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Microsoft Excel Tests for Beginners in 2021

excel test for beginners

Microsoft Excel is the most popular spreadsheet software in the world. With more than 80% of organizations using it regularly. The main functions of this software include enabling users to record, organize, and boost overall productivity. 

As Excel has influenced modern business practices, it is only natural that employers are looking for the best excel candidates to join their teams. This rise in demand for efficient excel users has led to an increasing number of organizations introducing pre-employment style Excel tests. 

However, what are Microsoft Excel tests, and how do they work? 

This post will provide all the information necessary for beginners in Excel tests. 

 What Is An Excel Test?

Excel tests are pre-employment style tests. This means that they occur in the interview process and are designed to filter out unsuitable or underqualified candidates. 

How Do They Work?

Like other skill-based pre-employment tests, Excel tests tend to ask questions that candidates could encounter day-to-day on the job situation. These questions are often based around real situations and invite candidates to perform tasks on Excel spreadsheets like writing functions or apply knowledge to a problem. 

Pre-employment tests can be customizable, so employers can choose to test the most critical areas. While questions can vary, there are three levels in Excel tests. These levels are basic, intermediate, and advanced. 

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The needs of the job determine the test, and each test evaluates candidate proficiency. Here is a brief rundown of what each of these levels test for and can look like: 

  • Basic tests. 

Basic tests assess candidates applying for roles requiring documentation and administration type work. Testing for basic navigation and formatting of Excel, examples of which include performing tasks like copying and pasting and opening worksheets. 

  • Intermediate tests. 

Intermediate tests evaluate candidates interviewing for heavily calculation based jobs. These test for abilities like applying formatting to cells, creating pivot tables, and more. 

  • Advanced tests.

Advanced tests are designed for evaluating those candidates who will be dealing with data analysis. This tests for proficiency across the Excel spreadsheet. Tasks tested include adding new fields to tables, data validation, locking cells, and more. 

Like most pre-employment testing, Excel tests do not expect candidates to know everything. Testing, whether it’s for a basic, intermediate, or advanced level, is supposed to evaluate whether or not candidates have the right skills to do the job. 

For Employers:

Why Is Excel Testing So Important for Employers? 

Due to reasons such as increasing numbers of candidates applying for the same roles, resumes providing misrepresentations of candidates, and more, it has become necessary to screen job applicants during the interview process. Following are some of the main reasons Excel testing is crucial for employers. 

  • Save Time and Resources 

Not only is hiring time-consuming, expensive, and it is challenging to evaluate large numbers of candidates, but it can also be hugely taxing for a company if they make the wrong hire. 

When organizations introduce a pre-employment test into their hiring process, specifically at the beginning, they can reduce these adverse effects. 

This is also true for companies introducing Excel tests. 

Using a test that evaluates a candidates’ abilities gives a guideline of who is qualified and most suitable for the role. 

  • Navigate The Quality of Candidates 

As the job search has become more comfortable with introducing websites and apps, more and more candidates are applying for single positions. However, if hundreds of candidates have applied to a single role, it isn’t easy to zone in who is right for the job.

As risks like candidates misrepresenting their abilities on resumes make it even harder to screen abilities, testing is a great option to narrow down the candidate pool. 

Using a pre-employment excel test is a way to evaluate and compare candidates’ abilities quickly. Making it easier for employers to go through and screen the pool without using excessive amounts of time. 

How To Put Pre-Employment Tests In Place

Once companies have decided that pre-employment tests are for them, there are different ways that these can be put in place. The main way is to go through a pre-employment testing company. 

Pre-employment testing companies have question banks, resources, and experts to help organizations develop the right test for them. By looking through the products that each of the testing companies have, employers can find tests that will work best for their team. 

There is a wide range of options available, from more traditional Microsoft Excel tests, to interactive Excel tests

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For Candidates:

Why Is Preparing for Microsoft Excel Tests Important for Candidates?

When it comes to taking an Excel test, candidates must prepare. As mentioned previously, the number of applicants for a job can be upwards of a hundred. This means that doing well on a pre-employment test can be the difference between being considered or not.

How Can Candidates Prepare?

In preparing for a pre-employment Excel test, candidates know what to expect and are prepared to answer questions. Here are two ways that candidates can prepare themselves:

  • Know What To Expect. 

Microsoft Excel tests are skill-based tests. These tests ask questions that will assess the working excel knowledge candidates have. Using this data, employers can see whether or not the candidate is capable of doing the job. 

By practicing the skills required for the level of proficiency that the role requires, candidates will be able to prepare for the examination. 

Figuring out a guideline of what requirements will be tested for can be done in several ways. These include analyzing the job description for critical areas the role requires, determining the necessary proficiency level, and researching the company. 

  • Practice!

Another tool to help candidates prepare is using practice tests. There are many free practice tests available online, and they are an easily accessible tool to boost confidence and performance. 

Practicing functions and formulas on Microsoft Excel that the desired role requires is also a great way to prepare. Once the necessary level of proficiency is determined, candidates can practice the areas that they are less confident in. 


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