Taking the MOS Excel Exam at SPU

To satisfy the
Spreadsheet Competency Requirement needed by Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Political Science*, Global Development Studies**, Apparel Design, and Fashion Merchandising majors, you must pass BUS 1700 Spreadsheets or pass the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam on Microsoft Excel.  Either the MOS 77-420 or the MOS 77-727 exams satisfy this requirement. The MOS 77-727 (Excel 2016) exam is the exam taken to pass BUS 1700. (Students who passed BUS 1700 or CSC 1123 before summer 2015, with a C- or higher, have satisfied this requirement.)

* Beginning in 2017-18, Political Science majors will need to satisfy this requirement, since it has become a prerequisite to POL 4643 Methods of Political Analysis.
** Addition of this requirement for Global Development Studies majors is planned beginning summer 2018.

While a score of 700/1000 is required to earn the MOS Excel certification, SBGE will also accept scores between 600 and 699 to satisfy this spreadsheet competency requirement.  This applies to both students registered in BUS 1700 and those taking the exam separately from the course.  (Updated: 1/12/17)

There are 40 to 70 seats available in BUS 1700 each quarter. Students may also elect to study Microsoft Excel on their own and take the MOS exam with the BUS 1700 students when they are ready. Here are the options of self-study versus classroom study.

Note: The MOS 77-727 Excel exam assumes you have mastered the listed features of Excel 2016, a Windows-based version of Excel. The test is not available for Apple/Mac versions of Excel. Students with Apple computers will benefit by adding dual boot capability to run Microsoft Windows and Excel 2016. The School of Business, Government, and Economics recommends Windows-based machines. There are a number of software tools that are used in business that you are introduced to in our curriculum that only run on the Windows platform.
Take BUS 1700 Spreadsheets

This class is a 12-hour tutorial overview the material on the MOS Excel exam.  It's sole focus is to prepare students to take and pass the first level MOS Excel exam.  (A 16-hour version of this class is offered in the summer.)

BUS 1700 has no required homework. However, students are expected to undertake many hours of study, including taking multiple practice exams.  At least 24 hours of study outside of class, spread over the first five weeks of the quarter, are suggested as reasonable to prepare for the MOS exam. The BUS 1700 classroom lessons conclude in the third week of each quarter.  Students sign up for the MOS exam later in the term when they decide that they are ready to attempt the exam.

The MOS 77-727 Excel exam requires a score of 700/1000 in order earn the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel certificate. This is a certification highly prized by employers. BUS 1700 is graded P/NC (pass/no credit). A minimum score of 600/1000 on the MOS exam will allow a student to pass BUS 1700, but only a 700/1000 or higher score will earn the certificate.

There is a $50 course fee associated with BUS 1700.  This fee allows each student to take the MOS 77-420 exam once, with one free retake if necessary.  It also helps to pay for GMetrix practice exams which can be taken in the McKenna Hall Collaboration Lab and McKenna Lounge.  By practicing in the Collaboration Lab, you can get instant assistance from your instructor whose office is in that room.

In addition to the course lectures, Dr. Sleight provides numerous practice exams which mimic the types of questions one might expect on the MOS exam. (No two versions of the MOS exam are exactly the same.) Students should take as many of these as possible, timing themselves.  The MOS 77-727 exam includes 5 to 7 "projects," each having 4 to 7 "tasks" to perform.

Dr. Sleight, a Microsoft Office Specialist himself, has taught BUS 1700 for over twenty years. The BUS 1700 course not only concentrates on the Excel features to be expected on the MOS exam, but also on tips to help you be more successful taking exams of this type. 
  Prepare for the MOS Exam on Your Own

Exam times are scheduled during weeks four through ten of each quarter. Preparing for the exam on your own (or with a group of fellow students) can be spread out over a few quarters and you can schedule the exam for when you feel ready for it.

The Study Guide for the MOS 77-727 Excel 2016 Core Exam is available.

The MOS exam may be taken at any Certiport Authorized Testing Center (CATC). The public center nearest to SPU is the Sylvan Learning Center in Ballard. They have a $65 testing fee on top of the required test voucher which can cost as much as $100 per exam. The SPU School of Business, Government, and Economics is also a CATC. SPU students are charged a $50 exam fee. This covers one MOS exam. The exam is taken in McKenna 113 and reservations need to be made through Dr. Sleight at SL8@spu.edu, or just stop by his office in the Collaboration Lab. Prior to taking the exam, each student must register at Certiport.com and also sign up there as a "Test Candidate."

Students who are not registered in BUS 1700 may still seek assistance from Dr. Dick Sleight, our BUS 1700 instructor. He can provide many practice exams, and links to YouTube videos and other self-study resources. The SBGE Collaboration Lab is a great place to study, and Dr. Sleight is there to help you on most days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Taking the exam without registering for BUS 1700 does not earn college credit. However, for part-time students it may be more cost effective than signing up for a 1-credit course.

The MOS 77-727 (Excel 2016) exam is a rigorous test of your competency with Microsoft Excel. It is the only version currently offered at SPU.  Your MOS certification will be a strong addition to your résumé.
Seattle Pacific University
School of Business, Government, and Economics

Dr. Dick Sleight
Instructor, SBGE Manager of Information Systems