How to Pass an Excel Test

Instructor: Jessica Munk
Whether you need to take an Excel test as part of an interview process, to obtain the Microsoft Office Specialist certification or as part of a degree program, get some tips to prepare for and pass the exam. Learn about the various resources you can use to help you study for and ace your Excel test.

Online Practice Tests

You can find a number of free practice tests and assessments online. While not directly sponsored by Microsoft, these resources can help you practice your Excel skills so that you can perform better on the test. Searching for these practice tests can be tricky, and you'll want to make sure you're accessing legitimate sites, so be careful and do your research before jumping in. Practice tests typically offer only that - a test. This can be a great way to get an idea of how much you already know about Excel and what you still need to brush up on to pass an actual exam.

Microsoft Excel Study Guide

A thorough resource for an Excel test is the Excel Study Guide published by Microsoft. This resource provides you with comprehensive information regarding the application that covers all of the tools and skills you need to pass the exam. The book also teaches you Excel skills and includes illustrations to help you learn how to master those skills. Additionally, you will get practice assignments so that you can become more comfortable with the program. The Excel program isn't included with the book and will need to be purchased separately.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a free resource that provides online video instruction on Microsoft products. You can find a number of lessons related directly to using the latest version of Excel. Using these resources to familiarize yourself with all the components of the Excel program will increase your chances of passing the test. Topics included in the Microsoft Excel Essentials course include creating, customizing, sharing and saving workbooks; working with data and tables; and inserting charts and objects into a workbook.

Microsoft Support

If you have a specific question about an Excel function, the Microsoft support site allows you to search for a topic or browse the categories for the right support document. These documents contain step-by-step instructions and screen shots to help you understand the material. Some of the tutorials you can find include help with themes, funnel charts, cell merging, tables, filtering, formulas and charts.

Microsoft Learning Partner Courses

You can attend a course from an authorized Microsoft Learning Partner by searching on Microsoft's website ( A Learning Partner is a training center that provides in-person training on a variety of Microsoft products, including Excel. Microsoft Learning Partners are available in every state, so you may be able to find a training center in your area that offers training on Excel or preparation for Excel certification exams.

eLearning Courses

You can take a course online to prepare you for an Excel test. Online courses are available through colleges, tech and trade schools, independent learning centers and other organizations. In addition to online instruction, courses may also include assessment tests, flashcards and study plans designed for Excel test prep. Taking a course online allows you to study at your own pace and go back and review material that you are not fully comfortable with.

The following courses can help you learn and master Excel:

  • The Microsoft Excel Certification Study Guide covers all of the topics you'll encounter on the Excel certification exam (Exam 77-420). Designed specifically for the exam, you'll learn about customization options, data entry functions, worksheets and workbooks, printing, saving and sharing Excel documents.
  • The Intro to Excel course delves in deeper with more lessons on formatting, functions, objects and formulas available in Excel. This resource can give you added skills you'd need to not only pass an Excel test but apply for school, work and personal uses.

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