Office 2013 Certification - A Fresh Take on Performance-Based Testing

Wendy Johnson (MSL)

MOS LogoMicrosoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exams have used performance-based testing technology for years. With well over a million exams taken every year, MOS has led the IT industry in performance-based testing. And I’m happy to announce the new MOS 2013 exams have stepped it up another notch! Beginning this week, individuals around the world can take the new Microsoft Office Specialist 2013 exams for Word and Excel. Our new 2013 exams improve the testing experience by enabling even more real-world functionality and project-based outcome testing.

So what does this mean exactly for the test experience? In previous exams individuals would be presented with a series of specific tasks they would be asked to perform in the application. These tasks have been randomly generated mapped to the exam objectives, and unrelated to each other. With the new MOS 2013 exams, individuals are presented with a project to build. It might be a Word report, an Excel spreadsheet, or a PowerPoint presentation. Having taken one of the initial exams, I can attest it is both challenging and a better gauge of a candidate’s skills in using Microsoft Office applications. That isn’t all that is changing. Did I mention that along with a fresh testing experience, MOS 2013 is adopting a new logo? The new logo is now better aligned with the overall Microsoft branding style.

 Check out the listing of and exam objectives for all the coming MOS 2013 exams here, which will roll out over the next six months. Ready to take the exam? Click here to find a test center via our MOS exam provider, Certiport.

 Happy testing!

  • Deepak Puri
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    Sounds Good.

  • Ayman Hassan
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    As an Office 2010 Master and MCT, shall I get the chance to enter the 2013 Exams for free or with a good discount?

    Also I noticed that Word and Excel 2013 Exams are attached with the register links on Prometric, but there are no option for registering the exam there. Will these exams be provided by Prometric? or by Certiport as usual?

  • kimbalko
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    Are there any beta exams to be offered?


  • Andrew Bettany (Regional Lead - UK)

    Hi Wendy,

    This is great.   Where can I find the new MOS logo? Also will the 2013 exams cost the same as the 2010 variant?



  • Wendy Johnson (MSL)
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    Great questions, everyone! Ayman - the MCT free MOS certification benefit works for MOS 2013 as well, so you should be able to take one free MOS 2013 exam of your choice. Thank you for pointing out the error on Word and Excel exams with Prometric. I'll ask our web team to correct that right away - as these are hosted via Certiport.

    Kimbalko - In an effort to hit an aggressive launch schedule, we did not host a public beta for these exams.

    Andrew - you'll notice the new MOS 2013 logo embedded in the blog post above. It's a big departure from our past MOS designs. I do believe MOS 2013 exams will cost the same as our 2010 exam, yes.

    Happy testing!

  • Ed Baker (Regional Lead - UK)
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    Hi Wendy, I just logged on to our certiport center here in the MSITA and there is no show of either exam. do i need to register the center to offer them? I checked from a client with office 2013 installed.... many thanks

  • Ed Baker (Regional Lead - UK)
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    doh - is it an iqsystem exam rather than the standard certiport mta interface?

  • Ed Baker (Regional Lead - UK)
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    double doh - installed the 303mb over slow link iqsystem - NO 2013 - no obvious setup to carry out..... is there a 'only available in the US policy on these?'

  • Umapathy
    | | (Word 2013) points to Prometric provider can this be fixed if the above blog is correct.  Also same goes to (Excel 2013). Can you suggest an authorized study material for these as well. Thanks

  • Wendy Johnson (MSL)
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    FuzzyTed - I believe the IQSystem needs to be updated at each test center that wants to offer MOS 2013 exams. I will verify this with our technical team.

    Umapathy - we did notice this same error and are working to get that corrected as soon as possible. We have study material launching in the next couple of months. For now, I recommend reviewing the exam objectives and practicing how to do each of the tasks.

    Best of luck!

  • rblack38
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    Who is doing the practice exams on MOS Office 2013 exams? How many will there be? Is it still the same time limit at 50 minutes?

  • 3steveco33
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    ...a fine resource.Thank You.

  • Simon Richards
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    I took the Word and Excel exams today.  I thought they were an absolute pleasure to take.  There was a logical progression rather than the more random scattergun approach of previous MOS exams. I would agree that it provides a better real world test of a candidate's skills.  

    I think that the system where you can track your progress by using tickboxes in the instructions window is excellent; equally, if there is a part you aen't sure of, being able to move on without the next step being reliant on it having been completed, but still creating a coherent document, is brilliant.  

    From a training point of view, I believe this style of exam will make my job easier.

    Unfortunately, there was a problem with the exams not completing correctly, so I don't have results yet.  I do thank Matthew at Prodigy UK both for providing vouchers for trialling theexams and for technical support - I look forward to resolution and results!

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    Hi! What's about upgrading MCITP: Office 365 to current Cloud-styled certification?

  • Tuan Pham
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    As a MOS 2010 Master and MCT, I'm fully behind this move.  I sat for these exams the other day and they were a much better test of Office skills.  While they can be shocking for someone who hasn't taken an MS exam ever (All you get is a blank page, bunch of instructions and a final screenshot), as long as students are prepared, they can easily pass.

    As for the exams not completing correctly, make sure your testing center (I'm a Certiport Authorized Test Center too.) has updated to IQSystem 4.0 and then follow up with Customer Care if your score didn't go through.  Since the exams are so new, most of the scores are going into their "Exception" bin.  These results are reviewed every week, but you can get your exam reviewed sooner by calling.

    Also, another hint:  SAVE OFTEN.  The system will remind you every three minutes to save in case the IQSystem crashes.  If it does crash, it will go to your last saved copy.

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