Step by Step Practice - Creating Gradebook

Practice for Spreadsheets

In the Spreadsheets portion of the TCA, you will be required to use Microsoft Excel to produce a document similar to the example shown on this page. We have identified 11 basic skills that are tested by this assessment. The skills are numbered in the list below. The corresponding number appears on the example shown on this page. Click the skill for help on how to do it.

Excel Help

Never used Microsoft Excel before? Here are some great tutorials created by Microsoft that will teach you the basics of spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel 2007 Tutorials.

Specific Tasks for the TCA

Use a spreadsheet to create a budget for your class. Then create a chart to show the total cost per item. It should look identical to the example shown on the right (same layout, colors, font, etc). You can use the data for the spreadsheet provided in the link above (to help you save time). When you are finished, save your spreadsheet as a file called "class_budget.xls". Make sure you can do the following:

  • Format the data to Courier New 10 pt. black.
  • Format the text in Row 1 to Courier New 16 pt. purple, bold, then merge and center the text.
  • Format the headings in Row 5 to Courier New 12 pt. black, italic, centered, with a light yellow cell background.
  • Put a border around the cells as shown, with a thicker one around the headings in Row 5.
  • Format the dates in the cells in Column 1 to show day and month, as shown.
  • In cell E6 write a formula for the total cost of pencils, then apply it to all items.
  • In cell E17 use the Sum function to add the dollar amounts in Column E.
  • In cell E19, calculate the ending balance based on the starting balance of $4,000. Change the text to green, bold.
  • In cell F6 write a formula to show the percentage of the starting total balance for the total cost of pencils (the percentage $71.30 is of the original $4,000), then apply it to the other items.
  • Using the items in B5:B16 and the data in E5:E16, create a 3D bar chart and place it under the data.
  • In the bar chart, add data labels to show the dollar amount for each item.
  • Change all of the text in the chart to Arial.
  • One additional item. [Since technology proficiency includes the ability to find help when you need it, on the assessment you will be asked to demonstrate one additional skill. You will not know what that skill is until you come to take the assessment. If you do not know how to do the skill, you may use any helps built in to the spreadsheet program. You will also be able to use any website (,,, etc.). You will not be able to ask another person (friend, relative, lab assistant, etc.) by any means (chat, email, cell phone, face-to-face, etc.).]
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