Six American high school students are battling to become Microsoft Office world champions.
The 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships, which are currently talking place in California and finish up on Wednesday, encourages students between the ages of 13 and 22 to show off their skills in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or other Microsoft programs.
According to Education Week, the contest initially boasted 400,000 entrants, but just 123 finalists from around the world remain. The competition consists of an exam and a portion where students recreate a sample document on their respective programs. As of Monday, six Americans are still in the running for each category's $5,000 prize.
In the competition's 13-year run, only one American student has ever won first prize in the Microsoft Word category, per Education Week. Dominique Howard, 21, is currently competing for the Microsoft Word 2007 championship title.
“A lot of people know the basics,” Howard told the New York Daily News. But she knows a bit more than the average user. “There’s a secret developer tab that helps in design mode," she added. "There’s macros, which is a whole bunch of fun.”
"I have full confidence in myself," 16-year-old Tyler Willis, the reigning American PowerPoint champion and world champ hopeful, told Education Week. "There are so many bad PowerPoints out there. If everybody just spent a little time learning the software better, we'd have much better presentations."
More than 300,000 students in the United States alone entered the competition.
“These students already have an accomplishment that prepares them for college and careers,” Bob Whelan, president and chief executive officer for Pearson VUE, a high-stakes testing delivery service, said in a press release. “They have proven their superior knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, the most popular productivity tools in the world, and we wish them the best as they compete at the World Championship.”
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