Albers School of Business and Economics
Student Resources

Excel Certification

  • Earning a Microsoft Specialist Certification can help differentiate you in today's competitive job market and broaden your employment opportunities. All Albers undergraduate students are required to pass EXCEL Level I Certification in order to progress in your BABA or BAE program.

    Beginning in Fall 2015 we will be testing on the Excel 2013 exam, and students in IS-3150 will take the exam as part of the class. 

      If you have not completed IS-3150 but have already passed Excel certification, your certification will count towards the IS-3150 requirement.

    If you have already taken the Excel 2010 exam did not pass, you will need to become familiar with the new exam format (see GMetrix below).  

     Limited Excel 2010 exam information is available at the bottom of this page for students graduating Summer 2015.

    For more information about the requirements and how to prepare for the certification exam, visit Microsoft's Exam Details page.

    Four Steps to Sign up for the Exam

    • Buy a voucher
    • Register with Certiport
    • Reserve a time slot
    • Prepare for the Exam

    Buy a Voucher

    Please purchase your voucher prior to your test date. Vouchers can be purchased at the SU Campus Store or online, the voucher at the bookstore includes one retake if necessary. The SU Campus Store voucher with retake is approximately the same price as the voucher without retake when purchased directly from Certiport, so the Campus Store voucher is recommended..

    Retake Policies

    Vouchers purchased at the bookstore include a retake if necessary: if you pass the exam on the first attempt you will not receive a retake voucher. If you fail the exam on your first attempt Certiport will issue a new voucher number to your account and email it to you within a few days. Retake vouchers expire 30 days after the first exam attempt.

    After your first exam attempt you must wait 24 hours before taking the Excel exam again. After your second and any subsequent attempts, you must wait 48 hours before taking the same exam again.

    Register with Certiport

    You must register with prior to your test date. It is essential that you input your student ID in the "Student/Employee ID" field during the Certiport registration process. Failure to input your student ID may cause a delay in processing your test results. Please complete the Microsoft registration as well at the end of the Certiport registration process. You should also login to to assign your voucher number to your account, and register the exam ID for your class if you are taking the exam within IS-3150.

    If you have a disability that might interfere with your performance on this test, you will need to arrange support services first with Certiport. In addition, you may need to contact, to arrange a testing time through Disabilities Services.

    Reserve a time slot

    If you are not taking the Excel exam as part of IS-3150 or you need to schedule a retake, you can reserve a time to take the exam at Albers' Brown Paper Tickets page. There is no charge to register for an exam session, but please register for only one session at a time - if you are signed up for multiple sessions at once, all of your registrations will be cancelled. If you do not pass the exam you may then register for another session. The exams are held in Pigott 328.

    Prepare for the exam

    There are several resources available to help you prepare for the exam: online study tools, hard copy study guides, and a practice exam that simulates the actual exam. Utilizing this study material is highly recommended as the exam is very difficult.

    GMetrix SMS

    GMetrix SMS 4 software simulates the exam environment. Beginning with Office 2013 the exam is formatted as a multi-part project editing a single spreadsheet, rather than a series of disconnected tasks in separate questions.GMetrix version 4 is required for Office 2013 practice tests.

    GMetrix includes two modes, Training and Testing:

    • Testing mode is the closest approximation of Microsoft's Excel certification exam, it is a timed test and no feedback is given until the test is Finished and Submitted. After the practice test is completed your results are displayed with a score for each of the major topic areas (listed below). Use these results as guideline to which areas you should focus on.
    • Training mode gives feedback immediately after the spreadsheet is submitted, indicating which tasks were incorrect. It also includes a lightbulb icon that will display the instructions for each task.

    You may take any of the practice or training tests as many times as you want, it is recommended that students complete all three practice tests at least once. Students who complete all three practice tests are usually successful on their first attempt to pass the official exam.

    GMetrix can be found on all computers in the computer labs and Lemieux Library. Windows users with Office 2013 installed can also download the exam software to their own computers at If you use a Mac or do not have Office 2013 on your own computer, you can access GMetrix by visiting, downloading the VMWare client if necessary, and connecting to the Seattle University Virtual Lab desktop. GMetrix is found under Albers Applications.

    GMetrix access codes

    You will need a GMetrix access code to take a full length practice test. Email from your SeattleU email account to get an access code, or you can visit the Albers Front Desk in person to request a code.

    Microsoft IT Academy

    Seattle University is member of the Microsoft IT Academy program, which provides on-line software training. Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 8.0+) is recommended for logging on to IT Academy. Click the link above, select "Organizational account", and sign in with your Seattle University email and password.

