Last Updated: 2/11/2017

Today’s high tech office environment calls for sophisticated solutions for dealing with business data.  In the Microsoft Office Solutions competition, teams will use Word, Excel, Power Point, and Access to create an end to end data management and presentation solution.  Successful teams will demonstrate creative thinking to solve business problems and an in depth knowledge of the MS Office suite.

Team Composition

Your team may be made up of 1-2 students.


This contest will take place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM


B=Baseline/Expected, M=Mastery/Probable, A=Advanced/Possible B M A
  Create and edit documents using themes, styles, templates X    
  Insert and format digital pictures, text boxes, and use multiple columns X    
  Export/Print documents to various formats and applications X    
  Insert headers, footers, number pages, footnotes and citations X    
  Insert and format shapes, clip art, SmartArt, and a table X    
  Enter, format, and sort data in a table X    
  Create a watermark using a graphic   X  
  Use mail merge, including inserting merge fields   X  
  Enter formulas in a table (Calculate totals, etc.)     X
  Create worksheets and modify properties, page layout, formatting, and themes X    
  Create and modify charts and various chart properties and data ranges X    
  Insert and use existing Excel functions (IF, VLOOKUP, financial functions, etc.) X    
  Create formulas using absolute and mixed cell references and named references X    
  Create and use a data table, including sorting and filtering   X  
  Create Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts   X  
  Import data from a text file, Access database or xml file   X  
  Use Goal Seek/Scenario Manager/Solver for analysis/recommendations     X
  Design a database to satisfy a collection of requirements using various field types X    
  Specify referential integrity, validation rules, default values, and formats X    
  Create and relate additional tables from either new or imported data X    
  Create and use various queries (parameter, criteria, update, delete, etc.) X    
  Create and use forms based on queries, including sub forms X    
  Use Joins, calculated fields, sorting, and compound criteria in queries   X  
  Create and use reports with grouping, sorting, totals, and conditional values   X  
  Create a menu (aka Switchboard)as the default when a database is opened     X
  Create and format a presentation, including styles, transitions, and themes X    
  Insert and format clip art, multi-media clips, shapes, SmartArt, and pictures X    
  Create, format or Import a chart or table X    
  Insert, modify, or delete text and comments X    
  Insert,  import, modify or delete slides, including slide properties X    
  Add hyperlinks to slides, objects, or other Microsoft Office documents   X  
  Use Slide Master to modify slide types   X  
  Add action buttons, action settings, and control presentation timing   X  


The competition is designed for Office 2013 or 2010.

Competitors who use a different version of MS Office can still participate, however, if requirements are not met due to version differences competitors may end up losing points from the possible scoring criteria.


The problem statement requires a complete solution and the standards for all four applications are the same high level. The difference comes in the level of detail in the instructions vs. the level of creativity and independent thought required. The problem statement consists of five sections as described below:

  1. Introduction
    1. Summarizes the business problem and provides background information about the client.
    2. Expected length is 1 page.
  2. Access – 30%
    1. Access is generally the application that is least familiar to students. Unfortunately, databases are the foundation of all organizational information systems. Therefore, the database section requires substantial effort, but it also includes much more detailed instructions, allowing the contestants to not only demonstrate familiarity with the basics, but also introducing them to new skills and methods of data storage and retrieval.
    2. Expected length is 3-4 pages.
  3. Excel – 30%
    1. Excel is the application used by organizations to analyze information stored in databases. While students may be a little more familiar with Excel than Access, functions and calculations are vital to the analysis of the data and will also require substantial effort. While they may find fewer detailed instructions than Access, they will be substantially more than Word or PowerPoint, which will allow both the demonstration of ability and the acquisition of new skills and knowledge.
    2. Expected length 2-3 pages.
  4. Word – 25%
    1. Word is the primary application used for formal business communication. Since contestants are likely more familiar with Word, there will be less detailed instructions than were given with Access and Excel. In their place, contestants will be judged on their level of creativity as they construct their solution.
    2. Expected length is 1-2 pages.
  5. PowerPoint – 15%
    1. PowerPoint is one of the predominate applications for disseminating organizational information in a group setting. As with Word, contestants are likely to be more familiar with presentation software. While there may be a few more details in the instructions than with Word, there will still be a required creativity component.
    2. Expected length is 1-2 pages.


See Protocol section above.

Past Problem Statements

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