You probably can't beat this high schooler at Microsoft Excel

Laptop with Office 365
Laptop with Office 365 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A 17-year-old high school student won the global title in the Microsoft Excel section of the 2021 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.
  • Ami Nakazono defeated 160 students from 33 countries in the finals of the competition.
  • Over 200,000 people applied to participate to show their skills at using Microsoft Office.

Ami Nakazono, a 17-year-old student from southwest Japan, won the Microsoft Excel section of the 2021 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. Over 200,000 students from 108 countries applied to participate in the competition. 160 students from 33 countries competed in the finals that ran from November 9 to November 11, 2021. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship was held online for the first time.

Nakazono is the first student from Japan to win the competition, as reported by Mainichi Japan. She is a second-year student at Fukuoka prefectural Yahata High School.

To show their expertise in Excel, participants gathered and analyzed data. They also had to create reports by utilizing charts and graphs.

"I try to create material that anyone can easily understand straight away. Since I prepared so well, I felt I'd do fine, and oddly, I wasn't nervous," said Nakazono. "The material, which incorporated my point of view and experiences as a high school student might have been good."

Nakazono is no stranger to computer competitions, having won the MaiPaso national typing contest when she was in the sixth grade.

The ongoing global pandemic limited Nakazono's ability to participate in clubs, so she turned to competing with her Microsoft Office skills. She worked one hour per day to hone her skills in preparation for the competition.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).