The BOTA helps undergraduates identify and learn key skills they are missing in essential business software.

The Basic Office Technology Assessment (“BOTA”) is focused on technical proficiency and fluency in essential technologies including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Our platform is both a benchmarking and training platform. Benchmarked results can be used for professional development, team assembly, and onboarding. Primarily, however, results should be used to ensure that professionals are getting the training they need.

BOTA pairs competence-based assessments with synchronous, active learning in order to provide an effective, hands-on learning experience.

“Customer support is incredibly responsive. Our students are often surprised to learn how much they don’t know about these programs that they use every day. We’ve also found that the badges provide a great incentive to take advantage of Procertas.”

U of MD
Charles A. Pipins II, J.D., M.L.S.
Academic Technologies Librarian, University of Maryland

Why it Works

The BOTA is taken in a completely live environment on example documents. On the first Microsoft Word task, for example, users are instructed to insert a hyperlink. The software automatically opens another document for the student to execute this directive. It’s a real-world, hands-on approach to learning that has proven to increase retention considerably.

Our platform is browser-based, hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Virtually any browser, operating system, and Microsoft Office version will work and no special software is needed.

By pairing competence-based assessments with synchronous learning, the BOTA augments traditional training in a number of ways:

Tailored Training

We recognize everyone has a different level of proficiency with Microsoft Office and PDF software. In on-boarding, the BOTA can distinguish and segment users based on their individual strengths and deficiencies. No need to spend time learning what you already know!

Reality Check

Most users don’t know what they don’t know. There is a significant gap between true proficiency and perceived expertise. Our assessment structure not only brings awareness to features some don’t even know exist, but helps users learn them as well.

Active Learning

Answers can be memorized—skills must be practiced and learned. With lecture-style learning, trainees are passive and unengaged. The BOTA dramatically increases retention by engaging trainees to actively use the skills they are trying to acquire.


With traditional technology training, students can prove they sat in a room or endured a specified number of slides. Whether they actually learned anything is a matter of speculation. Time spent is a poor measurement of learning. Competence-based assessments establish an initial baseline and then measure progress against that baseline in realtime.


Different people learn different ways. Some thrive with a live teacher. Others are too embarrassed to ask questions. As long as sufficient training resources of varying modalities are made available, the validation component of BOTA allows trainees to self-direct their remedial efforts and substantiate how effective those efforts actually were.

“Proficient use of technology is often taken for granted. That’s where Procertas comes in. Their training tools act as a force multiplier; we saw dramatic improvement in our department’s technological efficiency after using the Procertas diagnostic test and training.”

Jon W. Olson
Senior Vice President, Blackbaud, Inc.

What is Covered?

The Basic Office Technology Assessment is fully customizable and always evolving. The features tested in the standard BOTA modules are as follows:

Microsoft Word

  • Insert Hyperlink
  • Insert and Format Image
  • Apply Style
  • Format Tab Stops
  • Convert Text to Table
  • Apply and Format Bullets
  • Format Margins
  • Adjust Page Orientation and Size
  • Remove and Add Page Breaks
  • Using Widow and Orphan Control
  • Create Table Contents based on Styles
  • Insert Page Numbers with Different First Page
  • Using Find and Replace
  • Check Document for Spelling & Grammar

Microsoft Excel

  • Edit Cells
  • Add and Delete columns & rows
  • Resize columns & rows
  • Format Numbers
  • Merge & Center
  • Format Borders
  • Using AutoSum
  • Using AutoFill
  • Using Find & Replace
  • Check Spelling
  • Rename Worksheet
  • Search for Duplicates
  • Format Page Orientation
  • Format Page Margins

Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Insert Slide
  • Add Slide Text
  • Format Text
  • Align Text
  • Insert & Move Picture
  • Insert Hyperlink
  • Change Design Template
  • Format Slide Background
  • Insert Video
  • Copy & Paste Slide
  • Hide Slide(s)
  • Delete Slide(s)
  • Add Transitions
  • Add Slide Notes

How it’s Scored

When taking the BOTA, each student has a unique username and password that enables individual score tracking. At the completion of each module, the user and/or their organization is sent the score. The score sheet identifies specific deficiencies and enables the creation of individually tailored training curriculum.

Whether or not the user completed the task correctly.

Target Time
Approximation of how long the task should take a qualified user. This is determined by doubling the expert time (with a minimum of one minute and thirty seconds).

Actual Time
How long a particular task took the user to complete.

Default Time
Approximation of how long the task would take a beginner.

Assessed Time
Equals the actual time if the task is performed correctly. All assessed times that exceed the target times, even those where the individual performed the task correctly, are highlighted in red. This is a quick, visual cue to indicate where the user needs to improve. The individual score report is not only a record of how well the user performed, it is also a mechanism to create an individually-tailored learning plan.


Procertas offers a first-of-its kind integrated benchmarking and training platform focused on improving quality and increasing efficiency on the utilization of basic office technology that you already use as a working professional. We pair competence-based assessments with synchronous, active learning in a completely live environment.

Our Certified Operator of Basic Office Technology (“COBOT”) scale is designated on a per-module basis for each user. Students earn COBOT digital badges to easily share verified proof of qualifications wherever they choose.

We have partnered with Credly’s Acclaim Platform to distribute and validate these badges in applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat.