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Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

World Class Here's some fantastic news we didn't want you to miss. Congratulations to recent biology graduate Sam Millar, who through our MOS program, competed in the MOS World Championships in the USA in August and achieved a stellar 2nd place for Excel. Read the full story of his outstanding achievement on our MOS Roll of Honour page.
Drop in sessions: Have a question about the MOS program? Want to see resources demonstrated? Need help with MOS preparation? Or just want to chat about anything MOS related? Come to one of the frequent drop-in sessions. The next one is always posted below:
Next drop-in session: When Mon 21 Aug  Where IT Suite, Bute Annexe When 1600-1800
Upcoming exam dates: 22 Aug, 20 Sept; 18 Oct; 6 Dec or please email IT Training to arrange another suitable date-we can be flexible

What is Microsoft Office Specialist Certification (MOS)?

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification is a recognised industry standard qualification. The MOS certification program administers an invigilated, task-based exam approved by Microsoft to validate desktop computer skills based on the Microsoft Office 2013 suite of programs (for Windows). There is a separate exam for each program (Word, Excel, etc) and you can elect to take as many as you like. The certification is offered at three graduated levels: Specialist, Expert, and Master (you can elect to sit whichever level you are prepared for).

Microsoft Office Specialist

Specialist or core level exams are available in the following programs:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Access
  • Outlook*
  • SharePoint*

Microsoft Office Expert

Expert level exams are available in the following programs (to attain a MOS 2013 Expert level certification, candidates must pass either of the following pairs of exams):

  • Word 2013 Expert Part 1
  • Word 2013 Expert Part 2


  • Excel 2013 Expert Part 1
  • Excel 2013 Expert Part 2

Microsoft Office Master

Candidates for Master level must have passes in the following sets of exams


  • Word Track Master: Word 2013 Expert Pt1&2 + Excel Core + 1 Elective
  • Excel Track Master: Excel 2013 Expert Pt1&2 + Word Core + 1 Elective
  • Classic Master: Both Word & Excel Expert exams Pt 1&2


  • Access 2013
  • PowerPoint 2013

* We are not able to offer MOS exams in these programs due to limitations in our delivery system, but an exam does exist

NOTE: Exams are based on Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows and are not available on any other version of Office or other platforms (ie not available for Mac).

Information from Microsoft about the certifications, including the specific skills examined in each certification is available on the Microsoft Learning site.

Who is eligible to register for MOS exams?

The MOS exam program is open to all University of St Andrews staff and students. The exams are provided free of charge (the RRP for a MOS exam is £65) and are administered by CAPOD. This represents very good value as most other institutions offering this qualification charge a fee up to £125 (dependent on the bundled training materials).

External candidates may register to sit MOS exams at our testing centre with the purchase of a voucher issued by our MOS program. Contact IT Training for more information about sitting exams as an external candidate.

What is the process?

The certification route is generally a 3-stage process:


Skills Analysis

A skills evaluation software package is available that delivers practise tests. These tests are used to evaluate your skill level and determine your training requirements.


Once the weak skill areas have been determined, the required training can be undertaken through self-led learning using available online resources through the University's subscription to the Microsoft IT Academy. The evaluation software itself is also a training tool as it includes an assisted training mode where detailed instructions are given after each test question.

Certification through Examination

When confident, the candidate will sit a task-based exam in an invigilated session which typically lasts 60 minutes. Exam results are displayed on screen immediately on completing the exam. All MOS exam results are stored in the candidate's account and may be accessed through the candidate portal. Authorised transcripts may be requested to be sent directly to specified addresses (eg employers) and certificates can be printed on demand. A MOS exam transcript is entirely separate from and has no bearing upon an offical University transcript.

More information on each stage of the process


How to start

For details on registering for the MOS program see the Registration process page. 

We welcome enquiries to discuss the Certification program. Enquiries can be made to CAPOD or contact IT Training directly at:
t: (01334) 46-2591


Sonny Evans

University of St Andrews

Hebdomadar's Block
St Salvator's Quad
75 North Street

St Andrews
KY16 9AJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: 01334 46(2591)