Basic Spreadsheet Proficiency with Microsoft Excel

The basic Microsoft Excel skills test challenges a candidate’s ability to navigate the Excel user interface quickly and efficiently in order to access the right features and perform simple tasks – from determining the best way to open a recently closed Workbook to using the correct formula to perform automatic calculations. Candidates will be required to answer multiple-choice questions based on Excel spreadsheets, charts and tables filled with sample data, as well as images of Excel buttons and tools, testing their ability to:

  • Apply simple fill patterns, formatting, and styles to cells.
  • Identify the proper keyboard shortcuts to accomplish tasks more quickly.
  • Follow the correct steps to make one spreadsheet look like another.
  • Choose the right formula and cell references to automatically calculate values.
  • Perform basic tasks like hiding rows, preventing cell overflow, and pasting data.

Since each question comes with a strict time limit (one minute or less), the test will also measure a candidate’s ability to quickly format, isolate and manipulate data under a significant amount of pressure without any outside help.

element-grad-cap   ABILITIES EVALUATED

  • Ability to navigate and modify an Excel workbook by identifying common tools, applying basic keyboard shortcuts, and manipulating columns and rows
  • Ability to apply basic sorting and filtering options as well as statistical functions to explore and summarize values
  • Ability to customize the look and feel of a workbook using cell formatting tools

element-grad-cap   QUESTION FORMAT

  • Multiple Choice

element-grad-cap   LANGUAGE

  • English

element-grad-cap   DIFFICULTY

  • Easy


Job candidates with key Microsoft Excel skills have the ability to create, update, and maintain professional, smart spreadsheets to display and keep track of essential business records, documents, and data. Hiring an employee with a solid foundational knowledge of Excel spreadsheet software has the power to transform your business, allowing you to extract insights from large amounts of information, manage complex calculations with ease, improve data entry processes, and meet important goals with lower overhead.

The basic Microsoft Excel skills test takes each of your candidates through day-to-day spreadsheet tasks that reflect real-life job responsibilities, allowing you to gauge their expertise with fundamental Excel features, tools, and navigation controls.

The basic Microsoft Excel skills test helps predict a job candidate’s ability to:

  • Make data easy for others to understand with cell styles and professional formatting.
  • Perform simple calculations with MAX, MIN, AVERAGE and SUM functions.
  • Identify the right Excel tools to create useful reports, charts, tables, and lists.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to maximize productivity and complete tasks faster.
  • Employ sort, filter, calculate, and other functions to make sense of data.

Use this Excel proficiency test to automate the screening process for entry-level or experienced job candidates, especially administrative assistants, data entry clerks, salespeople, retail store managers or any other roles requiring data-driven employees with exceptional attention to detail, data management skills and a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel.


Sample Question #1

If you COPY Column A, which PASTE function generates Column B?

A: Paste Values and Number Formatting
B: Paste Formulas
C: Paste Formulas and Number Formatting
D: Paste Values and Source Formatting
E: Paste Values

Sample Question #2

Which tool would stop the words in Cell A3 from overflowing into Cell B3?


  • Administrative & Customer Support
  • Business Operations & Management
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Science & Research
  • Technology


The Basic Spreadsheet Proficiency with Microsoft Excel module content was developed by the Indeed Assessment Science Team, with expertise in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Instructional Design, Education, and Graphic Design. In addition, team members worked in collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs). Indeed’s SMEs are required to demonstrate experience performing at a high level, supervisory experience, or responsibility for defining requirements for those jobs that require Microsoft Excel skills.