Hi Adam! Fantastic achievement and a huge well done to you! Tell us, how did you hear about the competition?
I heard about the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) exams through my school: we originally had an assembly where our teacher, Mr Hunter told us that we could do this exam to show the world how good we are at computing, and for the best person on the Island there was a prize of a trip to London, to compete there.
The winner of that (he said this as if we’d never make it to London!) got an all-expenses paid trip to Florida to compete in the WORLD FINALS.
And that was it! I passed and excelled (if you’ll mind the office pun) beyond everyone’s expectations…
What did the test actually consist of?
So, for the test at school & in the Island finals, it was all done using the computer software. I was given seven projects (one after the other) each with five completely different tasks on each. The tasks in each of the projects were usually related, however each project could be completely different – one could involve images, and another could have references or linking to external files for example.
At both London and Florida, the exams were completely different, you were given a printed document to replicate, a list of some basic instructions that couldn’t be figured from the document e.g. font styles or table size, and on the computer there was some plain text (either in a document or just a text file), an image and a Word document.
We were then given 50 minutes to replicate it to the best of our ability, using both the basic instructions and the visual aid of the document.
In Florida, the exam was mostly based on Mail Merge, creating a letter to send to two people. I enjoyed this and found it easier than London, however others did not.
Did you find the final project-based tests challenging?
I did find it challenging, the final exams were definitely harder! We were basically copying a document, whereas in the first few exams we were told what to do and just had to show them we could do it.
How does it feel to be 3rd in the World for Microsoft Word?!
It feels amazing! As I have said to pretty much everyone else, it came as a big shock to me, our little Island being 3rd best at something in the whole world really is something I did not expect.
I am extremely happy for us, and also for the whole of the British Isles as I was also representing them in Florida.
Not only that, I’m just happy that people now know what the Isle of Man is; many of the people at the event didn’t know we existed and were baffled that our flag was a real thing as it was so cool!
What’s next for you?
Well as I’m only 15, I am still at school, preparing for GCSEs later this year and next year, and hoping to do Sixth Form after that. At the moment, life is study, study and more studying, however I, along with many others from this year’s World Championships are all aiming to get back to next year’s Championships in New York, in order to meet up again.
It’s crazy how close a group of people with such similar interests can become in such a small period of time – the event was only 4 days and yet I feel like I have been friends with the people for many months.
Finally, what do you plan on spending your winnings on?!
I would like to buy both a MacBook and an iPhone, as I currently don’t own either! I don’t have enough for them both yet so I imagine once I get the money, I’ll put it into a bank account and generate some interest in my account for a while until I can decide how to split it.
I would also like to put some money towards a car, as it is now less than four months until I can drive!
Amazing work, and good luck for the future Adam!