Microsoft Excel Test | Opportunity for a Multitude of Positions
As the world’s leading software, Microsoft Office is widely used around the world. Regardless of your job title, you will be almost certain to run heads with Excel if you are doing office work. From human resources, to accounting, to programming and engineering, Excel is the data-analysis tool for entry and execution.
Most of these jobs require you to master Excel — it infiltrates your daily tasks. Therefore, as part of the pre-employment process, many jobs require you to pass the Microsoft Excel test before you are offered a position.
You may think you have got the hang of Excel over the years. But, this test is more than just simple data entry. Your knowledge of the applications of formulas, graphic creations, and inserting tables is assessed.
Needless to say, this test is vital to the hiring process. Before you get scared about the Microsoft Excel test, read this full Excel test guide so you can prepare for your upcoming exam at ease.
Table of Contents
What is the Microsoft Excel test?
The Microsoft Excel test is very common in job interviews. Companies use this test to evaluate your candidacy. If you can’t even perform the tasks listed in the test, you are unlikely to handle the actual work.
Before you start practicing with Excel on your laptop as you would in a full-time job, know that there is no real usage of the program itself throughout the test. Instead, the test simulates a series of scenario-based questions related to the application and fundamental knowledge of the software.
Instead of performing certain commands, you are required to answer questions about the software’s properties, functions, which feature to use for the most efficient results, etc.
Is the Microsoft Excel test hard?
The Microsoft Excel test is known to be challenging, even for the experts. This is because the test assesses your knowledge of the software’s characteristics. There are only multiple-choice questions. Unfortunately, this does not lower the level of difficulty of the test.
Some of the questions can be quite confusing. You have to know the software in and out to be able to spot the correct answer or what is amiss.
To describe it more accurately, the Microsoft Excel test is not a tough test to pass, but it is a tricky one. Since you are not really tested on your hands-on experience with the program, you have to demonstrate a deep understanding of how every button works and is connected.
What is tested in the Microsoft Excel test?
There are three levels to the Microsoft Excel test, namely, the basic Excel test, the intermediate Excel test, and the advanced Excel test. Every test is designed to cover different topics and applications of the program to see your proficiency at it.
The basic Microsoft Excel test
This test is commonly used for clerical positions or any other entry office positions. These positions would require a basic understanding of Excel to perform tasks like data entry, information interpretation, and chart creation.
The requirements to pass the basic Microsoft Excel test are not high since they are mainly used to see if you can utilize the basic features and interpret data. In the basic test, you will be asked to write down the word formula like addition, subtraction, multiplication, averages, and division.
Then, you need to demonstrate skills to format the cells and layout so the alignment looks good. Big corporates have a standardized structure for company reports. You need to show skills in formatting the borders, font, size, shadows, space, numbers, etc.
Graphic creation is also a fundamental part of Excel. While you are not expected to perform anything professional, you will need to be able to create simple charts with the data.
Finally, you will be asked to save the Excel sheet in multiple formats to see if you can make the files compatible. The difficulty level of the basic Microsoft Excel test is very reasonable. As long as you have used Excel before or you have studied it, you will not have a problem answering the questions.
The intermediate Microsoft Excel test
For job positions that require a deeper understanding of Excel, this test will be included in your pre-employment test. This usually includes accountants, secretaries, and other positions that use Excel in their daily operations.
You need to handle tasks efficiently with all the functions in the software. With the data provided, you need to choose the correct steps to create a more sophisticated chart that combines all the essential information, hides additional elements, and contains data validation.
The use of complex formulas like IF and LOOKUP is also tested. Excel is more than just a data entry program that systematically stores and organizes a company’s data. It can also serve as a data analyzing tool. With the use of Excel, you should be able to spot any human error or misalignment in data.
Excel is vastly used in most companies. Departments rely on Excel sheets to communicate and analyze data. Therefore, even if your position does not directly involve the use of Excel, you may still be asked to take the intermediate Microsoft Excel test as you are expected to understand the application and be able to interpret and correct the chart as needed.
The advanced Microsoft Excel test
You need to be a master of Microsoft Excel to pass the test as the test will cover the full range of every feature and advanced knowledge of its applications. This test is the most difficult level of the Microsoft Excel test and will require an in-depth understanding of the program to answer the questions.
Candidates applying for jobs like senior accounts, engineers, insurance brokers, etc., will almost be certain to come across the advanced Microsoft Excel test during the hiring process.
In this test, you will be asked to choose the correct form, step, or formatting, for each situation. The advanced versions of different formulas, such as IF, are included. It aims to assess your ability to apply the formulas flexibly to derive the desired answers.
Using Excel to set up a database and creating advanced charts like PivotCharts are also advanced features. In addition, you may be asked to create groups and lock cells.
It will take a professional to pass the test as it examines every feature Excel offers. It will take some practice to master each feature. However, if you already have experience using all these features, this test will not be much of a challenge since it is supposed to evaluate your ability to utilize the program and not serve as a difficult exam.
How to pass the Microsoft Excel test?
Taking practice Microsoft Excel tests allows you to understand different question types and formats. When you are used to identifying the key question word, you will be able to answer the question without much thought.
Job Test Prep offers the one-stop service you will need to prepare for the test. It offers tailored study materials, practice tests, and explanations to walk you through what you will face. With all positive reviews from students, the platform has all the resources to support you along the way. With multiple sets for each Excel test and full customer support, you are not alone in your journey.
Apply for positions that suit your Excel level
Since the test assesses your candidacy, you should evaluate your Microsoft Excel level before you apply for the position. If you apply for a position with an advanced Microsoft Excel test required and your skill level is only a beginner, it is quite unlikely that you will do well at the job even if you get it.
Therefore, it is important that you have a rational sense of your skillset. Apply for jobs that suit your level the most. The practice tests help you develop an idea of your level. Through constant revisions, you will be able to eventually move up to positions that require more advanced skills.
Revise all the commands
If you are unfamiliar with the command words, Excel can be confusing. Make sure you don’t confuse the names of each formula and chart. Some names may seem similar but they mean the opposite thing.
Write down all the commands in your notebook and go over them. Highlight commands with similar names of functions. They are often used as trick questions in the test.
Read your job description
The Excel test mimics the daily operation you will face. Hence, the questions are tailor-made for your position. Read the job description well to see what are the heavy components.
For example, jobs that are data-sensitive may contain more questions on data validation and applications of the analytical tools. Likewise, jobs that need more presentation skills may contain more questions on graphic creation.
Excel is a program that almost everyone knows, but few can master. In recent years, companies have been putting the Microsoft Excel test in their pre-employment process to filter out talents that can handle this smart tool to perform work efficiently.
Before your next Microsoft Excel test, download your full study guide and practice tests on Job Test Prep for the best exam results.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.