Office 2010 MOS study tips & tricksSeptember 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Study hints | 38 Comments
Tags: MCAS, MOS
Before attempting a Microsoft Office exam, you should be able to complete each task of the exam objectives quickly. The fact that you know how to do a task in your daily job might not cut it. You need to complete the task in the tight time constraints allotted for the test. Once you answer a question, you cannot go back.
First, a quick review of the objectives:
As we saw in the Office 2007 exams, the exam clock is 50 minutes. There are around 30 sub-objectives listed for each exam. Assuming one question per sub-objective, that’s 30 questions. When you remember that most questions ask you to perform multiple tasks, that’s more like 55 questions in 50 minutes – less than a minute per task. If you spend too much time on one question, you are losing time on the other questions. Time flies when you are under the gun. Most people I have talked to said that they could do all the tasks and pass the test…given enough time. However, they probably could not do it with the time constraints of the test. Practice each task until you know it like the “back of your hand.”
Here’s some MOS 2010 study tips from Ann, Josh, and George. It includes the stuff we did to prepare for the exam that worked for us, and the things we wish we’d tried.
First, free is free. Download the e-book First Look: Microsoft Office 2010 from http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/office.aspx (registration required). It’s not a very in-depth feature guide, but this book is useful on multiple levels; just looking at the features that Microsoft chooses to highlight gives you a feel for what might be asked on the exam. This is particularly useful if there are features you just don’t use daily and wouldn’t otherwise think to practice.
For more free instruction, don’t forget blogs and communities. You can find targeted, in-depth articles on certain features in many places, including:
- The Official Microsoft Excel 2010 blog
- The Official Microsoft Word 2010 blog
- Network World’s Author Expert blog for Excel 2010
- Learning Snacks
What about official study guides? Well, at last check, the Microsoft Press MOS 2010 Study Guides are due out late fall 2010. Keep checking the Microsoft Office Training Portal for announcements.
Don’t have a copy of Office 2010 to practice on yet? You can download a trial of Office 2010 here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/office-products-FX101825692.aspx?assetid=FX010048741 (requirements vary by system).
The key aspect to both Microsoft Word and Excel 2010 exams is the ribbon. You have to know where to find common functionalities, or else you will not complete the exam in the allotted time. Josh downloaded and used the free Ribbon Hero plug-in to practice for the exam, and I have to admit it was low on the goofy factor (this is not the talking paperclip of days gone by) and high on the challenge factor. Create a complicated Smart Art diagram in three clicks of the ribbon bar? Sure! I just…well, I’m used to using the menus, aren’t I? Huh. How do I do that again? (Fortunately, it tells you how if you get stuck.)
Remember: many roads lead to Rome
To succeed on the Microsoft Office 2010 exams, you should be familiar with the different ways to achieve a goal. For example, included in the description of the Create Tables sub-objective, under the Formatting Content objective of Microsoft Word, you should know how to use the Insert Table Dialog Box, draw a table, insert a Quick Table, Convert text to tables, and use a table to control page layout. I habitually create tables in Word from the Insert Table menu, so I took the time to practice those other routes.
Because the way we do things in our Office applications every day may not be the most efficient way when the exam clock is ticking down, we urge you to practice familiar tasks from multiple approaches (use a wizard, use a ribbon button, create a shortcut). This way, no matter how you are asked to accomplish a task, you’ll be familiar with the specific terminology used.
If you combine these techniques with a solid knowledge of how to use Word and Excel, you will be well prepared to pass your MOS 2010 certification exam. Good luck!