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  • Published:
    February 28, 2013
  • Languages:
  • Audiences:
    Information workers
  • Technology:
    Microsoft Office 2013 suites
  • Credit toward certification:
    Microsoft Office Specialist

Excel 2013

  • Microsoft Office Specialist exams are provided by a third-party vendor. Register for an exam at Certiport's website.

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Skills measured

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. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

Do you have feedback about the relevance of the skills measured on this exam? Please send Microsoft your comments. All feedback will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate while still maintaining the validity and reliability of the certification process. Note that Microsoft will not respond directly to your feedback. We appreciate your input in ensuring the quality of the Microsoft Certification program.

If you have concerns about specific questions on this exam, please submit an exam challenge.

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Create and manage worksheets and workbooks
  • Create worksheets and workbooks
    • Creating new blank workbooks; creating new workbooks using templates; importing files; opening non-native files directly in Excel; adding worksheets to existing workbooks; copying and moving worksheets
  • Navigate through worksheets and workbooks
    • Searching for data within a workbook; inserting hyperlinks; changing worksheet order; using Go To; using Name Box
  • Format worksheets and workbooks
    • Changing worksheet tab color; modifying page setup; inserting and deleting columns and rows; changing workbook themes; adjusting row height and column width; inserting watermarks; inserting headers and footers; setting data validation
  • Customize options and views for worksheets and workbooks
    • Hiding worksheets; hiding columns and rows; customizing the Quick Access toolbar; customizing the Ribbon; managing macro security; changing workbook views; recording simple macros; adding values to workbook properties; using zoom; displaying formulas; freezing panes; assigning shortcut keys; splitting the window
  • Configure worksheets and workbooks to print or save
    • Setting a print area; saving workbooks in alternate file formats; printing individual worksheets; setting print scaling; repeating headers and footers; maintaining backward compatibility; configuring workbooks to print; saving files to remote locations

Preparation resources

Create cells and ranges
  • Insert data in cells and ranges
    • Appending data to worksheets; finding and replacing data; copying and pasting data; using AutoFill tool; expanding data across columns; inserting and deleting cells
  • Format cells and ranges
    • Merging cells; modifying cell alignment and indentation; changing font and font styles; using Format Painter; wrapping text within cells; applying Number format; applying highlighting; applying cell styles; changing text to WordArt
  • Order and group cells and ranges
    • Applying conditional formatting; inserting sparklines; transposing columns and rows; creating named ranges; creating outline; collapsing groups of data in outlines; inserting subtotals

Preparation resources

Create tables
  • Create a table
    • Moving between tables and ranges; adding and removing cells within tables; defining titles
  • Modify a table
    • Applying styles to tables; banding rows and columns; inserting total rows; removing styles from tables
  • Filter and sort a table
    • Filtering records; sorting data on multiple columns; changing sort order; removing duplicates

Preparation resources

Apply formulas and functions
  • Utilize cell ranges and references in formulas and functions
    • Utilizing references (relative, mixed, absolute); defining order of operations; referencing cell ranges in formulas
  • Summarize data with functions
    • Utilizing the SUM function; utilizing the MIN and MAX functions; utilizing the COUNT function; utilizing the AVERAGE function
  • Utilize conditional logic in functions
    • Utilizing the SUMIF function; utilizing the AVERAGEIF function; utilizing the COUNTIF function
  • Format and modify text with functions
    • Utilizing the RIGHT, LEFT and MID functions; utilizing the TRIM function; utilizing the UPPER and LOWER functions; utilizing the CONCATENATE function

Preparation resources

Create charts and objects
  • Create a chart
    • Creating charts and graphs; adding additional data series; switching between rows and columns in source data; using Quick Analysis
  • Format a chart
    • Adding legends; resizing charts and graphs; modifying chart and graph parameters; applying chart layouts and styles; positioning charts and graphs
  • Insert and format an object
    • Inserting text boxes; inserting SmartArt; inserting images; adding borders to objects; adding styles and effects to objects; changing object colors; modifying object properties; positioning objects

Preparation resources

Preparation options

From the community

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MOS 2013 Study Guide for Microsoft Excel
Published: September 2013

Demonstrate your expertise with Excel. Designed to help you practice and prepare for the 2013 Excel Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam, this all-in-one study guide features full, objective-by-objective exam coverage, along with easy-to-follow procedures and illustrations to review essential skills. Get hands-on practice tasks (and files) to apply what you’ve learned.

Buy this book at the Microsoft Press Store

Who should take this exam?

A core-level candidate for the Microsoft Excel 2013 exam should have a fundamental understanding of the Excel environment and the ability to complete tasks independently. They should know and demonstrate the correct application of the principal features of Excel 2013. These candidates should be able to create and edit a workbook with multiple sheets for a variety of purposes and situations. Examples include professional-looking budgets, team performance charts, sales invoices, and exercise logs. Candidate roles might include students, clerical workers, bookkeepers, instructors, and others.

More information about exams

Preparing for an exam

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats, and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.


This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.