Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS)
(Please note that this certification falls under the ‘Microsoft Business Certification’ series as part of a series launched by Microsoft primary for non-IT professionals or as Microsoft classifies it – Home and Business Users – for those who use Microsoft Office software suite and Windows Vista at Home or at work)
Introduction: What is this certification all about?
The Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) certification is designed by Microsoft to test your skills, technical knowledge, command and overall usage abilities of the various software and applications present in the Microsoft Windows Office 2007 software suite and Windows Vista Operating system.
This certification will in essence prove that you have sufficient command over the Microsoft Office 2007 software and Windows Vista OS that meets the most up-to-date requirements in terms of workplace usage – and is highly valued by employers.
What are the Pre-requisites?
As such no pre-requisites are required in general – other than the fact that yu have sufficient preparation for the exams. However at times, and depending upon the exam and location, several pre-requisites may be required. Since this certification is divided into further sub-certifications, requirements may vary. It is essential that you check the exams of each certification carefully
Who is this certification for?
This certification is for ‘Home and Business Users’ – for those who use Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 at home and in their offices (as part of their duties as employees)
How do I take the exams?
Exams are conducted by CertiPort (www.certiport.com) and are conducted in various locations – and possibly online. However, you have to check the website since this depends on your location and time of registration.
How do I prepare for the exams?
Exams can be prepared for in a number of different ways. The possible ways of preparing for the exams are as follows (although if you have working knowledge of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 then going through Practice Tests will be enough)
There are several options in terms of preparing yourself. Please note that some such as the books and practice tests can be used together whereas the practice tests cannot be used alone to prepare yourself. These are:
- Practice tests: Provided by several websites, which are Microsoft Certified Practice Test Providers, these allow you to get a feel of your current levele and in the case where you are pursuing independent study, these tests will prove useful. These cannot be used alone as preparation methods.
- Instructor-led training in centres worldwide: various centers worldwide have Microsoft Certified Trainers who provide a superior learning experience by using in-depth knowledge that they possess as well as by using Microsoft Learning Products. However, please check that your trainer or training centre is certified by Microsoft or not before starting preparation. This is the recommended method.
- E-Learning Self-paced training: another option provided by Microsoft; this allows those who use Microsoft technologies in the workplace and want to enhance their skills,. “Microsoft E-Learning self-paced training offers you the flexibility to learn at a time and place that is convenient for you” – ideal for those whose schedule cannot allow fixed classes. However please note that this is for those who have the ability to grasp concepts easily and have experience in independent study, in for example, university during the time when they were preparing for their degree.
- Microsoft Official Distance Learning: Distance learning is a sort of system whereby the classroom is ‘virtualized’ – in essence you learn exactly as though you were in a classroom. This is also a recommended method since it is conducted by Microsoft Professionals and is also cost effective. Additionally, it can also fit into your busy schedule easily. It is also a combination, sort of, of the E-Learning Self Paced Training and Instructor led training – the best combination by far.
- Microsoft Press books: Microsoft has published various books on nearly all of its certifications. Using these hand in hand with several other options and as a reference is suitable. Studying through these alone is not recommended – although it depends on the person.
- Self-paced training kits: these are complete, DIY type, kits that combine a number of items that allow you to study independently. These have been developed by Microsoft specialists and are also a suitable mode of learning. These kits include the following items (as per Microsoft’s website):
- A 15 percent exam discount voucher from Microsoft
- Official, self-paced study guide, including a fully searchable e-book version
- Practice tests with multiple, customizable testing options and a learning roadmap based on your results
- More than 200 practice and review questions
- Case scenarios, practice exercises, and best practices
- A 180-day evaluation version of the product that is covered by the kit
- Microsoft online resources: Microsoft has included various resources on its own website that provide you with information, allow you to create your own study guides, interact with professionals and students alike and much more
How am I certified?
To be certified you have to pass the exam – by a substantial mark as dictated by Microsoft and as per the exam. For thsis certification no other requirements – such as interviews or experience proof is required. However, please note that one of the certifications requires multiple exams and certifications – the
What certifications and exams come under this?
Here is a complete list of the certifications and various exams that come under this specific certification category – since as mentioned above, even this certification is divided into further certifications. For example there are separate certifications for each of the applications in Microsoft Office 2007 and there are also separate levels in this – Master and Advanced levels.
|MCAS: Windows Vista for the Business Worker||Exam 77-600|
|MCAS: Microsoft Office Word 2007||Exam 77-601|
|MCAS: Microsoft Office Excel 2007||Exam 77-602|
|MCAS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007||Exam 77-603|
|MCAS: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007||Exam 77-604|
|MCAS: Microsoft Office Access 2007||Exam 77-605|
Note For information about Microsoft Office Project certification, visit the following pages:
- MCTS: Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007
- MCTS: Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
- MCITP: Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
Microsoft Office 2007 Master
This certification checks your skills at a higher than working level – essential if you would like to get a superior qualification than the simple Microsoft Certified Application Specialist certifications. It shows that you have complete command over the Microsoft Office 2007 applications.
The following certifications (earned by sitting for there exams as shown above) are required.
- MCAS: Microsoft Office Word 2007
- MCAS: Microsoft Office Excel 2007
- MCAS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
- MCAS: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
Link to Microsoft Certified Application Specialist