Office of Information Technology

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

MOS Frequently Asked Questions

Since the pilot certification program has a limited number of exams available, requiring a practice score of 800 shows that you have sufficient mastery of the content to use an exam voucher. Also, the official exam is timed, so it is always helpful to take a practice exam to become familiar with the exam environment.

The Microsoft certification exams range from $80-$120. The Gmetrix practice exams are $45 for a single product or $75 for the full suite.

Each GMetrix account holder will have access to practice exams for the full Office Suite (7 exams). Pilot program participants may sit for as many exams as they would like provided they meet the requirements for each exam. OIT has purchased a limited amount of exam vouchers. Once we gauge participants interests we will be able to determine if additional exams are needed that can be provided at no cost or reduced rates.

You may download GMetrix on a personal Windows machine that has Office 2016 installed on it. System requirements may be found on the GMetrix support site.

All active SMU students, faculty, and staff have access to Microsoft Office at no charge. You can install Office on your computer by going to

While there is a Mac version of GMetrix, the Microsoft Office practice exams only work on Windows. This is because the Mac versions of Office do not match the official certification. The tests are specifically designed for Office 2016 for Windows. However, the IT Help Desk offers assistance with installing VirtualBox virtualization software on your Mac which allows you to run Windows software alongside your Mac software. For your convenience, we have also installed GMetrix on most public computers in Fondren Library and the Cox Business Library. In order to access GMetrix on these computers please log in with the credentials provided in the instructions you received upon registration.

You do not need to certify in all of the Office 2016 exams. You can take just the exam of your choice. Please note: The Core exams are not required to take the Expert level exams.

Yes. All public Windows computers in Fondren Library and the Cox Business Library have GMetrix installed on them.

When you are ready to schedule your exam, visit Candidates may schedule more than one exam. However, please keep in mind that certification exams are available on a first-come-first-served basis to those who have passed a practice exam  with a 800 or higher in testing mode.

Testing will be held in Fondren Library East, Room 109.

Outlook saves all of your personal data in a .pst file. This file saves all of your personal settings, and other user specific data. Without administrator rights, the GMetrix SMS software may be unable to unload your profile, and load our sample profile that is used by the test. GMetrix protects personal data,so if there is ever a problem unloading your personal email account, the software simply stops. This is why you may see your own account when you start an Outlook test instead of ours. Here is a workaround that will get the GMetrix sample email account to load.

On your computer, click on the Start menu.
Click on Control Panel.
Click on Mail.
In the dialogue box that comes up, click on Show Profiles.
On the new dialogue window, click Prompt for profile to be used.
Click Ok.

This will prompt you to select which profile to use when opening Outlook. When you are taking the test, you will want to choose the GMetrix profile. This option will pop up every time you access Outlook, inside or out of the GMetrix system. Once you are done taking the test, you can simply go in through the previous steps and uncheck Prompt for profiles to be used to return to normal. Another issue that occurs when the GMetrix Outlook test is running without administrator rights is security alerts from Outlook. With administrator rights, the GMetrix system suppresses these alerts, but without them, you will occasionally get an alert that a program is trying to access something in outlook that is abnormal. That is the GMetrix system trying to grade the question, and should always be allowed. Simply click “allow” or “continue” on any security alerts that pop up, and the system will continue with the test.

Don't worry, you can always retake the exam, but you must wait 24 hours after the initial exam. This gives you plenty of time to take another practice test and study a little more if needed.

If you do not achieve a passing score the second time, you will need to wait 48 hours before retaking the exam a third time or for each subsequent exam retake.

We've made this quick video to give you some information on how to get certified to fulfill a class requirement: