to validate their claim and ease the recruitment process. The Microsoft Excel Certification is recognized globally and benefits the candidate with better recognition and competitive edge over non-certified professionals. 

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Eligibility and Requirements of MS Excel Certification

There isn’t professional or academic eligibility required to apply for the MS Excel Certification.

Candidates are just required to have the latest software installed on their computers to be able to run through the online exam. The requisites include:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 or higher
  • MS Office
  • .NET Framework 4.0 or higher
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.0 or higher
  • High-Speed Broadband
    • Internet Explorer 

Once you have applied for the certification exam, you will receive an exam date and also be provided with self-paced practice papers from Microsoft IT Academy. 

Quick Facts on How to Get a Microsoft Excel Certification

  • The exam is called the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel
  • The minimum pass score is 700
  • The test is time metered with a maximum duration of 60 minutes
  • Exams are scheduled every Friday between 11 AM and 5 PM and at recognized centers
  • The test will be invigilated by Microsoft representatives
  • No cell phone or networking device is allowed in the examination hall

In the section below, we will be discussing the steps on how to get excel certified.

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Steps to Earn a Microsoft Excel Certification

Steps To Earn a Microsoft Excel Certification

  1. It is advisable to carefully look through the Microsoft certification study guide before taking the MOS exam. The official Microsoft website is one place where students can purchase reliable guides, like the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist Study Guide. If you can, study more than one guide to compare the information. The MS Excel certification is attainable, but you need to stay focused and have complete working knowledge of the application.
  2. Next, download as many practice exams and review the sample objectives that will be possibly asked in the exams. These practice tests will not just help you understand and measure your test taking skills, but also give a general idea of the overall structure of professional certification examinations. There are numerous companies that offer free trial exams. Log onto their websites and ask for a free voucher for the Excel certification test. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be during the final tests.
  3. Register on the Microsoft website and other websites for commonly used test papers and study guides. These documents will be sent to you over mail. This is also when you must be ready to pay for the training center you will be taking your test at. The entire process will just require a month if you are already working with MS Excel for a long time now. Be sure to learn and use the latest features of MS Excel as the certification requires you to be updated.
  4. The final test will be like the simulated exams that you have taken in the last month. The questions asked in the MS Excel certifications aren’t too challenging if you have a working knowledge of the application. Be confident and you should be doing fine after all those rigorous practice sessions. The exam is more aligned in the way candidates would be using the application in their regular life and on jobs.
  5. Passing the certification will earn you recognition from Microsoft. This will be mailed to you and you are allowed to take print outs and use the tag alongside your name in CVs.

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Microsoft Excel Exam Format

The MS MOS exams are all performance-based and are conducted in simulated or live environments. Candidates are asked to perform a series of tasks in MS Excel that help demonstrate their preparedness, knowledge, and skill with the application software. It is a somewhat short project that the candidate is required to prepare within 60 minutes. In a real-world testing situation, marks are based on points in subsequent steps of the solution. The exam results are displayed immediately and you would know if you have passed as soon as you submit it. An official certificate is then mailed to your address within the next couple of weeks.

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Importance of Microsoft Excel Certification

A Microsoft Excel Certification gives recruiters the opportunity to recognize your  capabilities working on the platform. It assures the client or employer of your ability to execute. The exam material also gives something technical to be discussed during the interview. According to a study done by CompTIA, MOS certifications can bring about a nine percent increase in salary and as much as 29 percent in the long run. In a similar survey done among employers, statistics suggest that a recruiter feels more comfortable hiring a certified professional even if they demand a greater salary than non-certified ones. In 60 percent of the cases, an MOS certification has led to a job. Certifications are being considered for better marketability, better recognition, and better pay.

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Have a look at the video below that will help you understand Excel basics and explore its features.


Getting a Microsoft Excel Certification is an attainable goal, but it certainly helps with fruitful advancements in your career. Enroll in our Professional Certificate Program in Business Analysis, this Excel certificate helps you establish your skills. You are now globally recognized for your ability to work in the MS Excel platform. Apart from recognition among peers, you have all the reasons to ask for better pay for your services and expertise.

About the Author

R BhargavR Bhargav

An experienced process analyst, Bhargav specializes in adapting current quality management best practices to the needs of fast-paced digital businesses.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.