One of the points brought up at my last review is that I need to become more of an Excel “power user”. I’ve got all the basics down very well, but just lack the knowledge of some of the advanced stuff. My boss pretty much left it up to me to find some form of training on my own. Does anyone have any recommendations? Any classes? Books? Is in-person better/worse than self-directed? Thanks.

Personally, i’ve learned the most when the learning came out of necessity. I learned what i needed to make my life/job easier. If i were you i’d identify what types of excel functions would be directly applicable to me and start learning those. You can pick up alot of information online, but i’m sure a reference book of some sort would help. I would skip the class for now…unless the motivation is to have something more tangible to show your boss you are making an effort to improve. 2c.

Agree with the above, Excel is best learned through use. Most classes are going to be to broad to be truly practical unless you are looking for a cheat sheet of keyboard shortcuts.

75% of the excel knowledge I have is from hitting random “ctrl-alt-X” combinations and seeing what happens - it’s very useful, as long as you have a reasonably complex dummy file to work in. I barely use my mouse anymore except to size charts.

Pick a project and do it in excel. The way to learn is by doing. The book “Excel 2007 power programming with VBA” is good.

With the VBA editor open on half of the screen, start recording a macro in Excel on the other half. When you start to play around in Excel, all of your moves show up in VBA code in the editor. You can learn a few helpful “tricks” this way. Also, keep the list of Excel shortcut and function keys close (if you don’t already ). It will be handy in weening you off the mouse.

I second almost everything mentioned above. Here is a logical progression that helped me to hone my skills. 1. Shortcuts. 2. Formulas (VLOOKUP, OFFSET etc.). 3. Macros. 4. VBA. To apply the above, start with some data manipulation and gradually move into modeling. I am surprised how a very few people in Finance can be called real Excel experts even though they use it on a daily basis.

I applied for a firm which required an Excel exam prior to actual interview. They are located in another state and sent me the exam with a time limit of 60 minutes. Few days prior to that, they told me to make sure the analysis toolpak was installed. I assumed they might ask me regression type questions as it was one of the job functions. I get the exam and it was anything but. There wasn’t a single question that require the use of the analysis toolpak. There were 10 questions and some were something you have never seen before. Anyhow, I made one silly mistake (really stupid), one of the two parts on one and didn’t have a clue on another. They sent me an e-mail back telling me I only got six right and that wasn’t enough to qualify me for the continue on the application process. The irony is I also give excel exam when we hire in my office and my exam is actually much more brutal!

Anyone have an excel test they could send me? I would like to test my skills to see where I stack up.

what is your e-mail address?

could I get in on the excel test at as well. Much thanks! joevc03@ufl.edu

Would like the excel test as well! Thanks! jameschentx at gmail com

please… fxguy11 at gmail com

Can you send it to mee too at cfaexam25 (yahoo)… Thanks!

I’m sure this is getting annoying but can someone send it to me as well. I promise to take over the chain from this point on nirjraina (gmail)

I interviewed at a VC and for the 4th interview they gave me an Excel test…three advanced problems in 30 minutes. They were all real world oddball dilemmas that had come up at the firm and left everyone stumped. I scored 0/3 (nice) but explained my logic and how I would go about solving on the job, emphasizing my absolute confidence in being able to bulk up my modeling skills fast. They made me an offer and after three weeks of building models in Excel all day long my skills are there. You get good fast just learning on the job (if you can convince them to give you the opportunity).