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How did I prepare and clear CBAP certification exam

Preparing for CBAP certification Exam

I am Devina Ligga, CBAP v3 certified business analyst. In this post, I am going to share my preparation strategy. How did I prepare and clear CBAP certification exam?

How did it all start?

I have a Business analysis experience of 8 years and I was confident to crack my CBAP exam on the first attempt. After all how difficult could it be? And BAs are a bunch of highly intelligent people, especially with such an experience.

So I started studying for my CBAP exam. Completed reading the BABOK v3 guide once and was so sure that I would be able to crack the exam, which was still a month and a half away. Read some blogs regarding it and then decided to go for a mock test. So all confident and geared up, I took the test and scored 45%. That’s right!!! 45%

Getting back on track

After this, the truth hit me hard, I woke up from my dream world and made a plan for myself and here I am sharing my strategy to crack the CBAP exam.

  1. Make sure you meet all eligibility criteria for appearing for CBAP exam. Fill out your application and get it approved before you start studying for the exam. You will need to complete 35 hrs of PDUs from any EEP recognized by IIBA.
  2. Book your exam date well in advance. This will give you enough time to plan and prepare for the exam
  3. Get a copy of BABOK v3 and read it as many times as you can. This does not mean to simply read and turn the pages to finish the book. You need to understand the concepts, make notes, re-read as many times as necessary. Get yourself acquainted with the book and its contents.
  4. Once you are through with the BABOK Guide, you can opt for other preparation options, like joining study groups, flashcards, online/offline training courses
  5. Make a chart of the 6 Knowledge Areas, their tasks, inputs and outputs and the techniques used. Get it printed and put it on a wall. Go through it every time you get across your wall. This will help you in absorbing the concepts
  6. Put special attention on the 50 Business Analysis techniques mentioned in the BABOK. I studied one technique at a time, researched it more unless I was quite satisfied with the knowledge I have on a particular technique. Then I moved on to the next one.
  7. Each and every part of BABOK is important from the exam perspective. Still, pay major attention to the definitions, sequences, and synthesis. Synthesis is important because the questions for CBAP are of case study model
  8. Give mock tests. As much as you can. Mock tests are available based on either a specific topic/knowledge area or a full-length CBAP exam mock. You can choose to appear for them based on your preparation and plan. But be sure to take a lot of practice tests before your exam
  9. Revise the topics. There may be certain topics you find difficult to grasp or are not very confident at. Make sure to revise them and the notes you have prepared for yourself
  10. Relax and take proper rest on the day before the exam. You will rock on the D day

 

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About Techcanvass

Techcanvass offers IT certification courses for professionals. We are an IIBA endorsed education provider (EEP), iSQI ATP (for Certified Agile Business Analyst Training) as well as Agile Testing alliance partner for CP-SAT certification training in Selenium.

We have a Business analyst training course with domain training in-built into it. This training program offers you the opportunity to get certified with ECBA certification as well as have banking domain understanding.

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How did I crack CBAP Certification exam?

How did I crack CBAP Certification exam?

In this article, Praveen vishnu shares his story of how did he crack the CBAP certification exam? He also provides some strategies for CBAP exam preparation. IIBA CBAP certification is the most reputed certification for experienced business analysts.

Praveen is working as a chief business analyst in an MNC and holds CBAP, CSPO, Six Sigma green belt and CPIM (BSCM) certifications. His detailed profile is at the end of the post. He cracked the CBAP certification in June 2015. Here is his story in his own words.

 

Filling up application form

The process started with filling up the application form. The entire process of filling up the application form and getting an approval took 15 days. I could concentrate on my preparation strategy properly once the application was approved,

Exam preparation strategies

Taking the first step

Post the application process, I started with exam preparation activities. As a strategy, I fixed the exam date and then prepared for the exam to keep myself focused with exam date in mind. This way, I made sure I knew the remaining days for the exam vs the course syllabus completed. I wanted to take the exam within 90 days of preparation so that the concepts are still fresh in mind.

I was advised by one of the CBAP certified friends to undergo a 32 hours CBAP preparation course offered by any reputed IIBA Endorsed Education Provider. This EEP provided me with excellent learning techniques, including the types of questions and pitfalls to expect on the exam, test preparation strategies, test-taking strategies and key points to concentrate and remember. I would recommend these types of courses to every CBAP aspirant especially when you have shorter preparation time. This 32 hours of class room session also helped me get 21 PDUs which was required to satisfy the application criteria.

