The Microsoft Excel certification is a credential that the software company Microsoft offers to verify professionals’ competency in using its Excel spreadsheets tool for a variety of situations. Excel is one of several tools in the Microsoft 365 stack, along with Word and PowerPoint, and is used to store, organize, and track data sets with formulas and functions. Getting certified demonstrates that you have expert-level capabilities with this tool and are ready for jobs that require Excel expertise.
The full name for the certification is Microsoft Office Specialist: Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019). You might also see it referred to as MO-201. To get the certification, you must take the Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019) exam. This exam is 50 minutes, consists of 25 questions, and covers several areas of Excel usage, including:
Managing workbook options and settings
Managing and formatting data
Creating advanced formulas and macros
Managing advanced charts and tables
The Microsoft Excel certification exam costs $100 in the United States.
Getting an Excel certification can benefit your career in several ways. It’s a globally recognized credential that can be advantageous in many fields, including accounting, finance, project management, marketing, technology, and education. As of February 2022, over 800,000 companies in the United States use Excel and other tools in the Microsoft 365 stack . Having this certification can make you a more attractive job candidate, increase your value with your current employer, and even set you up for a salary increase.
The time it takes to get Excel certified depends, in large part, on how much experience you already have with Excel and the frequency with which you prepare for the exam. According to Microsoft’s description of the Microsoft Office Specialist: Microsoft Excel Expert (Excel and Excel 2019) certification, it’s meant to demonstrate that you have approximately 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience with Excel.
If you’re ready to get an Excel certification, follow these steps to streamline your process.
Certiport is Microsoft’s official testing center. Visit Certiport’s webpage to schedule your exam and select your preferred exam location. Be sure to schedule the exam with enough time to prepare. Create an account with Microsoft to access your Certification Dashboard.
While Microsoft does not offer an official practice test for the Excel certification, there are several sources of preparation materials you can access, including:
Microsoft’s Excel certification exam outline of skills measured
Microsoft’s Excel support documentation
Microsoft’s “sandbox” to demo the exam experience and get a feel for the kind of questions the exam includes
Microsoft’s certification support page
Courses and tutorials by other brands, like iPrep, on how to use Excel and prepare for the exam
The final step in getting your Microsoft Excel certification is to take the exam. You’ll receive pass or fail results within minutes of completing the exam, along with a breakdown of how you performed in the different skills areas. The Excel exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 1,000. According to Microsoft’s exam documentation, passing scores vary from one exam to the next and will be available on your score report.
You’ll need to access your certification dashboard to see exam score reports and other information related to your certifications.
Taking online courses can be a great way to prepare for the Excel certification exam and build job-ready skills. Explore the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals Specialization, which covers how to use Excel to work with basic formulas and functions, how to analyze and visualize data, and more.
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1. Statista. “Number of Office 365 company users worldwide as of June 2022, by leading country, https://www.statista.com/statistics/983321/worldwide-office-365-user-numbers-by-country/.” Accessed May 11, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.