Friday, July 29, 2016

Earning A Microsoft Outlook Certification

What is a Microsoft Certification Exam?
Microsoft Outlook

As you may have heard, Microsoft provides a certification exam for users of its software to demonstrate their skills through an independently administered exam. Community Business College has been selected as an official Microsoft Certification Testing Center. As of July, 2016 the college is helping Microsoft beta test the 2016 version of the Outlook exam.

The current Outlook exam code number is Microsoft Outlook exam number 77-423. This description covers the basic functions of what is asked on the exam. Community Business College offers a free study guide to all potential test takers. A summary of that study guide is listed below at the end of this blog.

So the question that comes to mind to a lot of people is:  why go to all the effort and expense to pass the certification?

Why Go For The Outlook Certification?
 5 Good Reasons

 Here are 5 good reasons to obtain an Outlook user certification:

1.      Achieve industry-recognized certification;

2.      Learn the computing skills companies want. Microsoft Outlook is an industry standard program;

3.      Boost your resume - Since most employers who are casual users of Outlook are not aware that a certification exists, you can describe your certificate during the job interview;

4.      Differentiate yourself from other Microsoft Outlook users;

5.      Increase your earning potential.
At Community Business College we’ve yet to hear of anyone who got a raise by just passing the exam but the testing author suggests it can be an additional justification when asking for a raise. Here are a couple of other uses along those lines:
-          Continuing Education Units. Whether your employer requires these or not they are good to have because they demonstrate continuous improvement.
-          Be the office Outlook expert.  Every office needs somebody who can help when a coworker gets stuck. By getting certified, you have a better chance about filling that roll.

 Microsoft Outlook Screen

What Are The New Exams Like?

A.MOS 2010 and earlier versions provide a variety of brief tasks to complete using Office application tools and functions. The new exam format for MOS 2013 presents a short project that the candidate must complete, using the specifications provided. This creates a real-world testing experience for candidates. For more information, check out the View the MOS 2013 demo video.

Skills Measured In the Microsoft Outlook 77-423 Exam
This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.
Here are the categories on the Microsoft Outlook exam:
Manage the Outlook environment (25–30% of the exam)
·         Customize Outlook settings
o    Set outlook to include original messages with all reply messages, change text formats for all outgoing messages, customize the Navigation pane, block specific addresses, configure views, manage multiple accounts, set Outlook options
·         Automate Outlook
o    Change quoted text colors, create and assign signatures, use “Quick Steps,” create and manage rules, create auto-replies
·         Print and save information in Outlook
o    Print messages, print calendars, save message attachments, preview attachments, print contacts, print tasks, save messages in alternate formats, create data files
·         Search in Outlook
o    Create new search folders, search for messages, search for tasks, search for contacts, search calendars, use advanced find, use “Search by Location”
Preparation resources
Manage messages (25–30% of the exam)
·         Create a message
o    Create messages, forward messages, delete messages, add/remove message attachments, add Cc and Bcc to messages, add voting options to messages, reply to all, reply to sender only, prioritize messages, mark as private, request delivery/read receipt, redirect replies, delegate access
·         Format messages
o    Format text, insert hyperlinks, apply themes and styles, insert images, add a signature to specific messages, format signatures, create and use “Quick Parts”
·         Organize and manage messages
o    Sort messages, move messages between folders, add new local folders, apply categories, configure junk email settings, clean up messages, mark as read/unread, flag messages, ignore messages, sort by conversation, set attachment reminder options
Preparation resources
·         Basic tasks in Outlook 2013
·         Configure junk email settings in Outlook
Manage schedules (30–35% of the exam)
·         Create and manage calendars
o    Adjust viewing details for calendars, modify calendar time zones, delete calendars, set calendar work times, use multiple calendars, manage calendar groups, overlay calendars, share calendars
·         Create appointments, meetings, and events
o    Create calendar items, create recurring calendar items, cancel calendar items, create calendar items from messages, set calendar item times, categorize calendar items, use the scheduling assistant, change availability status, schedule resources, utilize Room Finder
·         Organize and manage appointments, meetings, and events
o    Set calendar item importance, forward calendar items, configure reminders, add participants, respond to invitations, update calendar items, share meeting notes
·         Create and manage notes, tasks, and journals
o    Create and manage tasks, create and manage notes, attach notes to contacts, create journal entries, update task status
Manage contacts and groups (15–20% of the exam)
·         Create and manage contacts
o    Create new contacts, delete contacts, import contacts from external sources, edit contact information, attach an image to contacts, add tags to contacts, share contacts, manage multiple address books
·         Create and manage groups
o    Create new contact groups, add contacts to existing groups, add notes to a group, update contacts within groups, delete groups, delete group members

How much does the Microsoft Outlook exam (77-423) cost? The voucher prices range from $89 to $130 depending upon whether you choose the single exam voucher or the voucher with the retake. The retake voucher is a bit more expensive but is handy, especially for first-time test takers because it gives you a second attempt at the exam if you fail the first time, without having to pay the full price for a whole new exam voucher. It kind of gives you a de facto practice test.

 Microsoft Outlook at Community Business College


Need a voucher to take the Microsoft Outlook exam? Community Business College offers discounts on vouchers. A voucher purchased through our college can be used at any Microsoft testing center throughout the United States. You can purchase an exam voucher through our Amazon store or directly from Community Business College at

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