This is an exam offered by Microsoft that tests the skills of a candidate in using all the features and functionalities of Microsoft Excel 2013. After passing this certification exam, you get the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification. This shows that you are able to use Excel efficiently in a professional setting and it is a great addition to your resume. The training course for the exam teaches the candidates how to apply customized layouts and formats, manage and share Workbook sheets, create advanced charts and tables, and generate advanced formulas. This training is ideal for workers who deal with information and are constantly using Microsoft Excel. Such workers include commercial bankers, data analysts, accountants, sales managers and many more.

Exam Objectives

The objectives of this Microsoft exam will enable you to get a blueprint of the test in terms of the areas that are relevant to the actual exam which is ideal for your preparation. Here are the objectives for the 77-420 exam:

  • Creating tables
  • Creating rangesand cells
  • Creating objects and charts
  • Applying functions and formulas
  • Building and operatingworkbooksand worksheets

Training Courses

The training course for the enables you to learn the concepts that will enable you to gain the skills you need to pass the test and get certified. Here are the training courses for this certification exam:

  • Formatting Data
  • Manipulating Data
  • Saving and Printing Data
  • Customizing Options and Views
  • Formatting Cells and Worksheets
  • Presenting Data in Tables and Charts
  • Performing Calculations using Functions
  • Data Search, Data Validation, and Macros
  • Creating Workbooks, Worksheets and Data
  • Creating and Customizing Visual Elements
  • Presenting Data using Conditional Formatting and Sparklines

Recommended Books

You need to use books for your exam preparation to make this process effective. Here are the books that are recommended for the 77-420 test:

  • MOS 2013 Study Guide for Microsoft Excel (MOS Study Guide)
  • Exam 77-420 Microsoft Excel 2013 1ST Edition

This is the only MOAC (Microsoft Official Academic Course) that includes a complete classroom instructional program. It focuses on the exam objectives and is designed to reinforce your professional skills. The candidates will be able to develop and edit professional-looking spreadsheets for different situations and purposes. The book further covers skills like creating financial analytical reports, data entry, charting, formatting numerical reports, developing budgets, creating forms, technical support, processing data, and many more. This series also offers Office Graderthat helps students correct task-based assignments and get them ready for the professional world.Office Grader also speeds up the grading process and gives students ample time for learning.

Tips for Passing

Every exam requires to adopt a study program that will help you succeed. Here are the tips for passing the 77-420 exam:

  • Complete the training

The training course for this exam is detailed and aligned with the exam objectives and you need to ensure that you go through the training before you start studying on your own. Because the course is skilled based, it serves you well to be taught by an instructor so that you can get the hands-on experience you need. Mastery of the concepts heavily depends on how well you have been taught and you need to ensure that you complete the training. Features and functionalities of Excel will be more understandable after you complete the course.

  • Review all study resources

You need to study for the exam and ensure that you master all the concepts that you have been taught in the training course. Ensure you read the MOAC before you take the exam because it contains many tools to help you prepare for the test. For your study, you need to come up with a plan of action and develop a study routine that works for you. There is no shortcut for passing this certification exam or any other tests but only through a good preparation; you should also check off your list of worries before you take the exam.

  • Work with the exam objectives

The exam objectives represent the topics that you need to master when you are getting ready for the test. They guide your study pattern and shift your focus to areas that are important to the exam. You also get an idea of the type of questions that you may face during the exam and try to come up with possible answers. Take them into account when you are revising your coursework so that you use your time wisely on the areas that matter.

  • Use practice tests

This is a great way to get you ready for the test since you will be able to familiarize yourself with the exam questions and get used to the exam atmosphere. You will also be able to identify any challenges that you experience when answering the questions so that you know the areas which require you to place extra attention. Practice exams will help you determine just how ready you are for the exam if you were to take it at any particular moment.

  • Place emphasis on mastering skills

The training course for this certification exam is designed to help you use Excel in a professional setting which means you need to gain excellent skills so that you can handle everything that is thrown at you. The 77-420 exam represents the same spirit by presenting you with problems and expecting you to come up with the right approach. You should make it a habit of taking quizzes at the end of each topic so that you know the level of skill that you have acquired.

  • Join study groups

Study groups are very helpful when you are preparing for an exam as you meet like-minded people who are on the same journey with you and you get to share knowledge and study resources among yourselves. When you are part of a study group, you will engage in constructive discussions with other members which will help you better understand the course and prepare effectively for the certification test.


This Microsoft exam enables you to get the skills necessary to run multiple businesses and you should ensure that you take the training seriously so that you not only pass the test, but also get the skills that will help you succeed in a professional setting. Get the best out of your study time and set targets for yourself. I wish you the best!