# Excel crash course?

#### fcarruth

##### New Member
First off, great website!! I have found numerous resolutions here and am hoping for another one this time as well.

I have an interview Monday and am going to have to take an "Excel skills activity" test for part of an employment screen. I have supported MS Office products from 95 up to 2003 but never ever really had to do anything with Excel. All I had to do was to verify that the program itself was working properly and then to help the end user with their use issues.

I have no idea what this Skills test will be but am just looking for some info on sort of doing a cram session over the weekend if you all could lead me in the right direction?

In other words, anything that you can say or anywhere you could lead me in the direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any info you all may shoot my way.

Frank

PS: I am pretty sure it will be Excel 2003 but I figure that basics are basics for the most part? Sort of like Word, Access and PowerPoint??

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#### Smitty

##### Legend
Welcome to the Board!

Maybe run down to your nearest temp agency and see if they'll let you take one of their tests? I know we have a deal with a few for prospective employees.

I might take a look at the Microsoft Template Gallery (I don't have the link on this PC or I'd post it). Play with some of the templates and formulas.

There are also free Excel "Tutorials" if you Google it.

Hope that helps,

Smitty

#### MarkAndrews

##### Well-known Member
I'm guessing if its just basic skills, it will probably involve just the basic functions in excel, addition, subtraction, division & multiplication

Every test i've taken in the UK has involved the very basics of Excel & non of the complicated functions

Google should be able to assist you

#### Gettingbetter

##### Well-known Member
I did one once, and confidently walked in thinking I will have no problems, then the program said subtotal range whatever,

No problem I thought and clicked Tools from the toolbar instead of Data and it marked it as incorrect.

I was very pissed because I thought theres more to knowing Excel than remembering the toolbars. (I subsequently broke the code and gave myself full marks which to me meant I was good enough to get them, ha ha) and I got the Job and re-wrote it.

What Im trying to say is maybe have a quick look where everything is on the toolbars just in case.

#### fcarruth

##### New Member
I'll study the toolbar of my 2003 and Google info as well.

Thanks folks for helping me out.

Frank

#### Darren Bartrup

##### Well-known Member
I've done a couple of these tests. As GettingBetter said - learn the toolbar as those automated tests don't seem to recognise shortcut keys.

The kind of things I was asked were:
Sort data, autofilter, autosum, formatting cells (currency/percentage, etc), creating very basic charts, adding headers & footers, setting the page up (page break view, portrait/landscape).

That was about it really. Might be worth looking at basic pivot tables and freezing panes to.

Of course, if it's a test set up actually on Excel (rather than some kind of powerpoint presentation thing) then you might get anything... I've had to design those tests before for new employees and I'm nasty

#### Lewiy

##### Well-known Member
Every test I have ever done in Excel has had nothing to do with functions and formulas but is more concerned with changing font size, inserting headers and using copy and paste. Of course, all of this has to be done without keyboard shortcuts and toolbar buttons which is mighty infuriating. I’m sure (due to the lack of competency of the test writer) that they just take a Word test and try to do the same things in Excel. It seems that all they are ever interested in is making print-outs look pretty despite the fact that the data on it is arranged like a bovine’s backside!!

I’ve yet to find a test (even after trawling through the web) that actually tests competency with functions and formulas because 99% of the world don’t even realise that they exist, let alone know that they might actually help them!!

Good luck!

#### Norie

##### Well-known Member
I took one of these tests once, and faced a similar problem as GettingBetter.

I just didn't use the expected method to complete the task.

But still got marked down for not using the 'correct' method.

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