Fife High School sophomore Kennethan Heng is now $1,000 richer thanks to his outstanding performance on Microsoft Office Specialist certification testing.
Administered by his then-teacher Keith Hannah when Heng was in his last year at Columbia Junior High, the testing delved deeply into Heng’s knowledge of Word, PowerPoint and Excel as it did for all the students taking the certification course on each of these programs. The course includes a full semester, or 18 weeks, of study – eight weeks on Word, three weeks on PowerPoint and seven weeks on Excel. In the final testing, students must get a minimum passing score of 700 out of a possible 1,000 on each of these three subjects and Heng scored 1,000 on the Word and PowerPoint tests, which helped lead his school to be among the top 15 in the state for the percentage of the student body that is now Microsoft Office certified.
“I haven’t had anybody get 1,000 on Word before Kennethan,” Hannah said. “I had a couple other students who got perfect scores on one test, but he got it on two tests.” What’s more is that Heng had not used Word before, relying instead on Google Docs for his work processing needs.
As part of the certification process, each of the top 15 schools received $1,000 to distribute any way they chose, and Hannah chose Heng to receive it based on the student’s perfect scores.
“I’ll probably put it in the bank and save it up for college tuition, or other large expenses like my first car maybe,” Heng said. He wants to seek higher education after high school toward an engineering or business degree. “As Mr. Hannah says, a business degree can get you many places.”
Heng is a true “child of Fife Schools,” having gone there ever since kindergarten. He is also active in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), which Hannah introduced him to in ninth grade.
Hannah said he had a full house of students for this Microsoft Office certification round, and that they produced some impressive test results. “The industry pass rate is somewhere between 25-30 percent on the initial take of the test, and we were over 50 percent. These ninth-graders were certifying at a higher pass percentage than people in the workforce.”
The way in which one prepares for the tests makes a difference, according to Hannah.
“I think a lot of people assume that since they used Word or PowerPoint before that they can go in and just take the test and pass it. The reality is that those certification tests dig much deeper than the surface and so there are a lot of features that come up on that test that people maybe don’t readily use on a day-to-day basis. I hear students say all the time, ‘I didn’t know it could do that.’ They leave with a much deeper understanding of what they can do with it.”