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Computer Literacy Test & Requirement 
(for HCC students only)

What is the Computer Literacy Requirement?

In today’s global society, computer literacy has become an essential skill, comparable to reading, writing, and arithmetic. Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, problem solving, and acquiring information. Upon graduation, students should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available.

In order to complete their education at Housatonic Community College, HCC students must either complete a program-specific course showing computer literacy or successfully pass a test that shows ability to use word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets, the Internet, and email as tools to communicate and access electronic information.

All students enrolling in an associate degree program at HCC are required to fulfill the Computer Literacy Requirement prior to graduation.

Students are encouraged to fulfill this requirement within the first 12 college-level credits.

Who does this requirement apply to?

The Computer Literacy Requirement only applies to students who plan to graduate from HCC with an associate degree.

It does not apply to students enrolled in certificate programs, or to students who plan to transfer to another college before completing an associate degree.

How can I meet the requirement?

The Computer Literacy Requirement can be satisfied in either of the following ways:

  • Successful completion of a designated HCC code “C” course or an equivalent course from another accredited college (an official transcript must be submitted and a course description and course syllabus may be requested).


  • Passing the HCC Computer Literacy Test with a satisfactory score.

Does my degree program include a designated code “C” course?

Some degree programs include a code “C” course as a requirement. Students in all other programs must meet the Computer Literacy Requirement by either taking an HCC code “C” course as an elective or passing the Computer Literacy Test.

If you are unsure if your degree includes a code “C” course, please check the college catalogue or ask your program advisor.

What is on the test?

The Computer Literacy Test covers Microsoft Office skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Internet Explorer.

The following Microsoft Office 2013 skills will be tested:

    Word Processing (Microsoft Word)
  • Create, open, save, and “save as”
  • Access “My Documents” folder
  • Search for online templates
  • Enter and edit text; copy, cut, and paste text
  • Adjust fonts: size, color, highlight, style (bold, etc.)
  • Tabs, indenting, paragraphs, line spacing
  • Print, print preview, print settings
  • Change alignment (left, right, center, justify)
  • Create bullets and numbered lists
  • Set and customize margins
  • Use INSERT tab to insert text and pictures from files and online
  • Rotate and resize objects
  • Insert tables and enter data; add/remove rows/ columns from tables
  • Insert and edit sources (citations) into text using REFERENCES tab
  • Use Spelling and Grammar to check for and correct errors
  • Undo and redo typing
  • Use Dictionary and Thesaurus to define words and find synonyms
    Email (Outlook)
  • Create, forward, send, reply, delete
  • Attach a file to an email
  • Use carbon copy (CC) and blind copy (BC)
    Internet (Internet Explorer)
  • Navigate Internet Explorer
  • Use search engines
  • Set home page; add favorites or bookmarks
  • Proper use of public computers; safe use of social networking sites
    Spreadsheet Software (Excel)
  • Create, open, and save or “save as”
  • Create and open new worksheets
  • Enter and select data and data headings
  • Add/delete rows and columns
  • Enter formulas and properly apply the order of precedence
  • Use fill handles to auto-fill/copy a formula down a column
  • Create a chart using INSERT tab and the Quick Analysis feature
  • Add and format chart titles
  • Move charts to new sheets
    Presentation Software (PowerPoint)
  • Create, open, save or “save as” presentations
  • Access the “My Documents” folder
  • Apply a theme to a presentation
  • Add new slides, change the layout of a slide
  • Create section headers
  • Create, enter text into, and delete title, subtitle, and content placeholders
  • Enter first and second-level bullets in slide
  • Change alignment (left, right, center, justify)
  • Add notes and comments to slide
  • Add a table to slide and format it
  • Insert pictures from files and online and adjust captions
  • Animate objects using ANIMATE tab
  • Apply transitions using TRANSITIONS tab
  • Spell and grammar check
  • Print handouts with multiple slides per page

Do I get college credits if I pass the Computer Literacy Test?

Passing the Computer Literacy Test will only fulfill your graduation requirement. It does but NOT give you college credits, exempt you from any courses, or transfer to another college.

How many times can I take the Computer Literacy Test?

You may take the test two times. Students who fail to pass the test after two attempts (one month apart) must take a designated code “C” course. HCC code “C” course

How can I prepare for the Computer Literacy Test?

Click on the links below to access free online tutorials:

How do I schedule a Computer Literacy Test?

In order to take the test, you must purchase an access code at the bookstore in Beacon Hall. The access code is good for two attempts.

Students who are eligible to purchase books with their financial aid award may be able to purchase the access code for the exam; however, these purchases must be made during specific times indicated in students’ award letter – usually two weeks before and two weeks after the start of classes. Please note that students who receive partial financial aid may not have financial aid available to purchase books or access codes.

To schedule your test, call 203-332-5217 or stop by room B119 in Lafayette Hall.

Please download our brochure for further information.