School of Information Studies
Page tree

Excel Training and Certification Program

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 iSchool is offering students access to the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 2016 certification program that 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 being provided through Certiport which is 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 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 iSchool, and are not actively enrolled in courses, you are not eligible to participate.

All iSchool faculty and staff are also able to take advantage of this program.

How Much Does it Cost?

The GMetrix practice exams AND the Excel 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist exam are FREE to all iSchool students, faculty and staff. 

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.

Topics include:

  • Creating and managing worksheets and workbooks
  • Managing data cells and ranges
  • Creating tables
  • Performing operations with formulas and functions
  • Creating charts and objects

Take Practice Exams through GMetrix.net

GMetrix is a service offered by the iSchool that provides practice tests for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam.  These practice tests help students accurately determine their skill and knowledge level prior to taking the certification exam.  GMetrix tests are provided as a service to better prepare students for their Excel Certification examination.

 You must pass three GMetrix exams with a score of 800 or higher in order to qualify for the Excel Certiport certification exam.  GMetrix allows you to familiarize yourself with the testing software and overall experience. You can take each practice exam an unlimited number of times.  Registration information for your GMetrix account is below.

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.

Registering for GMetrix

  1. Qualified 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 Jeff Fouts, Associate Director of Career Services and Data Analytics: jlfouts@syr.edu  who will provide you with an authorization code.
  3. Once your account is created, you can start taking practice exams.  

Prospective test candidates should also be aware that taking a very small amount of exams (such as 1-2) repeatedly and scoring above 800 does not constitute adequate preparation and does not fulfill the preparatory requirement.

You can see how many Gmetrix exams you’ve taken, their scores, and what areas you need to work on, by logging into gmetrix.com using your Gmetrix username and password, and clicking the ““Completed Tests” option (found under tests) on the left side of the page.  You may take an unlimited number of GMetrix practice exams in preparation for your actual certification exam. 

Ways to access GMetrix Practice Exams

  • For Remote Access – You can access GMetrix remotely by going to Syracuse University Remote Desktop Service.
  • Public Computer labs on Campus – GMetrix has been installed on a variety of public labs on campus (see list of public labs below).
  • 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 iSchool student, faculty or staff 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 jlfouts@syr.edu and include your Syracuse University ID number to request your test date. Please include a screen shot of the three practice tests with a minimum score of 800 or better.

You have the option of taking the exam remotely or in the Maxwell School Testing Center, located in Eggers Hall room 030.

Excel Certification Testing:
When you are ready and eligible to take the exam, email testingcenter@syr.edu with your preference of a remote or in person exam and 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.
  • 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.
  • No labels