New micro-site for all Microsoft Certified folks

MCT logo mediumMCP RGB logo white borderMOS Master medium white

Microsoft Learning have launched a new central certification website for all your needs as a Microsoft Certified Professional, Trainer or Office Specialist:

This is essentially a starting point: at the top of the page you will see “tabs” for each the three different branches’ own micro-sites. This provide more consistency between the three sites, as well as making sure that you can easily take advantage of all offers, discounts or services which apply to your particular specialist area or areas.

From what I have seen of the MCT and MOS ones (which I am most interested and involved in) they are great little pages full of all the links you need to all the resources you want, and some that you may need and did not even know about.

Included are links to the logo builder pages, how to download or order a certificate, create an online virtual business card or update the profile information which Microsoft holds about you (including which newsletters and updates you receive by email).

This is not a replacement for lots of the resources which already existed, such as Born To Learn, or the MCPeStore, or to view or share your transcript; rather it is a single page to go to which brings links to all those resources together in one place.

Don’t overlook the links at the top of the page directly below the tabs (you can get to these by hovering over each tab, or once you have clicked on a tab the ones for that section stay visible.

If you have ever passed a Microsoft exam and want to continue certification as part of your career or personal development, go and check out the Microsoft Certified Members’ site today.

Exam objectives for MOS 2010 exams are now available

If you are interested in Microsoft Office Specialist 2010 certification, you may be interested to see that the full exam objectives have now been published for the various MOS 2010 exams, including the expert level ones for Word and Excel. Some of these exams are not yet released (such as SharePoint, due in June 2011), but by knowing the objectives which will be tested you can start to put together your training plan.

Subject Exam number and link
Word Core 77-881
Excel Core 77-882
PowerPoint 77-883
Outlook 77-884
Access 77-885
SharePoint End User 77-886
Word Expert 77-887
Excel Expert 77-888

I passed the Excel 2010 exam during a break at a conference last year, but I’ve been waiting for the Expert level exams to come out so I can go and do the Word and Excel Expert ones as well as Outlook and PowerPoint in a single day to get them all done at once for my MOS:Master certification. This is what I did for my MOS 2003 and similar to MCAS 2007 (when I did Vista as well, but there were no “expert” exams for 2007), and I just find it the best way to “blitz” them and get them all passed in one go.

(Just in case anyone missed it by the way, the Office exams are now back to the “MOS” branding rather than MCAS, and anyone with an MCAS 2007 certificate is retroactively awarded a MOS 2007 in its place.)

Good luck to anyone planning to take these; let me know in the comments how you get on!

Microsoft Certified Application Specialist times five

MCAS logo I took five MCAS exams on Friday and passed them all. Some were easier than others, as always, but overall I found them a lot less stressful than when I took four on the same day to get the Microsoft Office Specialist:Master qualification.

Overall I like the way the Office exams work – the real application (minus the help!) running in the top half, and the questions at the bottom. Each question has a few tasks to complete, and you are measured on the end result, not how you got there.

This is a much better test of real-world ability to use the software than any multiple-choice questions can ever hope to be. Yes, it means that you could take a few wrong turns, and click on some irrelevant buttons before finding the thing you were looking for, but you can do that in real life too. The exam is limited to 50 minutes, so you can only afford to do this on a handful of questions, and you need to be able to make up the time on other questions by reading it once and going straight to the correct feature or function.

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