Anyone familiar with Microsoft in Education may have heard of the Microsoft Office Specialist certification (or MOS for short) that students can take to prove their proficiency in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. As well as being as way to learn useful skills that can help improve the way students are able to study across all subjects, the MOS Certification can also be recognised as a GSCE level qualification when followed up by a single synoptic test. But for those who really want to test their Microsoft Office skills to the limit, there are the MOS World Championships…
Next year, two UK MOS Certified students will each win the trip of a lifetime to Dallas, Texas and the chance to compete for the World Championship (with a top prize $5,000 USD). But before they can make a tilt at the world title, they’ll need to prove their mettle in the UK. There will be two qualifying rounds whereby 10 students from around the UK will be chosen using the "top-score method" (highest exam score and lowest exam-taking time) in Word and Excel to qualify for the UK Final in June 2015. The first qualifying round closes on December 31st 2014, while the second round runs from January 1st 2015 until May 15th 2015.
The UK Final will bring together the 20 finalists (selected from the two Qualifying Rounds) at an event hosted by Microsoft UK in June 2015.
In order to determine who is indeed the best of the best within the UK, the 20 finalists will sit a further MOS exam in their qualifying category. Once the UK Champions are decided, they can look forward to a trip to Dallas in August 2015, where they will join students from over 130 countries to battle it our for the MOS World Championships.
Historically, the UK has faired very well at this global event, having provided three winners in the last five years. To put into context just how much of an achievement this is, last year’s Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship attracted more than 400,000 unique candidates from 130 countries who competed to demonstrate their mastery of Microsoft Office products. It is a testament to the quality of teaching in the UK that these finalists have gone on to become winners, and shows not only how high the standards of teaching are in the UK, but also reflects the positive and determined attitudes of the students to persevere and succeed. Again, this is in part down to the teachers who are introducing these concepts and opportunities into the classroom, and creating an environment where students are able to flourish.
The Teaching with Technology (TwT) and Continued Development Programme (CPD) courses offered to teachers by Microsoft, along with MOS Certifications and a plethora of other educational resources are helping to drive this positive movement in the classroom, and the MOS World Championships represent a global recognition of the hard word that goes on both by the educators and the students.
We’ll be providing further coverage of the MOS World Championships, as well as reporting on who will be representing the UK following the regional finals in June. More information about the MOS Certifications and the Championships can be found on the Prodigy Learning website.