Kalib Soltesz, 16, came third in a national competition using Microsoft Word. (Special to The News)

Kalib Soltesz, 16, came third in a national competition using Microsoft Word. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge student comes third in national Microsoft competition

Kalib Soltesz competed in the Microsoft Office Specialist Canadian National Championship

A Thomas Haney Secondary student has taken third place in a national competition put on by Microsoft.

Kalib Soltesz, who is going into Grade 11 in September, placed third in the competition for his use of the Microsoft Office program Word at the Microsoft Office Specialist Canadian Championship.

The championship, hosted by CCI Learning, is a national competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. The top 10 students with the highest exam scores in the country were invited to compete at the Canadian national championship.

Soltesz learned about the competition after taking a class in school to learn about the programs in Microsoft Office after his mom told him it would look good on resumes.

So, last school year he learned about the programs Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, and others.

For the class students were able to work at their own pace and when they felt they knew the program they asked the teacher to set up an online test.

Soltesz had to pass the test for either Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint between June 16, 2021 and May 20, 2022, to be able to qualify for the national competition.

The tests were scored out of 1,000 with a pass being anything more than 700. Soltesz scored upwards of 900.

That is when he received an email from the organizers of the national competition telling him he qualified to compete.

Soltesz estimated there were around 25 competitors – in all – competing in the different categories. They were given about an hour to finish the each test. But, Soltesz said, pretty much everyone was finished within 45 minutes.

The 16-year-old was surprized at his win since he was initially asked to participate in the competition because he received one of the top 10 exam scores Canada-wide for his proficiency with the program Excel. He was only asked later to enter the Word competition even though he was only in the top 20.

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“Funnily enough, even though I was top 10 for Excel, I ended up getting third place for Word,” he said.

The most challenging for Soltesz were some of the questions he was asked about Excel.

“It was definitely to do with pivot tables,” said Soltesz.

“It wanted me to get a pivot chart set up from a pivot table and only include certain data,” he said.

By placing third Soltesz received $500, a medal of achievement, and a certificate.

The national championships took place June 21.

First place winners in each of the categories received $1,500, a medal of achievement, a certificate, and an all expense paid trip to compete in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship in Anaheim, California.


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