Monday, March 30, 2009

Hey, That Was Fun!

As you probably know, I’m a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). As you may not know, MCTs are required to renew their certification each year, and the 2009 renewal period is currently underway. I got my MT 2009 welcome kit a week or so ago.

And with that welcome kit came a nice surprise – a voucher for one free Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) exam.

Now, if you’re like me, you probably like to think of yourself as being a geek. Someone who builds software that has never existed before, and who dominates the poor software that is unlucky enough to cross your path. (Or something like that anyway.) So although I had been aware of the MCAS certification for some time, I had never really considered trying to achieve it. But hey – free is free, right?

So last Friday I scheduled my exam (77-601: Using Microsoft Office Word 2007) for this morning. I was going to be out of the office for a dentist appointment anyway, and the test center is on the way home, so why not, right?

Well, to make a long story short, I passed the exam and had a great time doing it. The exam was delivered in Word 2007 – each question gave me a list of things to accomplish and I then used Word 2007 to achieve the required goals. It didn’t matter what steps you used (I’m a big keyboard shortcut user and don’t use the Ribbon too often) so long as you achieve the requirements as written.

The thing that struck me here was that this exam really tested my ability to use Word 2007 as a “power user.” Not just someone who typed documents, but someone who knows what features are there and who knows how to use them. I doubt that I’ll stop taking my technical certification exams any time soon, but I think that I may just need to try my hand at the Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007 exams too…

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