Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications

The Center for Innovation & Analytics offers students, faculty, staff, and alumni the ability to achieve Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification in:

  • Access Expert
  • Powerpoint 
  • Excel 
  • Word 
  • Excel Expert
  • Word Expert 
  • Outlook 

Information You Need for:

Preparing for the Exam

The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2019 exams use a project format. Each exam typically consists of 6 - 7 projects and each project has approximately 4 to 7 questions. Each MOS certification exam covers specific topics and you should review the topics covered by the exam as an important part of your preparation. These include: Access Expert 2019, Excel 2019, Excel Expert 2019, Outlook 2019, Powerpoint 2019, Word 2019, Word Expert 2019.

The Center for Innovation and Analytics (CIA) also has a university site license for GMetrix. This is software that was specifically designed to help prepare you for the MOS certifications. You are strongly encouraged to use this software prior to taking an exam. GMetrix is available in the DCOBE Trading Room and computer labs across campus. It can also be downloaded to your computer if you have a machine that runs Windows and Office 2019 (it does not work on a Mac). For more information and to receive your GMetrix code, contact the Division of Analytics of the CIA at  If you are in a course requiring a MOS certification, you will receive your GMetrix code from your professor.

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Scheduling a Time to Take the Exam

For Students

Exams will be offered at various times throughout the semester. You should allocate a minimum of 1 hour for taking the exam (the actual exam is 50 minutes). You will need to reserve a time in advance.  See the email sent to your class for instructions for using the online reservation system in order to reserve the day and time of your choice. The instructions also provide you with information on how to change an existing reservation in the event you need to do so.

For Faculty/Staff

Contact the Division of Analytics of the CIA at and we will work with you individually to schedule a time to take the exam.

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Paying for the Exam

The cost for Radford University students, faculty and staff to take a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exam is $75 (Radford University charges a reduced rate that is less than the price of paying through Certiport or taking it at other Certiport centers). If you are enrolled in ITEC 281, payment for taking the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exam one time is included as a part of your course fee. 

If you are (1) not enrolled in ITEC 281 or (2) in ITEC 281, do not pass the exam and wish to take it again, you will have to pay the exam fee as specified below.

Two forms of payment can be accepted: (1) cash (you must have exact amount – no change can be provided) or (2) personal check (made out to Radford University) – we do not have the ability to take credit cards as payment for certification exams. When you pay for the exam, you will be given a receipt. Please do not lose this receipt as the proctor cannot administer the exam without this proof of payment. 

Payments must be made at the Center for Innovation and Analytics located in Kyle Hall Room 231 (the center is located near the front door of the building next to the Trading Room). The Center for Innovation and Analytics is open to receive your payment Monday through Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.  

Do not purchase an online voucher from Certiport – anyone who purchases a voucher from Certiport will have to pay an additional fee of $20 (either in cash or by check) in order to have the exam proctored.

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Taking the Exam

Prior to taking the exam, you must create an account with Certiport. Please create a username and password you will remember as you will need to use this when you take the exam. 

  • Under Choose a Purpose select Microsoft Office Specialist.  
  • When the Microsoft Registration screen appears simply click on the Use my Certiport data button and you will not have to enter any additional information. 

Please make sure you complete the registration in its entirety – not doing so will create a delay when you come in to take your exam.

All exams will be administered online (and proctored by a Davis College faculty member). You will receive an email the evening before your scheduled exam time with detailed information.  Please click on the link emailed to you at the time scheduled.  You will need to show the test proctor your (1) payment receipt (ITEC 281 students will not need a payment receipt for their first exam attempt) and (2) Radford University identification.  You will not be able to take the exam if you do not have these with you.

When you come to take the exam, you may not have anything on the desk with you (this includes paper, pencil, cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) – anything you have with you must be put away during the exam.  You are also not allowed to use headsets when taking the exam. 

Once you start the exam, you will have 50 minutes to complete it. If you have not finished the exam when time expires, you will be graded on what you have completed. When you submit the exam, you will receive your grade immediately. You must earn a minimum score of 700 (out of 1000) to pass the exam and earn your certification. If you are taking the exam as part of a course, your instructor will be notified of your score by the Center for Innovation and Analytics.

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Retaking an Exam

If you do not pass the exam, you may take the exam again. Please note that you must pay the $75 exam fee for each retake and you must register to schedule the exam. The following Microsoft policies also apply:

  • If you do not pass on the first attempt, you must wait 24 hours before you can retake the exam a second time.
  • If you do not pass the exam on the second (or subsequent) attempt, you must wait 48 hours before you can retake the exam.
  • There is no annual limit on the number of exam retakes.
  • If you achieve a passing score on the MOS exam, you are allowed to take it again.

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Students with Center for Accessibility Services Accommodations

Certiport, the administrator of the MOS exams, does have a policy for accommodating students with a disability. Please note, however, that being classified as a CAS student at RU does not automatically grant you the same status with Certiport. Certiport has its own rules and procedures for this; they also will request specific documentation for review. For more information, visit the Certiport Accommodation of Disabilities site. Certiport requires a minimum of 2 weeks to review and process the forms so it is up to you to plan accordingly.  

If you do receive accommodations from Certiport, please notify the CIA at when you register for the exam as the proctor needs to know this in advance. Not providing advance notification may force you to reschedule the exam.

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Make Yourself Even More Marketable to Employers

You can differentiate yourself, demonstrate true proficiency of the Microsoft Office suite and increase your marketability to future employers by earning either the Microsoft Office Specialist: Associate certification or the Microsoft Office Specialist: Expert certification.

To earn the Microsoft Office Specialist: Associate certification, you must pass the following exams:

  • Excel 2019
  • Outlook 2019
  • PowerPoint 2019
  • Word 2019

To earn the Microsoft Office Specialist: Expert certification, you must first earn the Microsoft Office Specialist: Associate certification and pass two of the following exams:

  • Access Expert 2019
  • Excel Expert 2019
  • Word Expert 2019

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Telling the World You're Certified

After you earn a Microsoft Office Certification, you can let the world know of your achievement.  You can claim your Microsoft Office Specialist badge that you can share on LinkedIn, by email, or by sending a URL directly to future employers by creating or accessing your account on Credly Acclaim at  You can also log on to your Certiport account at and print your official certificate.

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Questions or Assistance

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Dr. Angela Stanton at

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