The typical time it takes to complete modules 1 through 4 of the Microsoft Excel certification course can vary considerably depending on several key factors related to the individual learner and their background and experience with Excel. On average most learners can expect it to take between 30-50 hours total to work through the content and assessments for these first 4 modules.
The Microsoft Excel certification is broken down into 7 modules that progressively build on the learners skills and knowledge. Modules 1-4 cover the foundational concepts and tasks in Excel including things like navigating the Excel environment, entering and editing data, formatting cells and sheets, adding basic formulas and functions. Since these introductory modules are laying the groundwork for more advanced topics, they require taking time to understand concepts thoroughly before moving on.
For a learner who has little to no prior experience using Excel, the estimated time for each module would be:
Module 1: Fundamentals – 6-10 hours
This introductory module provides an overview of the Excel workspace and interface. It takes extra time for new users to familiarize themselves with where everything is located and get comfortable navigating between different areas in the program. Formatting basic worksheets and entering text, number, and formula data requires learning new skills.
Module 2: Formatting – 5-8 hours
Adding cell formats, styles, themes, and other formatting options takes time to understand how each tool works and when to apply them properly. Finding and applying the right formatting to organize and visualize data efficiently requires experimentation. Learning formatting fundamentals like colors, fonts, alignment is crucial.
Module 3: Formulas & Functions – 10-15 hours
This is often the most challenging module for beginners as it introduces core spreadsheet calculation concepts. Figuring out formula syntax, relative vs absolute references, and utilizing basic functions involves a lot of hands-on practice building and troubleshooting formulas. Multiple practice exercises are needed to gain proficiency.
Module 4: Data Management – 8-12 hours
Manipulating data in Excel is an important skill and this module covers essential techniques like filtering, sorting, find/replace. It also introduces more advanced topics such as outlining, subtotals, and pivot tables which requires dedicated study time to understand how each tool works and its business uses. Multiple trial-and-error sessions are typical.
For an experienced Excel user with some prior knowledge but not formal certification, the estimated time needed per module would likely be a bit shorter:
Module 1: Fundamentals – 4-6 hours
Familiarity with the interface can shorten learning curve, but review of all areas is still recommended.
Module 2: Formatting – 3-5 hours
Knowing core formatting reduces time vs a complete novice, but best practices always benefit from review.
Module 3: Formulas & Functions – 8-10 hours
Strengths and weaknesses need assessment. Focus on troubleshooting skills and lesser known functions.
Module 4: Data Management – 6-8 hours
Leverage existing skills while ensuring competency on all tools introduced like pivot tables through extended hands-on practice.
For both novice and experienced learners, the assessments embedded within each online module and the practice exercises provided are crucial components that expand the estimated completion times. Multiple attempts may be needed to pass some of the quizzes and scenario-based assignments. Taking adequate breaks and review sessions also enhances retention of the material for the long-term.
To thoroughly learn the foundational concepts in Excel required to pass the certification exams, most learners can expect it to realistically require 30-50 cumulative hours of focused study time to work through modules 1-4 of the Microsoft Excel certification course depending on their starting experience level and ability to apply the skills hands-on. With diligent practice and self-evaluation along the way, both novice and experienced users alike can establish a solid baseline Excel proficiency from which to build on in later certification modules.