Practice Exams are based on the certification exams and mimic the testing environment. These tests will be the best option for gauging reading for the certification exam. The Microsoft Office Specialist, Adobe Certified Associate, and Autodesk Certified User practice exams all require the GMetrix SMS software (gmetrix.net/download) to be installed as well as the target application. All other practice exams are browser based and can be taken at gmetrix.net without needing to install anything.
Simulations are replications of the Microsoft Office and Adobe environment that require practical knowledge and skill to complete. They are designed to simulate the experience of being in the target software, but they are limited in functionality compared to in-app testing. Generally, there are multiple methods for accomplishing tasks in Microsoft Office and Adobe applications. The simulations try to accommodate as much as possible, but due to their nature, they are more limited in scope and are therefore more prescriptive in how students need to accomplish the given tasks. However, they do provide a web-based environment that allows students to navigate through and use the application without requiring the software to be installed.
Concept Reviews are practice tests that students can take on any browser to test their understanding of the concepts and objectives of the certification exams. They are not skill-based tests (see Practice Exams, Skill Reviews, and Simulations), but they do allow students to engage with certification objectives in a conceptual manner. Concept Reviews use multiple choice, true/false, drag and match, hotspot, and dropdown list question types to help students visualize working in the target application and think through how to do different tasks, emphasizing the location and function of tools.
Skill Reviews are unique test types for the Microsoft Office Specialist products. Skill reviews allow students to go through content in the target application, and each question gives a specific task per document. Practice Exams (and the certification exams) for MOS differ in that they are multi-project exams, where each project has a unique document that requires the user to make several changes to it before moving on to the next project. With Skill Reviews, there are no projects. The content coverage is similar, but the format the questions are presented in is different.