You are on page 1of 8

Excellence with Excel 2.

0
Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

Welcome to the Excellence with Excel 2.0 course!


This document will show you how to get the most possible out of the course in the
minimal amount of time.
Unlike with the other courses you might have signed up for on this site, the ideal
completion order for the Excel course is less about the roles youre going for and more
about your existing knowledge of Excel.
There are some topics that you absolutely, positively need to know while other topics
are not quite as useful in terms of immediate results. Since there are 22+ hours of video
in the course, you need to use your time efficiently.
We go through 4 different cases here based on your own knowledge level and how
much time you have to go through the course.
o Case #1: Youre Cramming at the Last-Minute for Interviews or Case Study /
Modeling Tests
o Case #2: You Have a Moderate Level of Excel Knowledge and Want to Improve
Your Skills
o Case #3: Youre Completely New to Excel and You Want to Master It
o Case #4: You Completed the Old Version of This Course and Only Want the New
Lessons
o Other Points: Quiz Questions, Exercises, and More

Case #1: Youre Cramming at the Last-Minute for


Interviews or Case Study / Modeling Tests
In 99% of case studies and modeling tests, no one cares about formatting so we
recommend skipping all those lessons.
Charts, graphs, and more advanced features like VBA and macros are also optional and
you shouldnt focus on them because no one will give you a modeling test where you
have to write macros.

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

They mostly care about formulas and how well you can use them to make calculations
and manipulate data. Many case studies and modeling tests in interviews are either:
1. Heres a 3-statement model. Fix the formulas and link it properly.; OR
2. Heres a set of data across many spreadsheets. Pull it in properly using lookup
(and related) functions.
Heres what we recommend skipping and what we recommend focusing on if youre
preparing for a case study or modeling test and you have very little time to prepare:

Module 1 (Excel Setup) Skip.


Module 2 (Navigation & Data Manipulation) Skip, unless you have somehow
won an interview but dont know how to enter formulas or anchor cells.
Module 3 (Formatting) Skip, except for:
o Lesson 4: How to Color Code Financial Models Black, Blue, and Green
o Lesson 9: How to Put It All Together: Cleaning Up Data
o Lesson 10: Sorting and Filtering Data
Module 4 (Display & Printing) Skip (maybe the first 2 lessons if you dont
already know how to group and hide rows and columns).
Module 5 (Formulas) Focus on the following lessons (assuming that you
already know the basics of formulas):
o Lesson 2: Financial Functions VERY likely to come up in modeling tests
o Lesson 4: How to Copy, Paste, and Move Formulas Time-saver
o Lesson 5: Introduction to Lookup Functions VERY likely to come up in
modeling tests
o Lesson 6: INDEX, MATCH, and INDIRECT VERY likely to come up in
modeling tests (INDEX and MATCH more so than the rest)
o Lesson 11: Circular References and Iterations Need to know for any type
of 3-statement or LBO modeling test
o Lesson 12: Auditing Formulas In case your model is wrong
o Lesson 15: Sensitivity Tables Need to know for any type of 3-statement
modeling or LBO modeling test
Module 6 (Graphs and Charts) Skip, unless the case study will be valuationrelated. If so:
o Lesson 6: Creating the "Football Field" Valuation Graph Could be useful
if youre valuing a company in your case study

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

Module 7 (VBA and Macros) Skip this because it simply wont come up in
modeling tests.

