Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship?
A. The 2020 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship presented by Certiport, Inc. is a national competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Top students are invited to represent their respective states at the U.S. National Championship. At the U.S. National Championship Event, each student competes for Champion in his or her category (Microsoft Word 2016, Microsoft Word 2019, Microsoft Excel® 2016, Microsoft Excel®2019, Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2016, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2019).

Q. How do I participate in the Championship?
A. By taking a Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam, your score will automatically be entered into the MOS U.S. National Championship. If you have questions about whether or not your score has been received, please reach out to Certiport at MOSChampionship@pearson.com.

Q. Who can participate in the Championship?
A. Anyone may participate in the qualification round of testing, but to participate in the U.S. National Championship, candidates must be students that are enrolled in an approved, degree-seeking academic institution recognized by the state in which it operates. Students must also be between the ages of 13 and 22 (as of June 15, 2020). Students participating in the U.S. National Championship must be able to provide proof of age and student status upon request. Employees of Certiport, Inc., the sponsoring Certiport Authorized Partner, their affiliates, subsidiaries, parent and related companies and agencies and those individuals living in the same household as employees are not eligible. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. By taking an eligible Exam and entering this Championship, participants agree to abide by all terms of these Official Rules.

Previous participants of the U.S. National Championship Round ARE eligible for the 2020 Championship. However, they cannot compete in the Exam they previously competed in during a U.S. National Championship Round. For example, a student who competed in Microsoft Excel® (2016 or 2019) during a previous year’s U.S. National Championship Round, can compete in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint® in the Qualifying Round and the U.S. National Championship Round of this year’s competition.

Q. Can students at an Imagine Academy participate?
A. Yes, students at Microsoft Imagine Academies are encouraged to participate. Many of those students participating prepare for the competition using the curriculum and lesson planning materials offered through their school by the Microsoft Imagine Academy program. This program provides schools flexible curriculum, customizable lesson plans and professional development opportunities for teachers.

Q. What kind of exam do students take at the competition? Is it the same as the certification exam?
A. No, students will be taking a completely new exam. Like the certification exam, this will be project based. However, since the competition tests the most advanced students from around the country, we encourage students to study and prepare for topics outside the certification exam. A great way to prepare is to look at the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert exams, available for both Word and Excel.

Q. What versions of Microsoft Office will the 2020 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship include?
A. The 2019 U.S. National Championship will include the following six (6) tracks:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2016
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel® 2016
  • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint® 2016
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2019
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel® 2019
  • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint® 2019

Q. What scholarships are awarded?
A. The First Place Champion receives $3000 along with a medal of achievement, trophy, certificate, and invitation to compete at the MOS World Championship. The invitation includes a free flight and hotel room for the student and a chaperone! The Second Place winner receives $1500 along with a medal of achievement and certificate. The Third Place Winner receives $750 along with a medal of achievement and certificate.

Q. How are the Champions in Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® selected?
A. All state Champions will be invited to the U.S. National Championship Event to compete for the title of the U.S. Champion in Word 2016 or 2019, Excel® 2016 or 2019 and PowerPoint®2016 or 2019. At the U.S. National Championship Event, all state Champions will be tested in a proctored lab on their respective exams. Generally, students will only be asked to complete their exams one time, however, in rare instances Certiport may require a second round of testing.

All participants in the U.S. National Championship will be responsible for preparing themselves to compete in their respective exams.

Q. How does Certiport select the winning score?
A. If two students at the U.S. National Championship Event have the same high exam score on the unique comprehensive exams, the finalist who completed the exam in the least amount of time will be the winner. Decisions of judges are final. Winners will be notified during the student awards ceremony. Odds of winning will depend on the number of students competing in each exam division.

Q. Where can I take an eligible exam?
A. Eligible exams can be taken at any Academic Certiport Authorized Testing Center.

Q. How many times can I take an eligible exam for the Championship?
A. There is no limit to the number of times a student may sit for any particular eligible exam as long as he/she is not in violation of the Microsoft Office Specialist exam retake policy. Students who fail to abide by the Microsoft Office Specialist exam retake policy will be immediately disqualified from the Championship. Certiport retains the right to disqualify students for appropriate cause.

Q. How many different types of eligible exams can I submit into the Competition?
A. During the Qualifying Round, a Student can participate in MULTIPLE Exam tracks. For example, they can submit an Excel 2016 and Excel 2019 Exam. However, if they qualify to participate in the U.S. National Championship, they can only compete in only ONE Exam track.

Q. How much does it cost to attend the MOS U.S. National Championship?
A. For each student competitor and their one sponsored chaperone, there is no registration fee. If students choose to bring additional guests, there is an estimated $150 registration fee. Students are also required to cover their own hotel (roughly $150 a night) and airfare to arrive at the event. Fees are subject to change.

Q. How many days after the deadline do you wait to invite students to the MOS U.S. National Championship?
A. We usually run our reports the following Monday, after the closing deadline. We then have to go through each state’s results manually, and select our top winners. This can take several days. Therefore, invitations are usually sent about one to two weeks following the closing day. Make sure to update your email on your Certiport profile, because this is where all invitations are sent.

Q. I just received an invitation to compete in the MOS U.S. National Championship. What do I do now?
A. Congratulations! You’ve been invited to compete in the MOS U.S. National Championship. If you’re interested in competing, you will need to complete the online registration, submit your student packet, and book your travel and hotel. All of these items were linked in your invitation, but if you have additional questions, please reach out to MOSChampionship@pearson.com.