The Microsoft Office Specialist Competition


Microsoft key on computer (credits to Unsplash)

Camille Beeler, Journalist

It’s almost here! The infamous “nerd championship” aka the Microsoft Office Specialist National Championship! Presented by Cetriport, a Pearson VUE business, top students from around the country test their knowledge and skill on Microsoft Office Word, Excel®, and Powerpoint®. People aged 14-21 compete in Orlando, Florida on June 26-28, 2023. There are six tracks (versions) people can compete in: Microsoft Word (Office 2016), Microsoft Excel® (Office 2016), Microsoft PowerPoint® (Office 2016), Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps or Office 2019), Microsoft Excel® (Microsoft 365 Apps or Office 2019) and Microsoft PowerPoint® (Microsoft 365 Apps or Office 2019). Students testing in Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019 will compete in the same exam track.

There are seven excellent students representing Cavelero Mid-High in the national championship: Ellie Tredway (Powerpoint 2019), Alexis Cheney (Powerpoint 2016), Ethan Anderson (Word 2019), Andrew Djaja (Excel 2016), Justice Klein (Excel 2019), Jonas Lee (Word), and Andrew Aiken (Word 2019). Mrs. Coulumbe, the computer applications and computer sciences teacher, has been teaching the needed skills over the past several months. She has taught them necessary formulas and units on the version they are testing in. She also taught them how to focus and use their critical thinking skills. She led these students through state competitions where only 12 students are chosen to go to nationals from each state, and will continue to lead them however far they go. 

MOS National Championship Badge (Credits to Microsoft)

With national competitions coming up in June, everyone is very excited, but also nervous. These tests are difficult and it takes months of hard work and dedication to even qualify. The test entails questions and around 35 tasks r

egarding your version. You must get 700/1000, or a 70%, to pass. To qualify, however, you must get a perfect score and a quick time. This is a lot of stress on students, but in the end is very much worth it. Ninth grader Andrew Djaja, who qualified for nationals, states his proudest moment was “screaming in joy” and calling every one of his closest friends the day he qualified for the national championship. He goes on to say how the dedication was difficult, especially staying after school for multiple hours retaking tests, but in the end it was worth it. Not only did he meet amazing friends, but he improved his test taking ability and overall confidence in academics. 

The work leading up was difficult, but the day of the competition will take every ounce of effort from these amazing students. The national competition consists of tests that evaluate your knowledge on different Microsoft versions. Specifically, the tests make sure you can demonstrate the fundamentals of creating tables, creating cells and ranges, creating or managing worksheets or workbooks, etc. You must be an expert on your version because if you can’t figure out how to work a file or something similar, no one will help you. 

Certiport (Credits to Certiport)

MOS competitions are difficult, but well worth it in the end. If you get your MOS certification, future employers will see that you are knowledgeable regarding computers and Microsoft, increasing your chances of receiving the job. These students have put countless hours into studying and testing, ready to take anything Microsoft throws their way. Make sure to wish them luck on the upcoming nationals competition, although I’m sure they won’t need it.