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Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

What is the Microsoft Access Certification?

May 16th, 2023 | 7 min. read

McKenna Garrison

McKenna Garrison

McKenna Garrison joined the iCEV marketing team in 2022 as the Content Marketing Specialist. Originally from a small town on the Gulf of Mexico, Garrison attended Texas Tech University from which she graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations & Strategic Community and an M.A. in Mass Communication & Media Studies. Garrison looks forward to bringing more of a storytelling element to iCEV social media pages. She also hopes to connect other CTE educators from around the country to the incredible curricula and resources iCEV has to offer.

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If your students want to earn a Microsoft Access Certification, it’s paramount that you have all the information and tools ready to help them find success. It can be frustrating, however, when you’re not quite sure what will be on the exam or how to best prepare your kids for it. 

As a certification prep provider, educators often ask us what is needed for students to be successful on certification exams.

While there are many options to choose from when selecting a Microsoft Access prep resource, it’s essential you’re fully informed on what each course offers.


In this article, you’ll discover answers to the two most common questions CTE teachers like you ask:

  1. What do my students need to know for the Microsoft Access certification?
  2. How do I best prepare students for the Microsoft Access certification?


By better understanding this exam and its components, you can help your students pass and earn their certifications.


What Do My Students Need to Know for the Microsoft Access Certification?

The Microsoft Access Certification demonstrates that your students are competent in database design principles and can effectively use Microsoft Access. Students taking the exam should have approximately 150 hours of instruction as well as hands-on experience with the tool.

When students earn this certification, it showcases to employers that they possess the skills to manage data more efficiently and analyze large amounts of information.


The exam consists of 31 questions covering five domains. These domains are:

  1. Managing databases
  2. Creating and modifying tables
  3. Creating and modifying queries
  4. Modifying forms in layout view
  5. Modifying reports in layout view


By understanding what students will be tested on during the exam, you can ensure the prep material and lesson plans you implement will truly prepare your students for success.


1. Managing Databases

The first domain has three key objectives, mainly focused on database management skills. They are:

1.1 Modify database structure

  • Import objects or data from other sources
  • Delete database objects
  • Hide and display objects in the Navigation Pane


1.2 Manage table relationships and keys

  • Understand relationships
  • Display relationships
  • Set primary keys
  • Enforce referential integrity
  • Set foreign keys


1.3 Print and export data

  • Configure print options for records, forms, and reports
  • Export objects to alternative formats


2. Create and Modify Tables

The second domain of the Microsoft Access certification includes four cornerstones to creating and modifying tables:

2.1 Create tables

  • Import data into tables
  • Create linked tables from external sources
  • Import tables from other databases


2.2 Manage tables

  • Hide fields in tables
  • Add total rows
  • Add table descriptions


2.3 Manage table records

  • Find and replace data
  • Sort records
  • Filter records


2.4 Create and modify fields

  • Add and remove fields
  • Add validation rules to fields
  • Change field captions
  • Change field sizes
  • Change field data types
  • Configure fields to auto-increment
  • Set default values
  • Apply built-in input masks


3. Create and Modify Queries

The third domain includes two objectives centered around creating and modifying queries:

3.1 Create and run queries

  • Create simple queries
  • Create basic crosstab queries
  • Create basic parameter queries
  • Create basic action queries
  • Create basic multi-table queries
  • Save queries
  • Run queries


3.2 Modify queries

  • Add, hide, and remove fields in queries
  • Sort data within queries
  • Filter data within queries
  • Format fields within queries


4. Modify Forms in Layout View

The penultimate domain includes two objectives focused on modifying forms in the layout view:

4.1 Configure form controls

  • Add, move, and remove form controls
  • Set form control properties
  • Add and modify form labels


4.2 Format fonts

  • Modify tab order on forms
  • Sort records by form field
  • Modify form positioning
  • Insert information in form headers and footers
  • Insert images on forms


5. Modify Reports in Layout View

The final domain consists of two objectives related to modifying reports in the layout view:

5.1 Configure report controls

  • Group and sort fields on reports
  • Add report controls
  • Add and modify labels on reports


5.2 Format reports

  • Format a report into multiple columns
  • Modify report positioning
  • Format report elements
  • Change report orientation
  • Insert information in report headers and footers
  • Insert images on reports


How Do I Prepare My Students for the Microsoft Access Certification?

Helping your students understand what is included in the Access certification is only half the battle. The second, crucial piece, is preparing them for success on their exams. To do that, you need the right prep resource

Currently, GMetrix offers practice exams and a prep course through LearnKey. These materials would be a strong fit for teachers who already have an Access curriculum and simply need resources to prep students directly for the exam. On the other hand, for teachers who need a curriculum to help teach students Access concepts, GMetrix would probably be insufficient. 

Additionally, iCEV offers an Access certification prep curriculum. This comprehensive course includes multimedia lessons, video instruction, assessments, and hands-on activities. In short, everything you need to both teach your students and prepare them for their certification exam. 

With this blended learning approach, you can save yourself time preparing lesson plans to accompany supplemental prep courses and focus on helping your students pass the Access certification exam.

Interested in implementing iCEV into your classroom? Explore the iCEV Microsoft Access Certification preparation content.

Explore Microsoft Access Certification Prep