Case #2: You Have a Moderate Level of Excel


Knowledge and Want to Improve Your Skills
Maybe youve used Excel a bit before, but you wouldnt call yourself a master and
you dont know the more advanced functionality.
In this case, you should focus on the intermediate to advanced-level lessons, and, if
you have the time and inclination, you should also complete the last module on VBA
and macros.
If you have at least a few weeks to move through the course (with approximately 10
hours per week to spend on the lessons), heres what we recommend:

Module 1 (Excel Setup) Focus on:


o Lesson 2: How to Set Up Excel Properly VERY important, especially if
youre using any version of Excel on the Mac
Module 2 (Navigation & Data Manipulation) Focus on:
o Lesson 3: Inserting, Editing and Deleting Rows & Columns
o Lesson 7: Absolute vs. Relative References and Anchoring Cells

o Lesson 8: Naming and Jumping to Cells


Module 3 (Formatting) Focus on (all of these lessons are fairly important):
o Lesson 1: Formatting Overview
o Lesson 2: Fills, Fonts, Borders, and Alignment
o Lesson 3: Formatting Numbers with Built-In Formats
o Lesson 4: How to Color Code Financial Models Black, Blue, and Green
o Lesson 5: Date and Time Formatting and Functions
o Lesson 6: Custom Number Formats
o Lesson 8: Text Manipulation Functions
o Lesson 9: Putting It All Together: Cleaning Up Data
o Lesson 10: Sorting and Filtering Data

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

o Lesson 11: Conditional Formatting


o Lesson 13: Formatting Exercise

Module 4 (Display & Printing) Focus on:


o Lesson 1: Grouping & Hiding Rows and Columns
o Lesson 2: Freeze Panes and Zooming
o Lesson 3: Printing Setting the Print Range, Grid Lines, and More

o Lesson 4: Printing Exercise


Module 5 (Formulas) Focus on:
o Lesson 2: Financial Functions
o Lesson 4: How to Copy, Paste, and Move Formulas
o Lesson 5: Lookup Functions
o Lesson 6: INDEX, MATCH, and INDIRECT
o Lesson 8: Transpose and Array Functions
o Lesson 9: Data Validation
o Lesson 10: Scenarios (CHOOSE, OFFSET, and Built-In Manager)
o Lesson 11: Circular References and Iterations
o Lesson 12: Auditing Formulas
o Lesson 13: Leaving Comments
o Lesson 14: Error-Checking Formulas
o Lesson 15: Sensitivity Tables
o Lesson 16: Goal Seek
o Lesson 17: Pivot Tables

Module 6 (Graphs and Charts) Focus on (the other tutorials are also useful, but
are less common in banking and finance roles):
o Lesson 3: Combination Charts: Revenue and Margins
o Lesson 5: How to Create Graphs for Valuation Metrics and Multiples
o Lesson 6: Creating the Football Field Valuation Graph
o Lesson 7: How to Create Price-Volume Graphs

Module 7 (VBA and Macros) Only complete this module if you have the time
and inclination. VBA and macros can be useful, but you dont use them
extensively in most IB/PE/HF roles.

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

o Lesson 1: How to Record and Edit a Macro If you only have the time for
one lesson, make it this one. Its the most relevant and immediately useful
one in this module.

Case #3: Youre Completely New to Excel and You


Want to Master It
In this scenario, you will need a lot of time because youll have to complete almost all
the lessons in the course and practice with the Excel files, complete the interactive
quiz questions, and leave comments on the site and read our responses.
You should complete all the lessons on the site if you are new to Excel and want to
gain true mastery of it.
In fact, this course is designed specifically to teach you how to go from basic shortcuts
and navigation all the way up through advanced features its already in the optimal
order to support all of that.
The only lessons that are optional are the ones in the last module on VBA and Macros
those are advanced features that move away from pure Excel and get into
programming language territory.
And you dont absolutely need to know them for banking and finance roles.
However, I would still recommend completing at least the first lesson on how to record
and edit macros because being able to record simple macros is always helpful.

Case #4: You Completed the Old Version of This


Course and Only Want the New Lessons
Please note that even the basic lessons have changed around so much that its
probably worth your time to go through material that was covered in the previous
course as well.

