Professional Development

What is the “Prove It” Test?

Written by Peter Jones

You’ve been invited to take a Kenexa “Prove It” Test, which means it’s time to put your money where your mouth is in terms of your Microsoft Office skills. This test will help you demonstrate your abilities with programs like Word and Excel, as well as identifying any particular strengths or weaknesses.

What’s on It

The aim of this test is to “prove” that you have the skills and ability to use Microsoft Office at your new job without too much guidance or prep. Potential employers want to get a sense of what you know and whether or not you’ll be able to hit the ground running with administrative skills as soon as you start.

For example, in the past, the Excel exam has tested the following skills:

  • Opening a workbook
  • Inserting/deleting columns and rows
  • Changing font styles/sizes
  • Formatting cells as currency/decimals
  • Using the sum/average functions
  • Aligning text
  • Saving/printing
  • Aligning text
  • Creating borders
  • Renaming a Worksheet
  • Changing column width
  • Inserting a chart or worksheet
  • Wrapping text
  • Merging cells
  • Sorting by different values
  • Adding headers/footers

As you can see, this is a basic overview of all the things you can do within the program. Make sure you have a good sense of all these basics, and more. The aim is not to be tentative about anything when you go in on test day—you want to be able to complete every request without much pause or confusion.

How to Prepare

It can increase your confidence and help you practice. Even if you’re sure you know how to use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, you need to make sure you don’t panic and forget everything under the pressure of an official test of your skills.

Use a site like JobTestPrep to prepare with free sample questions and tips for test-taking. Or opt for a Kenexa PrepPack in which you can take a variety of tests and assessments online—with timed tests and score reports and everything. The detailed answer explanations are particularly useful for cementing concepts that you might not yet quite fully understand.

Finally, check out this collection of YouTube Microsoft tutorials for all areas of Office. Whatever you need, that page has you covered.

The Exam

Once you get to the actual exam, know that you’ll have 14 days to take your assessments. The length of each varies—from 15-30 minutes for non-technical assessments, to 45-60 minutes for more technical ones. The assessments are not timed, but this is the average amount of time needed to take them.

You can’t skip any questions or return to previous screens to change your answers. But you can take the assessment again—as many times as you wish. Employers will not have access to your results, though a staffing agency might ask you to take one of these tests to determine what you’re best at—which skills on your resume are provable, and where you might match best.

Good luck on your test! May you get the job you seek and prove you have what it takes.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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