What is ECDL and how to prepare for the exams

It is an accreditation process, comprising seven different examinations. The level tested is deliberately simple, but serves to show if the candidate can use a computer with the standard every-day applications. ECDL Core is the basic certificate, showing that one has the minimum skills needed to work with a personal computer using the usual office applications.

To achieve the ECDL Full Standard diploma you have to pass the following seven exams (there is no minimum admission requirement):

  1. Computer Essentials
  2. Online Essentials
  3. Word Processing
  4. Spreadsheets
  5. ICT Security
  6. Presentations
  7. Online collaboration

If you pass the first four exams above, you are awarded the intermediate diploma (ECDL Base ).


The official document describing what candidates need to know and be able to do is the Syllabus.

What is the Syllabus?
A document divided into 7 modules, one for each of the seven exams.
The full text of Syllabus on the ECDL website.

How to prepare
The best way of getting up to ECDL exam standard is to use applications every day.

There are many manuals of theory to help the learner. Make sure you are using material geared to Syllabus 5.0, the official AICA term of reference.