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Certiport Names U.S. Champions in Global Microsoft Office Competition

More than 25,000 students in 41 countries competed to see just who's best at Word and Excel.

Two high school students were recently named the top U.S. finalists in the 2005 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. Sponsor Certiport made the announcement last Wednesday, recognizing students Amy Jeffries, 18, and Jessica Warren, 17, for their outstanding performance on the Microsoft Office Specialist Word and Excel certification exams, respectively.

More than 25,000 students from 41 countries and all 50 states participated in the competition by taking either a Microsoft Office Specialist Word or Excel certification exam at one of Certiport’s test centers worldwide.

"This worldwide competition provides an annual opportunity for aspiring champions to prove their skills on the level playing field of globally recognized standards of office productivity," said David Saedi, president and CEO of Certiport. "The outcome of this contest will undoubtedly show that tens of thousands of students worldwide are stepping up to the challenge to prove their skills with Microsoft Office … Acquiring these validated desktop computing skills is vital to improving job performance and achieving career success."

Jessica Warren
Jessica Warren, Certiport Worldwide Competition finalist in Excel

In Jessica’s case, she’s personally had experience in putting her Office skills to use. In addition to school work, the student from Reed High School from Sparks, Nev., related how even her boss and supervisors have asked for her help in solving computer problems.

But she and Amy, a student from Foster High School in Richmond, Texas, didn’t just take the exams cold. Like athletes, they put in hours of training to get mentally fit. On how she, and some of her classmates, prepared for the competition, Jessica said, “Practice. It’s simple as that. We constantly were doing exercises and our teacher would correct us and help us with the mistakes we made and made sure we got the concepts.” The key to Amy’s Office workouts were the practice exams, because “they prepared me for what to expect on the actual test. By test day I was very confident.”

Amy Jeffries
Amy Jeffries, Certiport Worldwide Competition finalist in Word

The two will join all the other country champions for a final showdown at the 2005 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 12-15. Besides competing to become either the Word or Excel champion of the world by taking an exam specifically designed for the competition finals, the contestants will be able to enjoy Disney World and various cultural, social and technology learning activities. In the end, the two worldwide champions in Word and Excel will each take home a Microsoft-sponsored “technology kit” containing $4,000-worth of digital productivity tools.

"The Microsoft Office System sparks new student ideas and enhances creativity and learning," said Al Valvano, group product manager of Microsoft Learning. "It's the standard to which secondary and university instructors around the world are teaching Microsoft Technology. The 2005 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office presented by Certiport recognizes the achievements of the thousands of students worldwide who are becoming more effective with Microsoft Office Specialist certification."

To date, more than 2 million Microsoft Office Specialist certifications have been issued worldwide in 17 languages.

For more information on the competition, go to http://www.certiport.com/competition.

About the Author

Dan Hong is the associate Web editor of MCPmag.com, CertCities.com, TCPmag.com, Redmondmag.com and RCPmag.com.

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