A Microsoft Office User Specialist is an individual who has certified
his or her skills in one or more of the Microsoft Office desktop applications
of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint®, Microsoft Outlook®
or Microsoft Access, Microsoft FrontPage, or in Microsoft Project. The
Microsoft Office User Specialist Program typically offers certification exams
at the "Core" and "Expert" skill levels. * The Microsoft
Office User Specialist Program is the only Microsoft approved program in the
world for certifying proficiency in Microsoft Office desktop applications and
Microsoft Project. This certification can be a valuable asset in any job search
or career advancement.
Who benefits from Microsoft Office User
Microsoft Office User Specialist ("MOUS") certification helps satisfy
employers' needs for qualitative assessments of employees' skills. Training,
coupled with MOUS certification, offers organizations of every size, the
ability to enhance productivity and efficiency by enabling their employees to
unlock many advanced and laborsaving features in Microsoft Office applications.
MOUS certification can ultimately improve the bottom line.
MOUS certification demonstrates employees' productivity and competence in
Microsoft Office applications, the most popular business applications in the
world. Achieving MOUS certification verifies that employees have the confidence
and ability to use Microsoft Office applications in meeting and exceeding their
MOUS certification validates instructors' knowledge and skill in using
Microsoft Office applications. It serves as a valuable credential,
demonstrating their potential to teach students these essential applications.
The MOUS Authorized Instructor program is also available to those who wish to
further demonstrate their instructional capabilities.
MOUS certification distinguishes students from their peers. It demonstrates
their efficiency in completing assignments and projects, leaving more time for
other studies. Improved confidence toward meeting new challenges and obstacles
is yet another benefit. Achieving MOUS certification gives students the
marketable skills necessary to set them apart in the competitive job market.
The MOUS program has three basic levels: Proficient, Expert, and Master.
Proficient certification requires passing an intermediate-level skills test on
Word or Excel. Expert certification requires passing an advanced-level skills
test on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access. So you can be certified as
Proficient in Word or Expert in Excel. Each of these designations is for a
The Master level, on the other hand, requires passing the Expert exam on all
four core products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. The Master level is
the highest MOUS cert you can achieve.
How hard is it?
There are test guidelines for each test, which outline the typical skills to be
tested. Here are some of the Word Proficient test skills:
- Add bullets and numbering
- Apply character effects (superscript, subscript, strikethrough, small caps
- Align text vertically
- Create sections with formatting that differs from other sections
- Alternate headers and footers
- Create a hyperlink
- Create and modify 3D shapes
MOUS Expert test skills:
- Use non-breaking spaces
- Create watermarks
- Format first page differently than subsequent pages
- Create master documents
- Perform calculations in a table
- Create and modify a form
- Create and modify a table of contents
How do I prepare?
The tests themselves are not your typical MCP exams—no multiple choice and no
moving back and forth through the test. The MOUS tests are run using the actual
program to solve a problem. They’re pretty ingenious, actually. The
application opens, then the screen divides into two sections. The lower section
is the test window, which shows the task you are to carry out, while the upper
section is the application window where you actually do the work. Once you
think you have finished the task completely and successfully, you click the OK
button in the lower window and move on to the next task.
The tests are timed, so if you fumble around a long time on a particular
question, it affects your score. And, once you leave the task, you can’t go
back. When you finish the test, your score pops up immediately and your results
are printed. Each test lasts an hour or less.