    IT Academy access code: 7612-ALBERS-9007

    Once you have logged in, search for "Microsoft Excel 2013 Essentials" and click the green Add button to save it in your courses. provides video-based tutorials with downloadable exercise files for you to follow along and perform the same tasks demonstrated in the videos. Seattle University students can use their Seattle Public Library card to access, if you do not have an SPL library card you can apply online. Then visit the SPL login page to get access.

    You can search for "Excel 2013" to see all available Excel 2013 courses, Excel 2013 Essential Training covers a wide variety of exam topics.

    Course Text

    The SU Campus Store offers two study guides:

    Exam 77-420 Microsoft Excel 2013 is the Microsoft Official Academic Course textbook. (ISBN: 978-0470133088)

    Microsoft Office Excel 2013 Core Certification Guide from CCI Learning is specifically designed to walk through subjects tested on the Excel exam (ISBN: 978-1-55332-392-1)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How many times can I take the Excel certification exam?

    A. You can take the exam as many times as necessary to pass… BUT, you will need a unique voucher number each time. The voucher you buy through the Seattle University Bookstore includes one free retake voucher if necessary. You must use the retake voucher within 30 days of your initial exam.

    Q. How much does a test taking voucher cost?

    A. You can purchase your exam voucher at the SU Campus Store. The voucher with one free retake costs approximately $99 plus sales tax. If you purchase your voucher on the Certiport website, it will cost $115.

    Q. How long do I have to pass the exam and when will the registration hold be put on my account?

    A. Transfer students have until the end of their first quarter at Seattle U to pass the exam before a registration hold will be put on their account. Freshmen have to pass the exam before they complete 45 credits at Seattle University. If at the end of the quarter a student has not passed the exam, a hold will be put on their account and affect their ability to register for the following quarter. For example, fall transfers who have not passed the exam by the end of the fall quarter will not be able to register for spring classes.

    If you have any further questions, please email

    Skills measured on the Excel 2013 Exam
    (Exam 77-420)

    Major topic Area


    Additional Preparation Resources

    1-Create and manage worksheets and workbooks
    1.1-Create worksheets and workbooks: Creating new blank workbooks; creating new workbooks using templates; importing files; opening non-native files directly in Excel; adding worksheets to existing workbooks; copying and moving worksheets.
    1.2-Navigate through worksheets and workbooks: Searching for data within a workbook; inserting hyperlinks; changing worksheet order; using Go To; using Name Box.
    1.3-Format worksheets and workbooks: Changing worksheet tab color; modifying page setup; inserting and deleting columns and rows; changing workbook themes; adjusting row height and column width; inserting watermarks; inserting headers and footers; setting data validation.
    1.4-Customize options and views for worksheets and workbooks: Hiding worksheets; hiding columns and rows; customizing the Quick Access toolbar; customizing the Ribbon; managing macro security; changing workbook views; recording simple macros; adding values to workbook properties; using zoom; displaying formulas; freezing panes; assigning shortcut keys; splitting the window.
    1.5-Configure worksheets and workbooks to print or save: Setting a print area; saving workbooks in alternate file formats; printing individual worksheets; setting print scaling; repeating headers and footers; maintaining backward compatibility; configuring workbooks to print; saving files to remote locations.
    Basic tasks in Excel 2013
    Show or hide columns and rows
    Print a worksheet or workbook  
    2-Create cells and ranges  
    2.1-Insert data in cells and ranges: Appending data to worksheets; finding and replacing data; copying and pasting data; using AutoFill tool; expanding data across columns; inserting and deleting cells.
    2.2-Format cells and ranges: Merging cells; modifying cell alignment and indentation; changing font and font styles; using Format Painter; wrapping text within cells; applying Number format; applying highlighting; applying cell styles; changing text to WordArt.
    2.3-Order and group cells and ranges: Applying conditional formatting; inserting sparklines; transposing columns and rows; creating named ranges; creating outline; collapsing groups of data in outlines; inserting subtotals.
    Fill data automatically in worksheet cells
    Wrap text in a cell
    Transpose data from rows to columns or vice versa  
    3-Create tables  
    3.1-Create a table: Moving between tables and ranges; adding and removing cells within tables; defining titles.
    3.2-Modify a table: Applying styles to tables; banding rows and columns; inserting total rows; removing styles from tables.
    3.3-Filter and sort a table: Filtering records; sorting data on multiple columns; changing sort order; removing duplicates.
    Convert a table to a range
    Filter data in an Excel table
    Sort a table  
    4-Apply formulas and functions
    4.1-Utilize cell ranges and references in formulas and functions: Utilizing references (relative, mixed, absolute); defining order of operations; referencing cell ranges in formulas.
    4.2-Summarize data with functions: Utilizing the SUM function; utilizing the MIN and MAX functions; utilizing the COUNT function; utilizing the AVERAGE function.
    4.3-Utilize conditional logic in functions: Utilizing the SUMIF function; utilizing the AVERAGEIF function; utilizing the COUNTIF function.
    4.4-Format and modify text with functions: Utilizing the RIGHT, LEFT and MID functions; utilizing the TRIM function; utilizing the UPPER and LOWER functions; utilizing the CONCATENATE function.
    Use cell reverences in a formula
    Video: COUNTIFS and SUMIFS
    Excel functions (by category)  
    5-Create charts and objects
    5.1-Create a chart: Creating charts and graphs; adding additional data series; switching between rows and columns in source data; using Quick Analysis.
    5.2-Format a chart: Adding legends; resizing charts and graphs; modifying chart and graph parameters; applying chart layouts and styles; positioning charts and graphs.
    5.3-Insert and format an object: Inserting text boxes; inserting SmartArt; inserting images; adding borders to objects; adding styles and effects to objects; changing object colors; modifying object properties; positioning objects.
    Analyze your data instantly
    Format your chart
    Create an organization chart using SmartArt Graphics  

