Certiport Competitions 101

Each year, Certiport hosts two student competitions: the Adobe Certified Professional Championship and the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Championship. These student competitions bring technology certifications to life for your students, provide them with a positive platform to showcase their skills, and give them a unique opportunity to earn valuable rewards and recognition.

Helping your student participate in these fabulous events can leave educators with lots of questions. Don’t worry, we’re here to answer them. Here are some details to help you understand how to get your students involved in the MOS and Adobe Certified Professional Championships.

What is the MOS Championship?

The Microsoft Office Specialist Championship presented by Certiport, Inc. is a competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Top students are invited to represent their respective states at the US National Championship. At the US National Championship, each student competes for National Champion in his or her category.

What is the Adobe Certified Professional Championship?

The Adobe Certified Professional Championship presented by Certiport is a competition that tests students’ design skills using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Top students are invited to represent their respective states at the US National Championship where they will create a designated design project for Certiport’s chosen nonprofit client.

How do my students enter the Championships?

Entry into the MOS and Adobe Championship differs. To enter the MOS Championship, students can participate in the Championship by taking a qualifying Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam and entering their score into the MOS World Championship. There are two qualification periods: the Fall and Spring. At the conclusion of each qualification period, competitors with the top scores will be invited to compete at the MOS US National Championship.

The Adobe Championship requires two steps to qualify. First, a designer must pass one or more of the following exams by the end of the qualifying period:

  • Adobe Certified Professional Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Certified Professional in Print & Digital Media, Publication using Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Certified Professional in Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator.

Second, a designer must also enter an original design project with accompanying source files (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or InDesign) to the submission form on the competition website. Similar to the MOS Championship, there are two qualification periods: the Fall and Spring. At the conclusion of each qualification period, competitors with the top design projects will be invited to compete at the Adobe Certified Professional US National Championship.

What versions of the software are used at the Championship?

The 2023 MOS Championship will include the following six tracks:

  • Microsoft Word (Office 2016)
  • Microsoft Excel® (Office 2016)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (Office 2016)
  • Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)
  • Microsoft Excel® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)

At the Adobe Championship, students will be working in the most recently released version of Adobe Creative Cloud. At the event, they’ll be able to work in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and/or Adobe InDesign.

What are the qualifications to compete?

Anyone may participate in the qualification round of testing, but to participate in the US National and World Championship events, candidates must be students that are enrolled in an approved, degree-seeking academic institution recognized by the state in which it operates. Students must also be between the ages of 13 and 22 (as of June 15 of the competition year).

What kind of exam do competitors take at the competition? Is it the same as the certification exam?

For the MOS Championship, competitors will be taking a completely new exam. Like the certification exam, this will be project based. However, since the competition tests the most advanced students from around the country, candidates are encouraged to study and prepare for topics outside the certification exam. A great way to prepare is to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert exams.

For the Adobe Championship, students will not be taking an exam at all. Designers create a project for a non-profit client. This means that competitors will use the skills from the certification exam and apply them in a real-world design scenario.

Where can I learn more?

Still left with questions about what to expect at the Certiport Championship events and how to help your students prepare? We want to talk through it all! On Friday, September 30th, we’re hosting a special “lunch and learn” webinar session with the Certiport team. In this session, we will outline everything you need to know about the annual Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Adobe Certified Professional student competitions. You’ll learn who can participate, how you can encourage your students to get involved, what they’ll experience, and how you can help them make the most of these fun and educational events.

You can catch the recap of the Certiport Competitions 101 webinar here.