Spreadsheets (6 Days)

This blog post is part of a series where I chronicle my advancement through WGU’s Bachelor of Science, Business – Information Technology Management degree. It includes detailed reports on my study methods and strategies as well as occasional tips and tricks. To see all entries in this series, click the “WGU” link under “Categories” on the left sidebar (bottom of the page if viewing on mobile).

A Note About Difficulty

I did this course in 6 days. My primary piece of advice: don’t do this course in 6 days.

I had heard that this course was difficult. I disagree. I don’t think it’s really difficult but it is time-consuming. Each Lesson has numerous sections and each section has a spreadsheet that should be worked through. Additionally, each lesson has a final quiz that also should be worked through.

If it were merely a function of reading and studying flash cards, it would be different but the worksheets really are essential.  Look, if you want to do well in this course, work through the worksheets for each lesson. Do them  until you get 100% on each and every one of them. If you do that, the OA will be a breeze.

How I Studied for this Course

Here’s my general recommendation for studying this course:

  1. First, download the provided flashcards, and get them into a format that you can study, as described below in “Day 1”.
  2. Second, simply work through the MyEducator Lessons sequentially (adding flashcards for new concepts that you learn along the way).

If you want to check out my Anki flashcard deck for this course, you can download them here. If you need help importing the deck, check out my guide here.

About Delimiters

If you set up an alternative delimiter, as I described in my How I Study… post, then your functions are going to be a little different than default. Here’s what I mean:

My delimiter is set to “`” (that’s the keyboard key just above the TAB key on the left-hand side). As a result my functions are a little different:

Normal function: =if(B6>A5, “Yes”, “No”)

My functions: =if(B6>A5`“Yes”` “No”)

So keep in mind that you will need do use your new delimiter in your functions, rather than the default comma.

Day 1:

  1. Recorded the competencies, the sections within each competency, and the MyEducator lessons that corresponded with each section (in preparation for determining my study schedule)
    Mapped out a rough study schedule to take about 10 days
  2. Created flashcards in Anki based on the WGU-provided “Excel Function” flashcards
    1. On the front of the card: An image of the function and an example of it’s use
    2. On the back of the card: The definition for the function.
    3. I configured the cards to be “Basic (and reversed card)”
    4. I entered in all 31 flashcards in bulk, without separating them into decks based on Lesson, however, I can certainly see the value of going that route for a more topic-focused study session, if you choose to.
  3. I also worked through the first two Lessons in MyEducator.

Day 2: (1) Worked through Lessons 3, 4, and 5 in MyEducator, (2) Studied flashcards

Day 3: 

  1. Worked through Lessons 6, and 7 in MyEducator
  2. Made flashcards for concepts contained in those Lessons. For example:
    1. Front: What is the “Result cells” when using Scenario Manager?
    2. Back: The cells, which reference the input values, for which you wish to see a change based on the input values

Day 4: (1) Worked through Lessons 8, 9, and 10 in MyEducator, (2) Added a few flashcards, and (3) Studied all flashcards

Day 5: (1) Reworked through Lesson “test” worksheets, (2) Studied “due” flashcards, (3) Took the Pre-Assessment, (4) Scheduled the OA

After Pre-assessment #1 (90.6%):

This PA was rough. It was a big combination of exercises similar to what you experience in the end-of-lesson tests. The biggest trouble I had was just fatigue (that’s what I get for taking it at 11:30PM). For example, I missed a few points because I mixed my operators up (“<” instead of “>”)

The PA did reveal a legitimate weakness and so prior to taking the OA on Day 6, I took some time to re-watch the videos for that lesson, and make sure I understood the concepts.

Day 6: (1) Studied up on my weak area, (2) Studied “due” flashcards, (3) Took the OA

After the Objective-Assessment (97.3%):

There’s not a lot that I can say about the OA, but my very-strong-advice is this:

  1. When you take the PA, do so without referencing any notes whatsoever
  2. If you score higher than 85% on the PA, take the OA
  3. If you score lower than 85% on the PA:
    1. Re-watch the videos for your weak areas
    2. Re-work through the worksheets for your weak areas (including the Lesson-ending worksheets) until you get 100%
    3. Reschedule your OA



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