BHS Student First to Earn 'Expert' Microsoft Certification

Brookfield High School Sophomore Zachariah Karg is the first student in the district’s history to receive a Microsoft Office 2016 Expert Certification! The distinction came on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, after Karg formally passed the Microsoft Excel certification examination.  “I am pretty proud of the certification,” Karg says with a smile. “It took a lot of time and effort, so this is quite the achievement for me!” As a Freshman, Karg earned Specialist certifications in both the Word 2016 and PowerPoint 2016 applications, so he now has a total of three Microsoft certifications.

Students at Brookfield High School are able to take Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification tests in their Computer Applications II class. The class is designed to provide students with an in-depth look at the workings of Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. “Students are taking and leaving this course with marketable, relevant skills that employers are seeking,” says instructor George Lesnansky. “The certifications students can earn, on top of the general knowledge, only improves their chances for employability once they leave Brookfield High School.”

Following the completion of their classwork, students then use GMetrix (an online course of study) to prepare for the exams and take the exams through Certiport. Those who are testing have 50 minutes to complete a 35-question exam that tests their knowledge of a particular application. “The tests are definitely difficult, I had to take the Excel exam twice,” Karg says. “But the practice tests and videos really helped me prepare.”  Exam proctor, Certiport, distributes multiple versions of its tests, therefore, each one has different passing standards, though all measure and certify an equal level of skill, knowledge, and ability.

The in-depth knowledge Karg says he’s gained of the various Microsoft applications has helped him immensely. “Knowing how to use the features of these programs makes the task at hand much easier to complete,” he says. “I now know how to manipulate the program to make it do what I want it to do, whether it’s formatting in Word, creating formulas in Excel, or designing presentations in PowerPoint, I know how to make it happen.”

Karg is not alone, either. Since implementing the program at Brookfield High School during the 2020-2021 school year, 21 students and one teacher have earned Microsoft certifications in various applications including Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Excel 2016, Word 2019/365, and Excel 2019. One student even received the third highest score on the Word 2019 exam for the State of Ohio in the spring of 2021. “Students who pass the Microsoft Exams earn Industry Recognized Credentials that allow them to prove competencies in Microsoft Office,” Lesnansky explains. “These exams are challenging and students who pass have an ability to study, focus, and learn, and can use these skills in advanced studies or in careers.”

With two years left to go in his high school career, Karg has plenty of time to earn additional certifications. He’s still eligible to test for Access 2016, Outlook 2016, Word 2016 (Expert), and Excel 2016 (Expert). While he hasn’t yet decided just how many tests he’ll take, he does know every certification he can earn, will only help him reach his future goals. “It’s a really rewarding experience to get these certifications,” he says. “They’re helping me now in school and as I do more, they’ll continue to help as I work towards a career in the IT field.”
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