Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship?

A. The 2023 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship presented by Certiport, Inc. is a national competition that tests students’ skills in Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Top students are invited to represent their respective states at the U.S. National Championship in Orlando, Florida on June 19 – 22, 2023. At the U.S. National Championship Event, each student competes to be the champion in their category: Microsoft Word (Office 2016), Microsoft Excel (Office 2016), Microsoft PowerPoint (Office 2016), Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019), Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019), or Microsoft PowerPoint (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019).

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. Candidates must also be between the ages of 13 and 22 (as of June 15 of the competition year). Individuals participating in the U.S. National Championship must be able to provide proof of age and student status upon request.

Previous participants of the U.S. National Championship round are eligible to compete; however, they cannot compete in the exam they previously competed in during a U.S. National Championship round. For example, a candidate who competed in Microsoft Word (Office 2016) or Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019) during a previous U.S. National Championship round, can compete in Microsoft Excel® or PowerPoint® in the qualifying round and the U.S. National Championship Round of this year’s competition.

Q. What versions of Microsoft Office Specialist certifications will the Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship include?

A. The U.S. National Championship will include the following six (6) tracks: Microsoft Word (Office 2016), Microsoft Excel® (Office 2016), Microsoft PowerPoint® (Office 2016), Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019), Microsoft Excel® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019) and Microsoft PowerPoint® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019).

Q. Where can I take an eligible exam?

A. Eligible exams can be taken at any Certiport Authorized Testing Center.

Q. How many times can I take an eligible exam for the championship?

A. It’s recommended that candidates regularly check the qualifier rankings and retest as needed to secure their seat at the competition. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may test in any eligible exam track if they are not in violation of the Microsoft Office Specialist exam retake policy. Candidates 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 candidates for appropriate cause.

Q. How many different types of eligible exams can I submit to the competition?

A. During the qualifying round, a candidate can participate in multiple exam tracks. For example, they can submit a Microsoft Excel (Office 2016) and Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019). However, if they qualify to participate in the U.S. National Championship, they can only compete in only one exam track at the event.

Q. How are the champions in Word, Excel®, and PowerPoint® selected?

A. All state champions will be invited to the U.S. National Championship to compete for the title of the U.S. Champion in Microsoft Word (Office 2016), Microsoft Excel® (Office 2016), Microsoft PowerPoint® (Office 2016), Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019), Microsoft Excel® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019), or Microsoft PowerPoint® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019). During the U.S. National Championship event, all state champions will be tested in a proctored lab in their respective exam tracks. All participants in the U.S. National Championship are responsible for preparing themselves to compete in their respective exams.

Q. How does Certiport select the winning score?

A. If two competitors 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 awards ceremony.

Q. How many days after the deadline do you wait to invite competitors to the MOS U.S. National Championship?

A. Invitations are usually sent about one to two weeks following the last day of the qualification period. Emails will be sent directly to the email address listed on the candidate’s Certiport portal account.

Q. How much does it cost to attend the MOS U.S. National Championship?

A. For each competitor and their one sponsored chaperone, there is no registration fee. If competitors choose to bring additional guests, there is an additional fee. Competitors are also required to cover their own hotel and airfare to arrive at the event. The hotel cost is around $200 per night.

Q. What kind of exam do competitors take at the competition? Is it the same as the certification exam?

A. No, competitors 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, candidates are encouraged to study and prepare for topics outside the certification exam. A great way to prepare is to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert exams.

Q. What scholarships are awarded?

A. The first-place champion receives $3,000, a medal of achievement, a trophy, a certificate, a gift from Microsoft, and an invitation to compete at the MOS World Championship. The invitation to the World Championship includes a free flight and hotel room for the competitor and a chaperone. The second-place winner receives $2,000 along with a medal of achievement and certificate. The third-place winner receives $1,000, a medal of achievement, and a certificate.

Q. How many days after the deadline do you wait to invite students to the MOS U.S. National Championship?

A. Reports are run the following Monday, after the closing deadline. After the winners are determined, invitations will be sent out to the email provided on the student’s Certiport profile. Invitations are usually sent about one week following the qualification deadline. Be sure the email address listed on the Certiport profile is correct and frequently checked.

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.

Have a question that wasn’t answered? Reach out to us!