Microsoft Excel Certification Program


Why should you get certified in Excel?

Microsoft Excel is an industry-standard tool in the business world.

The recruiters who work with Whitman ask us for students with a solid foundation in Excel.

This certification, called Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel, is recognized worldwide. It’s proof-positive that you are proficient in Excel; it will set you apart from your peers and give you the competitive edge that Whitman wants for all our students.

To read more about the Microsoft Office Specialist exam, click here.


Please note: Whitman's Excel Certification Program is only for matriculated Whitman students enrolled in courses during the semester in which they are attempting to participate. If you have not declared a major or minor in Whitman and are not enrolled in courses, you are not eligible to participate.

What do you need to do?


  1. Study. Complete the self-paced pre-work using the instructional material provided to you via Blackboard (Whitman Excel Course).
  2. Practice. Use GMetrix to take practice exams. Click here to learn about GMetrix, what it's for and how to use it.
    Any student desiring to register for/take the MOS Excel or Excel Expert Certification Exams will follow these required steps:
  • Complete the instructional material from LinkedIn Learning relating to the level of certification exam you wish to take.
  • Complete five different practice exams using GMetrix that meet the following criteria:
    • A minimum score of 800.
    • Taken within one month of your desired exam date.
    • At least one practice exam will be in a Multi-Project format.
  • Satisfy these requirements before registering for the exam on Handshake. Do not register before you have completed the required preparatory work.

There are nine practice exams that cover all the skills required to pass the MOS Excel Exam: six that are delivered in question/answer format and three that are delivered as a cumulative project. Any of these nine main exams will count toward the requirement described above. Specifically, for Excel Specialist, the exams that count have names that start with "Core."

Additionally, we have created five supplemental skill-set-focused mini-exams designed to further your abilities in the various skill sets required for the MOS Excel Certification. These are accessible using the information in the Supplemental content detailed in our Blackboard course.

Please note that these are not complete skill-set exams, so they do not count toward the requirement of the five exams.

Because nine exams apply to the preparatory requirement, you should take five different exams, with at least one being one of the project-based exams.

You can see how many GMetrix exams you've taken, their scores, and what areas you need to work on by logging into GMetrix and clicking the "Completed" button on the left of the page.


3. Register for an Exam. During the fall semester, You will receive an email either Tuesday or Thursday after 12pm verifying your eligibility status. If you qualify you'll receive instruction to register for an exam time via Handshake. During the spring semester, dates will be posted in the Blackboard course.

Please note:

  • Exams are scheduled for Fridays during spring and fall semesters, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., and are given in Whitman 009.
  • Whitman 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.


What Things do you Need?

It is possible to study for this certification using either your own computer or Whitman's computer labs. Log into Blackboard and look for "Whitman Excel Course" in your course listing. If you don't see it there, fill out and submit a form.

If you would like to use your own computer to study, please familiarize yourself with Whitman's Remote Desktop.


Facts About Certification Exams

A certification exam follows a general but specific guideline: you will be tested on your knowledge of specific categories/topics selected to demonstrate proficiency in a particular skill set or area.

While the categories are specific, the questions will be random. This means that you probably won't see the same questions you saw using GMetrix, but you'll probably see ones that are topically similar.


Facts about the MOS Excel Exam

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 score required to pass is 700.
  • You are required to have scored 800 or better on at least five exams using GMetrix, taken in testing mode. Ideally, these scores should be consecutive.
  • It is a time-metered test—the maximum allowable time is 50 minutes.
  • You can register for an exam using Handshake. Exams are every Friday from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. The last registration of the day is at 4 p.m.
  • The exams will be administered in Whitman room 009 unless otherwise noted.
  • Your test will be administered/proctored by Whitman staff.
  • Electronic devices are not allowed during the test.


Taking the Exam

When you’re ready to take the exam, please register through Handshake (or, if during the spring semester, schedule an appointment by emailing We will verify that you’ve achieved the appropriate number of passing scores with GMetrix, and then accept your registration. At that time, you must ensure you’re on time and have your SUID card.

ADA Accommodations
  • If you require additional time for GMetrix practice exams, please understand the following:
           You must submit this request via
    Extra time only applies to exams taken in the Testing mode because there is no time limit for exams taken in the Training mode.
            When this option is enabled, you must toggle it on or off as necessary when you start the practice exam in GMetrix.
  • If you require additional time for your actual exam, please understand the following:
            Whitman does not control the exam and the rules that govern it. You must arrange for this accommodation through Certiport, and you must follow a specific process.
            Please visit Certiport's ADA Accommodations page at and follow their outlined process.

    **Please note that Certiport asks applicants to allow up to ten (10) business days for forms to be reviewed and processed.  As such, please expect that if you arrive at your scheduled testing session and have not previously arranged for accommodations, Whitman IT cannot arrange them for you.**



Have Questions?

Do you have a question about the Microsoft Excel Certification Program? FAQs are below.