Introduction – MOS Study Guide for Microsoft Access Expert Exam MO-500


The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification program has been designed to validate your knowledge of and ability to use programs in the Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2019 suite of programs. This book has been designed to guide you in studying the types of tasks you are likely to be required to demonstrate in Exam MO-500, “Microsoft Access Expert (Access and Access 2019).”

Who this book is for

MOS Study Guide for Microsoft Access Expert Exam MO-500 is designed for experienced computer users seeking Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Access 365 and Access 2019.

MOS exams for individual programs are practical rather than theoretical. You must demonstrate that you can complete certain tasks or projects rather than simply answer questions about program features. The successful MOS certification candidate will have at least six months of experience using all aspects of the program on a regular basis—for example, using Access at work or school to create and manage databases, build database tables, import and export data, design and run queries, create and format forms, and design detail and summary reports.

As a certification candidate, you probably have a lot of experience with the program you want to become certified in. Many of the procedures described in this book will be familiar to you; others might not be. Read through each study section and ensure that you are familiar with the procedures, concepts, and tools discussed. In some cases, images depict the tools you will use to perform procedures related to the skill set. Study the images and ensure that you are familiar with the options available for each tool.

How this book is organized

The exam coverage is divided into chapters representing broad skill sets that correlate to the functional groups covered by the exam. Each chapter is divided into sections addressing groups of related skills that correlate to the exam objectives. Each section includes review information, generic procedures, and practice tasks you can complete on your own while studying. We provide practice files you can use to work through the practice tasks and result files you can use to check your work. You can practice the generic procedures in this book by using the practice files supplied or by using your own files.

Throughout this book, you will find Exam Strategy tips that present information about the scope of study that is necessary to ensure that you achieve mastery of a skill set and are successful in your certification effort.

Download the practice files

Before you can complete the practice tasks in this book, you need to copy the book’s practice files and result files to your computer. Download the compressed (zipped) folder from the following page, and extract the files from it to a folder (such as your Documents folder) on your computer:

IMPORTANT The Access 365 and Access 2019 programs are not available from this website. You should purchase and install one of those programs before using this book.

You will save the completed versions of practice files that you modify while working through the practice tasks in this book. If you later want to repeat the practice tasks, you can download the original practice files again.

The following table lists the practice files provided for this book.

Folder and objective group

Practice files

Result files


Manage databases








Create and modify tables
















Create and modify queries






Modify forms in Layout view







Modify reports in Layout view





Adapt procedure steps

This book contains many images of user interface elements that you’ll work with while performing tasks in Access on a Windows computer. Depending on your screen resolution or program window width, the Access ribbon on your screen might look different from that shown in this book. (If you turn on Touch mode, the ribbon displays significantly fewer commands than in Mouse mode.) As a result, procedural instructions that involve the ribbon might require a little adaptation.

Simple procedural instructions use this format:

  • On the Home tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click the Filter button.

If the command is in a list, our instructions use this format:

  • On the Home tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Advanced Filter Options, and then, in the Advanced Filter Options list, click Filter By Form.

If differences between your display settings and ours cause a button to appear differently on your screen from how it does in this book, you can easily adapt the steps to locate the command. First click the specified tab, then locate the specified group. If a group has been collapsed into a group list or under a group button, click the list or button to display the group’s commands. If you can’t immediately identify the button you want, point to likely candidates to display their names in ScreenTips.

The instructions in this book assume that you’re interacting with on-screen elements on your computer by clicking (with a mouse, touchpad, or other hardware device). If you’re using a different method—for example, if your computer has a touchscreen interface and you’re tapping the screen (with your finger or a stylus)—substitute the applicable tapping action when you interact with a user interface element.

Instructions in this book refer to user interface elements that you click or tap on the screen as buttons and to physical buttons that you press on a keyboard as keys, to conform to the standard terminology used in documentation for these products.

Ebook edition

If you’re reading the ebook edition of this book, you can do the following:

  • Search the full text

  • Print

  • Copy and paste

You can purchase and download the ebook edition from the Microsoft Press Store at:

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