Microsoft Word is used for word-processing and is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. It's used principally for creating and proofreading documents like letters, manuscripts, reports, tests and assignments.
Many employers use Microsoft Word as their office’s word-processing system, and hence expect team members to be proficient in the use and understanding of it. As such, job candidates can be tested in their Word proficiency as part of their job application.
- Why Might Candidates Be Tested for Microsoft Word Proficiency?
- What Format Are Microsoft Word Tests Likely to Take?
- Example Questions
- Tips and Advice for a Microsoft Word Proficiency Test
- Further Reading
Why Might Candidates Be Tested for Microsoft Word Proficiency ?
Microsoft Word is currently the most commonly used word processor available. As such, many businesses ask job candidates to take a proficiency test as part of the recruitment process. Such tests will have a variety of difficulty levels, depending on the role applied for.
In some instances, a practice task may be provided for candidates to take part in, or a Microsoft Word test may be provided for candidates to complete as part of the interview process.
What Format Are Microsoft Word Tests Likely to Take?
Usually, Microsoft Word tests are divided into delivery methods – these can be interactive tests or multiple-choice tests. Both test types come with a range of levels – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The level of testing required will depend on the job role and the employer’s preference.
Most commonly, the topics covered in these tests are formatting, file management, printing, editing, tools and automation, and tables and graphics.
Interactive Microsoft Word Tests
Most commonly used, the interactive tests use simulations to test Word ability. During the test, the applicant is asked to perform a list of tasks using a combination of the toolbars, menus and shortcut keys that are found within the program.
Typically this test is conducted on an interface that is extremely similar to the program itself. The aim is to see how well they can perform common tasks in Word.
Multiple-Choice Microsoft Word Tests
The alternative is multiple-choice tests. These are designed to test an applicant’s knowledge of theory, rather than ability to use the tools. There is a common misconception that this testing type is easier than the interactive test to complete; this is not necessarily the case.
As you are not able to look at the software while completing this test, you need to have a strong knowledge of a variety of Microsoft Word’s functions and layout. You also need to know where on the screen certain features are situated and what each aspect of the program is called and used for.
Example Interactive Questions
You will be given a word document that contains some text and will be asked to perform certain tasks. For example:
Wedding Guest List
Basic Level Questions
- Save the document to your desktop.
- Sort the names in each list alphabetically.
- Set line spacing to 1.15.
- Use bullet points for the names in both lists separately.
Advanced Level Questions
- Record a Macro that will change the font to Georgia, the size to 16 and the colour to red. Name the macro: ‘FontFormat’ and assign it the shortcut ‘Alt+S’.
- Insert a Bookmark next to ‘Groom’s Family’. Name it ‘Groom’.
- Add in ‘Visit our wedding website’ and hyperlink it to ‘www.ourweddingwebsite.com’.
- Click on File, Save As, Browse and find the Desktop. Add a file name and click Save.
- Select the text in the first list, click on Home and then Paragraph. Find the Sort Text icon and click OK. Repeat for the second list.
- Select all text by using the shortcut ctrl+a. In Home and then Paragraph, find the Line and Paragraph Spacing icon. Click on 1.15.
- Select the text in the first name list. In Home and Paragraph, find the Bullet Library icon and click to add bullet points. Repeat this process for the second name list.
- Click View, Macros and Record Macro. Type the name of the macro as specified in the question. To add a keyboard shortcut click Keyboard. Add the shortcut specified in the question. Click Assign. Then record the steps of the macro using the keyboard to make the steps (not the mouse). Stop recording by pressing the Stop Recording button in View and Macros.
- Select text. Click on Insert, Bookmark. Choose a name and click Add.
- Type in the text specified. Select the text. Go to Insert and under the Links tab, click Link. Under Address, add in the website address and click OK.
Example Multiple-Choice Questions
Which tool do you use to make the text flow all the way around a picture?
b) Track Changes
c) Wrap Text
What is the keyboard shortcut for Thesaurus?
Tips and Advice for a Microsoft Word Proficiency Test
As each of the Microsoft Word tests cover a diverse range of topics with questions pulled randomly from a bank of over 1,000 questions, it's vital that candidates take the time to properly prepare for the test that they are undertaking. Follow these guidelines:
- Minimize stress – While you might not think that the questions or tasks will be difficult to manage, many candidates feel stressed and anxious by the process of the testing itself, and this can lead to mistakes. By taking the time to practise beforehand, applicants can become more familiar with the types of interfaces used and the processes that make up these tests.
- Familiarize yourself with Word – It can also help to prepare for these kinds of tests by taking the time to have a ‘play around’ with Microsoft Word. Spend some time reacquainting yourself with different areas of the program, or exploring functions you didn't know about.
- Do your research – If there is an area of Microsoft Word that you are not sure about, such as customising the ‘Quick Access Bar’, using the ‘File Tab’ to generate a backstage view, or looking at ‘Print Layout View’, you can search online for resources that will give you an insight into these specific tasks.
- Take practice tests – There are lots of practice tests available online and simulations to help you prepare for the Microsoft Word test. Resources such as JobTestPrep are worth checking out.
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