Forest Lake State High School year 11 student Zack will be representing Australia at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) championships held in America in 2024.
The annual event involves more than 760,000 students from 116 countries who compete to be the World Number 1 in Powerpoint, Word or Excel, successfully performing a number of tasks in the shortest time possible.
Zack qualified for the position after placing 1st at the Microsoft Office Specialist Australian Title, with fellow classmates Luke placing 2nd and Nyka placing 4th both with scores of 1000/1000.
“It feels unreal to be the winner of the Microsoft Office Specialist Australian Title,” Zack said.
“I have never been to America before, and I cannot believe I am going there next year to be competing against the best in the world.”
“I will try my best in the World Championship and make all of the hard work worth it.”
FLSHS Digital Technologies and Business head of department MJ Raatz said all the students who competed did an exceptional job.
“We had 4 other students who also placed in the top 50 in Australia,” he said.
FLSHS students Natalie, Nick and Karl landed in 11th, 16th and 17th place.
Luke said the MOS exam was a lot of fun to compete in.
“What I like about the exam was how friendly it was to all competitors,” he said.
“Overall, the system we had, and teams’ mentality was amazing for progression in MOS PowerPoint.
“Plus with the teachers we had who supported us the whole way through the day, I couldn’t be happier.”
For several months the FLSHS group of MOS students worked hard to achieve 1000/1000 on the PowerPoint exam under the support and encouragement of MJ Raatz.
“No one at our school has ever achieved a perfect score (1000/1000), but after hours of analysing our mistakes and sitting more exams, I eventually achieved 1000/1000 in around 15 minutes,” Zack said.
After achieving the perfect score, Zack reduced his time down to 3 minutes and 53 seconds.
“I thought that below four minutes was impossible to achieve, but Mr Raatz told me to believe in myself and [that] it was possible for me to do the unthinkable,” he said.
Zack said on the day of the championship the FLSHS team was extremely nervous, yet prepared.
“The final exam was definitely the hardest, and most stressful one that I have ever done,” he said.
“I enjoyed just completing the MOS exams, the competition between me and Luke (the second-place winner) and seeing our progression skyrocket, because we were having fun,” he said.
“In addition, the amazing support from our teachers and peers, and the gamification of the exam made it that much better.”
Zack said he and the other students would not have come so far without the support of their excellent teacher, Mr Raatz.
“Not only did he create Esports in schools around Australia – including ours, but his ability to always care for students and make school fun is unmatched,” he said.
Luke wished Zack all the best in the next stage of the competition.
“I can’t wait to see Zack in the world championship hopefully come first,” he said.