I am a Microsoft Office Specialist – Expert . I started to work on my MOS certification last January (2021) as part of my professional development goals. I had completed an Advanced Word course and an Advanced Excel course through online distant education with our local college prior to starting my journey. I am excited to share my experiences of doing it 'alone'. I have to first say that I had no idea there were support groups available one year ago. I just thought "how hard can it be?". I signed up for my first MOS Word exam in January 2021 thinking it would be a walk in the park with my knowledge and experience. WRONG! The exam was probably the most difficult exam I have ever written. I was not even close to prepared.My confidence was completely shaken but my determination took over. I was not going to let this beat me. Over the next 6 months I studied and I mean, I studied every weekend. I used Certiport as my main resource. I purchased the CERTPREP practice tests powered by GMetrix package. This package was worth every penny. It gives performance based assessment and test preparation tools.I did not learn about Red Cape until after I was done my certifications. I did find an excellent resource online and joined the Patreon Group of Mike's Office. His resources are on YouTube and he helps go through some of the questions on the Exams. This was was also well-worth the money in addition to the Certiport membership.I eventually passed my MOS Associate and then my MOS Expert. In order to become an Associate you must pass Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook exams. To then become an Expert you must pass two of the three - Word Expert, Excel Expert, Access Expert exams. The true difficulty in all of the exams is not the content itself but the very tight time limit allotted to the examination itself (watching the clock count down...yikes).Doing the MOS Certification on my own was time-consuming and very stressful. Very rewarding when I finally accomplished my goals but a lot of stress a long the journey.Finally, I will say that I never did end up using Professional Development funds for these courses and for the exams. I wasn't confident that my organization would pay for my failures (and there were failures!) and so I privately/secretly worked on my certifications.I don't regret any of my learning. My MOS Certifications did not result in higher pay or greater respect and I really don't think anyone cared or recognized the value of my certifications except our IT Department. Our IT Department found out that I was working on my certifications and encouraged me all the way. They were so IMPRESSED and celebrated with me when I finally did get certified. I hope this helps. Do it for yourself and you will feel complete satisfaction. I sure did.
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