School of Business: Excel Competency Exam

About the Exam: 

The Excel competency exam tests your knowledge of basic Excel functions. This exam is administered through Skills Assessment Manager (SAM), which requires registration at their website (details below.) You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. The exam may be taken a second time in order to receive a passing score.

  • The competency will be noted on one’s transcript as a milestone.

Who should Take the Exam:

Any new freshmen, transfer students, and students electing the Fall 2013 or Fall 2014 (or newer) catalog majoring in Business Administration or Accounting are required to fulfill the Excel competency requirement. Students may fulfill this requirement by passing the Excel competency exam for Excel 2010 administered through SAM, OR by taking COSC 1830, Microcomputer Applications.

Excel competency or its equivalent of COSC 1830 is a prerequisite to the following courses:

  • BUSADMIN   2340        Business Analytics
  • ACCTING     3230        Cost Accounting
  • ACCTING     3030        Accounting Information Systems

The school recommends you take the exam prior to the second semester of your sophomore year. 

Topics Covered in the Exam:

The exam covers basic functions in Excel.  Click here for a list of potential exam topics. (If there are 3 or more topics with which you are unfamiliar, you may find it difficult to pass the exam. Please discuss options with your advisor.) To prepare for the exam prior to registering, check out the links under Study Tutorials on the right side of this page.

There is also a tutorial (Training) available at the SAM site once you are registered. Please take into consideration your skill level when selecting your test date to allow sufficient time to utilize the SAM tutorial prior to testing.  It is highly recommended that you complete the Training once you are logged into the SAM website, to familiarize yourself with their methods in order to complete the exam in the allotted time frame the day of testing.

Exam Fee:

  • $60 for initial exam
  • $15 for one retake

Payment accepted by credit or debit card only.

Test Dates and Times:

  • Tuesday, December 1, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.

All exams will be given at UW-Platteville, Ullrich 110.
(NOTE: Additional dates and times will be added each semester as needed.)

Exam Registration:  

Please be sure to complete the campus AND Skills Assessment Manager (SAM) registration steps. Campus registration must be completed prior to SAM registration. Complete instructions are provided below. Both registrations must be completed in order to log in the day of the exam.

Campus registration:

IMPORTANT: When selecting a test date you should allow at least one to two weeks time prior to the test date in order for the School of Business to process your registration and also to give you sufficient time to utilize the SAM tutorial.

To begin the registration process, click on the date on which you wish to take the exam and complete the online form as prompted. NOTE: Campus registration is required each time you take the exam.

When prompted to enter your e-mail address, please use your campus e-mail (

 Dec. 1,

Jan. 14,

Jan. 19,

Skills Assessment Manager (SAM) registration:

NOTE: Registration at SAM only needs to be completed one time. If you retake the exam, you will need to complete the campus registration again.

Once the School of Business processes  your information from the campus registration date you selected, you will then receive notification with a username and password to use in completing your part of the SAM registration.

Please click here AFTER you receive your username and password to proceed with instructions on how to complete the SAM registration process.

Once you have opened the above document for the instructions, you may access the SAM web page by clicking on the link below.

Notice about Firefox and Adobe Flash:

Please note that Mozilla recently began blocking the Adobe Flash Player from running automatically in the Firefox web browser. SAM exams and trainings require Adobe Flash Player to use. For any Firefox users, you are still able to utilize Flash Player by clicking Activate Adobe Flash on the screen when prompted. Otherwise you can utilize an alternate browser, such as Chrome or Internet Explorer.

skills assessment manager (sam)

Be sure to log out of the SAM website when finished!

Important Reminders:

  • Make sure that you have completed both Campus and SAM registrations.
  • Bring your PASSWORD with you to the exam.
  • Please be sure to bring a photo ID (Driver’s license or UW-Platteville Student ID card) with you the day of your exam.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start of exam.

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