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Finally looking to book my first MOS (and MS) exam.

Discussion in 'Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)' started by Boffy, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    So I'm looking to book my first MOS (PowerPoint) exam after reading the recommended book and completing an e-learning course. I'm feeling pretty confident.

    However, this will be my first MS exam - I know its not really a technical exam, but I haven't got a clue what to expect.

    Because I can't sit this exam on a weekend, I'll be having to book a days annual leave - which makes me think I should book 2 exams to not 'waste' a day.


    Without breaking any NDAs - what can I expect? (I've sat the A+, will I get anything similiar?) Would you recommend sitting 2 exams (or more) on the same day?

    I know we're all different, but just a general opinion would be great.



    Thanks!
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Know how to use Powerpoint from a users point of view!

    Sometimes we get over confident because it's not a technical exam, I've fail a couple of MOS exams because of it.

    Good luck :)
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    That's ok, because you're asking about the format of the questions and not the questions themselves...

    Doing tasks in a simulated environment and multiple choice are the majority of question's format, there may be others, but I can't think of any of the top of my head :)
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  5. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    The questions in MOS are like using the product in real life. So simulations.. all of them.

    I would say expect the most random and obscure simulated of questions about powerpoint.

    I did little to no revision on any of the MOS exams and passed four. Excel and Word I retook a few times. End of the day they are not difficult and the MOS are for end users.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  6. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    thanks all. Well I use 2010 on a daily basis, obviously not PowerPoint to the full effect, but I know the tasks from helping end users.

    I'll study for Outlook as well then, try both on the same day and see how it goes.


    Thanks again lads, really needed that info for a confidence boost 8)
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  7. AdamV

    AdamV Bit Poster

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    I have posted a few things about MOS (and MCAS while it was called that) on my blog: Tag=MOS on blog.meteorit.co.uk as well as various posts about using the apps themselves.

    I took and passed 4 MOS 2003 in a day for my MOS:Master and 5 in one day for my MCAS:Master. Like you this involved a day out and the second time round a long journey so I did not want to waste time going back twice or more.

    I quite like the simulation format of the MOS exams, but if you want to make sure to complete the exercises in time, you need to know where everything is on the Ribbon, and ideally what every button does. Soak yourself in the apps every day -read blogs about odd features you don't normally use and actually follow along with the techniques they use on dummy files that don't matter if you totally screw them up.

    Don't forget these are exams designed to test if you really know the breadth of the software, but not necessarily the depth. They are a really great way to discover features you never heard of and realise how useful they can be to you (or not, of course!)

    There are loads of functions I see even daily users of Office apps overlooking - for example in PowerPoint not using slide masters properly (or at all), no idea how to change background image on a slide, never used the align / distribute tools (preferring the "nudge it and bodge it" approach), unsure how to use slide transitions, never set up a custom show with a subset of slides, having zero understanding of how themes, fonts, colours, layouts all work together. All of these are key features you really need to get to grips with.

    For 2007 I found a bias towards new features across all the apps. I have only taken Excel 2010, none of the other 2010 exams so can only comment second hand from others that this is still pretty much the same. Biggest change across all apps would be the File menu / backstage view, and the ability to customise the Ribbon. Smaller things like ability to insert a screenshot of any currently open window, or a rectangular grab are also common across the apps.

    Likewise watch out for the habit of including obscure functions that no normal person would ever really use.
    Would you ever insert a SmartArt diagram in Excel? Well, you can, so you better know how. If you know your way around PowerPoint this would seem easy, but to a number-crunching spreadsheet jockey in the accounting department, this might not be something they have even heard of. Vice versa - what do you know about charts in PowerPoint?

    As for Outlook, I found quite a few areas glossed over - the exam is not purely for corporate types using Outlook with Exchange behind it, so don't necessarily expect lots of things about shared calendars and booking meeting rooms. Likewise, it is not purely for small business types using it to POP email from their ISP. So I found it did not really cover either of these. Concentrate on features which work the same everywhere, and try to find the fastest way to do them.

    Can you add a two hour appointment, categorise it as "Personal" in green and set a reminder for two days? How few clicks can you do that in? How easily can you make just one copy of that appointment for the following week at the same time on a different day? (hint: right click drag)
    Can you take three photographs (eg jpg files) from your "My Pictures" folder and resize them all to 1024 x 768 before attaching them to an email? In seven clicks or less? (hint: select them then right click > send to)
    If you invite a bunch of people to a meeting (note: not scheduling it as that would be an Exchange-dependent thing), how can you email them all the agenda or minutes? How can you check which of the 50 people said they would come or not?

    Make sure you understand about Rules and Quick Steps; follow-up flags, folders, favourites and shortcuts (and the differences), additional calendars (eg personal or for a project); contacts and contact groups; junk mail & deleted items (what is special about those two folders?), sending Outlook info by email eg sending an extract of your calendar or forwarding a contact's details as a vcard.

    As for editing email content, they could throw anything at you here since it is such a rich editing tool, but from memory there was nothing too odd.

    Hope this quick bunch of topics sparks of some ideas and gives you areas to work on to smash them both first time!
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSA:Messaging 2003, MCTS:Dynamics CRM 4.0 and 2011; MOS: Master Instructor 2003, 2007
    WIP: Writing CRM 2013 Customization course. Planning to take all CRM 2013 exams ASAP
    livingwater and Boffy like this.

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