High Score! Radford University junior earns top score in state Microsoft Office Specialist exam

Alana Hodge
Alana Hodge

Shocked and a little speechless.

That was Alana Hodge’s initial reaction when she learned her score on the 2020 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) State Championships Fall Qualifier exams was the highest among test-takers in Virginia.

The Radford University junior from Floyd, Virginia, took the exam as a requirement in the data management and analysis with spreadsheets course, taught by School of Computing and Information Sciences chair Arthur Carter, Ph.D. Hodge was enrolled in the course for the Fall 2020 semester.

“When I first enrolled, I was unaware that I could potentially get certified in Excel, but was pleasantly surprised when I passed the exam,” said Hodge, who is majoring in mathematics with aspirations to be a math teacher.

Hodge said the course uniquely prepared her for the exam.

“I do best when I am given ways to study, like practice tests, so I can see what I am lacking on, and Dr. Carter provided us with mock exams that we could work through and get feedback on,” Hodge explained. “The assigned course work throughout the semester was also very similar to the setup to the exam, so by the time I took the exam, I felt as though I was either doing another class assignment or one of the practice tests.”

The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams use a project format. Each exam typically consists of six or seven projects, and each project has approximately four to seven questions. Each MOS certification exam covers specific topics, and test-takers should review the topics covered by the exam as an important part of preparation. These include Access Expert 2019, Excel 2019, Excel Expert 2019, Outlook 2019, PowerPoint 2019, Word 2019 and Word Expert 2019.

The Center for Innovation and Analytics within the Davis College of Business and Economics administers the exam in the Davis College Building Trading Room. In all, Davis College has administered more than 2,600 Microsoft Office Exams since giving its first in November 2012.

Associate professor of accounting Mike Chatham, Ph.D., proctored the exam Hodge completed.

As Virginia’s top scorer, Hodge qualified to participate in the 2021 MOS U.S. National Championship Online.

Out of a couple of thousand exams given by Davis College, “Alana is the first one to finish in the top three on one of the certification tests,” Chatham said. “She is to be commended.”

To learn more about taking the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam at Radford University, visit the information page on the Center for Innovation and Analytics website. 

Mar 17, 2021
Chad Osborne