    Excel 2010 Exam Information

    If you have completed all credits required for your degree and only need to pass the Excel exam to graduate, you may take the Office 2010 exam during September. For more information about the requirements of the Excel 2010 certification exam, visit Microsoft's Exam Details page

    Microsoft IT Academy - Excel 2010 Courses Enrollment code: HLR8L7AS3SJDYV

    • Course 10296: Beginner Skills in Microsoft Excel 2010
    • Course 10393: Intermediate Skills in Microsoft Excel 2010
    • Course 10394: Advanced Skills in Microsoft Excel 2010
    • Course 10283: What's New in Microsoft Excel 2010

    We have compiled a list of recommended viewing on with the most relevant Lynda courses. You can also search for "Excel 2010" to see all available Excel 2010 courses.

    Skills measured on the Excel 2010 Exam
    (Exam 77-882)

    Major topic Area


    Additional Preparation Resources

    1-Managing the Worksheet Environment
    1.1-Navigate through a worksheet
    1.2-Print a worksheet or workbook
    1.3-Personalize environment by using Backstage
    A fast way to navigate between Excel worksheets
    Print a worksheet or workbook
    Video: Backstage view in Excel 2010  
    2-Creating Cell Data  
    2.1-Construct cell data
    2.2-Apply AutoFill
    2.3-Apply and manipulate hyperlinks
    Move or copy cells and cell contents
    How to use the auto fill options button in Excel
    Create, select, edit, or delete a hyperlink  
    3-Formatting Cells and Worksheets  
    3.1-Apply and modify cell formats
    3.2-Merge or split cells
    3.3-Create row and column titles
    3.4-Hide and unhide rows and columns
    3.5-Manipulate Page Setup options for worksheets
    3.6-Create and apply cell styles
    Quick start: Format a worksheet
    Merge and unmerge cells
    Print row and column headings or labels on every page  
    4-Managing Worksheets and Workbooks
    4.1-Create and format worksheets
    4.2-Manipulate window views
    4.3-Manipulate workbook views
    Insert or delete a worksheet
    View two or more worksheets at the same time
    Create, apply, or delete a custom view  
    5-Applying Formulas and Functions
    5.1-Create formulas
    5.2-Enforce precedence
    5.3-Apply cell references in formulas
    5.4-Apply conditional logic in a formula (<,>,=)
    5.5-Apply named ranges in formulas
    5.6-Apply cell ranges in formulas
    Overview of formulas
    Get to know Excel 2010: Create formulas
    Creating conditional formatting formulas  
    6-Presenting Data Visually
    6.1-Create charts based on worksheet data
    6.2-Apply and manipulate illustrations
    6.3-Create and modify images by using the Image Editor
    6.4-Apply Sparklines
    Insert a picture or clip art
    Change the brightness, contrast, or blurriness of a picture
    Sparklines: Use tiny charts to show data trends  
    7-Sharing worksheet data with other users
    7.1-Share spreadsheets by using Backstage
    7.2-Manage comments
    Use a shared workbook to collaborate
    Save a document to your OneDrive from Office 2010
    Annotate a worksheet by using comments  
    8-Analyzing and Organizing Data
    8.1-Filter data
    8.2-Sort data
    8.3-Apply conditional formatting
    Quick start: Filter data by using an AutoFilter
    Quick start: Sort data in a worksheet
    Manage conditional formatting rule precedence