Excel Certification Exam

Based on certain pre-USD course requisites, some eligible students will be required to take and pass the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel Certification Exam in order to transfer certain coursework. A passing score on the MOS exam is 700 points or 70%.

In most cases, proficiency and exam testing are demonstrated in the required ITMG 100 course. However, if a student has taken an information systems class prior to entering USD, they may be able to be cleared of the ITMG 100 course. The following are the criteria used to determine proficiency and clearing of taking ITMG 100:

  • The student has taken an approved information systems class prior to entering USD that meets the following:  1) the course content is entirely equivalent to ITMG 100, which included passing the MOS Excel Certification Exam; 2) the student earned a grade of C or higher; and 3) the course was taken within the past two years.


  • The student has taken an approved information systems class within the past two years and earned a grade of B or higher.
    • In this instance, the student must take the MOS Excel Certification Exam before the beginning of the student’s first semester at USD. If the student passes the MOS Excel Certification Exam, then the combination of the transferred information systems course with a B or higher and the MOS Excel Certification exam may clear ITMG 100.

If a student cannot show proficiency, they must take ITMG 100 at USD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How do I know if I am eligible to take the Excel Certification Exam to have my coursework cleared?

A.  Students who believe they have taken an equivalent course to ITMG 100 at USD must provide a syllabus to their School of Business Academic Advisor. This syllabus will be reviewed by the Department Chair to determine if a student is eligible to take the Excel Certification Exam. If the Department Chair concludes from the syllabus review the student is eligible to sit for the MOS exam and if the exam is successfully passed, the student can be cleared of ITMG 100. It is important to provide your syllabus to your advisor as soon as possible.

Q. How many times can I take the Excel Certification Exam?

A. Students who are eligible can take the MOS Excel Certification Exam one time.  If students do not successfully pass the exam, the department believes it is in his/her best interest to learn the material properly by taking ITMG 100.

Q. How much does it cost to take the test and receive the Excel certification?

A. The exam voucher costs $72 after a discount code is applied. The code will be provided to you by your advisor once you have been determined eligible to sit for the exam. You can purchase the exam here. Although the computer system allows for immediate purchase of the exam voucher, it is recommended that the student purchase it in advance of the exam. Students must have a voucher number in order to sit for the exam. No other type of payment is accepted.

Q. What are the dates of the exam?

A. All eligible business students starting Summer or Fall 2018 must take the Excel exam before classes begin. The exam must be taken on the USD campus on one of the three dates offered prior to the start of the fall classes. Dates and registration information can be found at School of Business Advising.

*If a student does not take the exam before the start of classes or does not successfully pass the exam, they will be required to register for ITMG 100 at USD.

Q. Can I study in advance?

A.  Yes. Though optional, it is highly recommended that students download the free GMETRIX.com program and purchase the program codes. This test prep program provides training and practice exams, which are the same as the official 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Certification Exam. The practice exams are the best option for preparing for the exam.

Students can decide to purchase program codes for either the Full Microsoft Office Suite for $75 or the stand-alone Excel (not the “Expert” version) for $40.00. GMETRIX also offices a full learning course suite of Microsoft Office training for $225 or for $75.00 for Excel alone. Here are the links to download these resources:

Free GMETRIX SMS (skills management system)

Practice Exam Code Purchase

GMETRIX Learning Course Purchase

Q. Is the exam given on a MAC or PC?

A.  All study materials and the exam are taken on a PC computer. Mac Users: The test and study materials are NOT Mac compatible.

Q. Why do I have to take the exam before classes begin?

A.  USD needs to ensure all transferred classes are adequately evaluated as soon as possible in order for future registrations to go smoothly, to ensure students meet the necessary pre-requisites and remain on track for graduation. In addition, students are not allowed to enroll in courses unless all pre-requisites are satisfied.

Q.  I am a current USD student.  May I take the Excel Certification Exam and be exempt from taking ITMG 100?

A.  No. All current USD students planning on majoring in the School of Business are required to take ITMG 100.  The content of this course exceeds the Excel Certification and covers an introduction to computer-based information systems and their role in business and other organizations.