Microsoft Office Specialist

MOS Certification

Microsoft Office Specialist training and certification MOS tests are only available to staff and students at York St John University. We can also offer tests for free to Alumni, please see the tabs below for more details.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) tests are internationally recognised and are often listed in the desirable column of job specifications. They demonstrate a very good understanding of the workings of Office software such as Word or Excel. The GMetrix software allows you to work towards taking Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) tests at your own pace. This service is free to staff and students. For more information on individuals with disabilities please contact us for further information.

Come and chat about MOS at our drop-in sessions Tuesday and Thursday during term-time from 12:30 to 13:00 on the ground floor of the York Fountains Learning Centre or contact us 

Book for the next MOS TestFest 

See all the steps to MOS certification

What is MOS?

What is MOS?

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification is recognised world-wide as demonstrating the skills needed to get the most out of Office applications.

MOS exams available

Exams are offered at two levels, Specialist and Expert. Combinations of these exams across different applications can lead to the highest level of Microsoft Office Master. Each exam is based on one application e.g. Word. The exams can be taken in any order.

Specialist level Exams

MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2016 Core
MOS Word Specialist 2016 objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for Word 2016 MOS

MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2016 Core

MOS Excel 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB) 

Video learning: Practise for Excel 2016 MOS

MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2016

MOS PowerPoint 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for PowerPoint 2016 MOS

MOS: Microsoft Office Access 2016
MOS Access 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for Access 2016 MOS

MOS: Microsoft Outlook 2016
MOS Outlook 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for Outlook 2016 MOS

Expert Level

MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2016 Expert
MOS Word Expert 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for Word Expert 2016 MOS

MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2016 Expert
MOS Word Expert 2016 Objectives (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Video learning: Practise for Excel Expert 2016 MOS

Master Level

This requires at least 

  • Word 2016 and Excel 2016 at Expert level
  • PowerPoint 2016 at specialist level
  • Either Access 2016 or Outlook 2016 at Specialist level


Benefits of MOS

Benefits of MOS

MOS practise, support and certification is free to York St John students and staff, typically this would cost £120 per programme.

The benefits are:

  • Industry standard certification demonstrating genuine proficiency in Microsoft Office Applications.
  • Provable qualification with a certificate and a central digital register which can be displayed as an Open Badge on networks such as LinkedIn
  • Creates confidence in IT skills and promotes job satisfaction
  • Supports academic studies to create high standard work easily
  • An ideal way to support continuing professional development




Sign up for MOS

Sign up for MOS

Signing up for MOS practice and certification is free and easy.

Contact  ILS Digital Training to receive an access code to unlock practice tests in all Microsoft applications. Please do not share codes with anyone else.

GMetrix Practice Software

With this code and the GMetrix practice software, sample questions can be tried. The GMetrix software can be used to learn the required skills as the correct answer can be displayed. Questions are marked with immediate feedback. Full, timed practice tests can be undertaken (without the help) to simulate final exam conditions. The GMetrix software is available for free to use at home and is available on all open-access machine. See tabs below for details of accessing GMetrix.

The final exams are timed (typically 50 minutes) with a score of 70% required to pass.


Help is available from ILS Digital Training via drop-in sessions in the York Fountains Learning Centre. One to one tutorials are also available and these can be conducted remotely for students and staff not on the York campus. You also have access to courses for online learning.

Taking a test

These are currently only available in person at the York Fountains Learning Centre. When you are ready, tests can be booked with ILS Digital Training

Practice at home

Practice at home

Practise requires GMetrix software as well as the relevant Microsoft Office Application e.g. Word 2016.

GMetrix Practise software

You will need to create a GMetrix account to use the software which you can do via 

This portal will also let you access results of previous training or practice tests you have undertaken.

The GMetrix software can be freely downloaded from  

This software allows your code (from us) to be entered to access different tests.

Office 2016

You also need the appropriate Office Applications to practise. These are available for free for members of York St John University for home use.

Login to using your full University email address e.g. and your normal University password. The button to download is on the homepage.
If you need more information on installing Microsoft office then please contact ILS Digital Training 

Practice on campus

Practice on campus

Open access machines in Fountains and Holgate contain the GMetrix software via the AppsAnywhere Software Hub.

Due to technical restrictions the file paths need to be set each time the software is loaded. See this helpsheet on Changing folder paths on open access PCs (PDF, 0.4 MB)

Note that Microsoft Outlook 2016 is not generally available. If you wish to practise for this test then please contact ILS Digital Training 


Staff are advised to practise using the open access machines described above. Staff machines with Office 2010 are not able to be used for practise. Staff laptops may be suitable to download GMetrix and Office 2016 - see Practice at home for more details.

Take a test

Take a test

Tests are taken at the York Fountains Learning Centre. Bookings should be made with ILS Digital Training and one of the team will Proctor the exam.

The first time you take a test, a Certiport account will need to be set up but you will be led through this process.

The final exams are timed (typically 50 minutes) with a score of 70% required to pass. A result is given to you immediately after the exam. Re-sits cannot be undertaken within 24 hours.

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