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

Everything is now based on 2 case studies (Wal-Mart and Customer Due Diligence) and
you work with more complex models, so its a very, very different treatment of Excel.
But since you asked, here are ONLY the lessons that cover brand new material:

Module 1 (Excel Setup) Focus on:


o Lesson 2: How to Set Up Excel Properly VERY important, especially if
youre using any version of Excel on the Mac
o Lesson 3: Tour of the Excel Interface Clarifies some important points
o Lesson 4: Quick Start Guide to the Course What youre reading right
now
Module 2 (Navigation & Data Manipulation) Similar material, but lots of new
examples, better emphasis on certain key points, and better / newer shortcuts are
introduced.
o Lesson 5: Entering Formulas, Text, and Numbers in Cells
o Lesson 6: Refreshing and Calculating Results
o Lesson 7: Absolute vs. Relative References and Anchoring Cells

Module 3 (Formatting) Many changes here because the Alt + H menu is now
covered extensively.
o Lesson 2: Fills, Fonts, Borders, and Alignment Alt + H coverage
o Lesson 4: How to Color Code Financial Models Black, Blue, and Green
o Lesson 5: Date and Time Formatting and Functions
o Lesson 6: Custom Number Formats Yes, it was in the old course but this
lesson has so much new material that its effectively new
o Lesson 7: Importing and Exporting Data
o Lesson 8: Text Manipulation Functions
o Lesson 12: Data Tables NOT sensitivity tables, something different (a
new feature in Excel versions 2007 and later)

o Lesson 13: Formatting Exercise


Module 4 (Display & Printing) Similar functions, but new examples.
o Lesson 4: Printing Exercise
Module 5 (Formulas) Some new functions are covered.
o Lesson 2: Financial Functions

http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

o Lesson 6: INDEX, MATCH, and INDIRECT


o Lesson 7: Database Functions
o Lesson 8: Transpose and Array Functions
o Lesson 14: Error-Checking Formulas
o Lesson 16: Goal Seek

Module 6 (Graphs and Charts) Brand new module.


o Lesson 1: How to Create Line and Column Graphs
o Lesson 2: Formatting Graphs and Charts
o Lesson 3: Combination Charts: Revenue and Margins
o Lesson 4: Dynamic Pie Charts for Annual Data
o Lesson 5: How to Create Graphs for Valuation Metrics and Multiples
o Lesson 6: Creating the Football Field Valuation Graph
o Lesson 7: How to Create Price-Volume Graphs
o Lesson 8: How to Create Multi-Year Waterfall Bridge Charts
o Lesson 9: How to Create Waterfall Charts with Connectors

Module 7 (VBA and Macros) Brand new module (for the most part).
o Lesson 2: Introduction to VBA, Conditions, and Loops
o Lesson 3: Using VBA to Create User-Defined Functions
o Lesson 4: Fixing Messy Formatting with VBA
o Lesson 5: How to Create Dynamic, Interactive Charts with Form Controls

Other Points: Quiz Questions, Exercises, and More


In this version of the Excel course, you can complete quiz questions in the Large
(1024x768) version of each video (they will not work in the downloadable Large / iPad /
iPhone / iPod formats, but were working to implement them for the normal 640x480
videos on the site).
Yes, you should definitely answer these quiz questions. They are designed to let you
to test yourself as you move along and get immediate feedback. If you dont complete
them, you will be much more likely to forget the material.
Similarly, the Before/After Excel files in each lesson are designed for you to complete.
http://breakingintowallstreet.com

Excellence with Excel 2.0


Course Highlights and Recommended
Completion Order

If youre in a real time crunch and only have hours or days left before your modeling
test or interview, OK, then maybe you can skip over this part and watch each lesson
instead.
But you will get far more out of the course if you take the time to complete your own
version of the files and check it against the After version in each lesson.
Any Questions?
Thats about it for this quick start guide. Please contact us if you have any other
questions or if anything here is unclear.
-Brian
Brian DeChesare
Breaking Into Wall Street
Mergers & Inquisitions

http://breakingintowallstreet.com