Understanding BABOK guide

I took time to thorough myself with the entire content of the BABOK guide- All the knowledge areas, techniques and Underlying Competencies. This approach will eliminate the need to refer to additional material to pass the exam. Always remember that if you thorough yourself with all the concepts in BABOK, that’s enough to clear the CBAP exam.

Mock exam simulator

CBAP exam is a collection of multiple-choice questions, administered by a computer-based exam. It is based on the Knowledge Areas of the BABOK, plus underlying competencies. Some questions are simple and straight forward and some are difficult and challenging. Most of the questions are scenario based.

CBAP exam pattern will not only test your knowledge but will also test the application of the knowledge. Hence, I thought preparation is not complete without practicing mock questions and exams.

I paid and got access to CBAP online question bank (exam simulator) which enabled me to apply the concepts learned in the BABOK. These exam simulators also provided me with the rationale behind why answers were right and why they were wrong.

Practice, Practice and more practice

Practice makes a man perfect

I practiced online mock exams as much as possible.  First, I did a quick pass through of the entire BABOK to get a feel of it.

Second, I read through one knowledge area of the BABOK at a time to gain good understanding of the concepts. Once I felt confident, I then attempted the mock questions specific to that knowledge area until I could score a minimum of 80%.

Third, I repeated this exercise for all the knowledge areas one after the other and took knowledge area wise mock exams.

Finally, I attempted 3 full-fledged mock exams to assess the preparation levels and my target was to score minimum 80% again at an overall level. During this full-fledged mock exams, I made a setup similar to the real CBAP exam and with the same seriousness.

Taking full length mock tests

When taking the full-fledged mock preparation exams – I always tried reasoning out the options provided. As an advice, don’t dwell on questions that seem difficult or complicated. I took an approach to leave these difficult or time consuming questions blank and go on to the next question. This approach helped me save time and energy.

After the first pass, I went back to the beginning and reviewed the questions that were skipped. Always remember DO NOT SECOND GUESS questions that are already answered. During practice and preparation of mock questions, I found that for tough questions, there are generally two weaker possible answers and two that are stronger. If I was unsure of the answer, I started by eliminating the weaker answers, then worked towards determining the correct one from the remaining two. Then, I did a best guess to figure out the answer.

When answering the questions, I did not count on my experience on how I have and would have handled the scenarios but rather I went by the way it was described in BABOK.

I made sure, I took this approach for all the 3 mock exams I took during my preparation and I was able to follow the same approach and thought process during the CBAP exam too. This helped me clear the CBAP exam in my first attempt. I am glad.

All the very best for your CBAP exam!

About Praveen Vishnu

Certifications: CBAP; CSPO; Six Sigma Green Belt; CPIM (BSCM)

CBAP: CBAP cleared in June 2015

Experience: 10 years of Business Analysis and Product Owner Experience with fortune 500 MNCs with domain expertise in Automotive, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Healthcare operations.

Company: Working as a Chief Business Analyst with a reputed product based MNC in Hyderabad. This company has development centers in 20 plus countries with an employee strength of 22 thousand globally. Currently, I’m working on a project for US client involved in eliciting the customization needs of the Client and author User Stories in Gherkins format to enable development. Responsible for identifying and managing product backlog and prepare a quarterly release train plan.

About Techcanvass

Techcanvass offers IT certification courses for professionals. We are an IIBA endorsed education provider (EEP), iSQI ATP (for Certified Agile Business Analyst Training) as well as Agile Testing alliance partner for CP-SAT certification training in Selenium.

We have a Business analyst training course with domain training in-built into it. This training program offers you the opportunity to get certified with ECBA certification as well as have banking domain understanding.

CBAP Certification Training

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My CBAP v3 preparation approach

CBAP v3 preparation approach

In this post, Mrinalika Akula shares her CBAP V3 preparation approach, which she adopted to become CBAP certified this year. As you know CBAP v3 is tougher than previous version so this post will help you understand the way, she went about the preparation.

Steps before you start CBAP preparation

Before you start preparing for the certification, you should be completing the following steps:

Verify eligibility criteria: The IIBA website clearly outlines the prerequisites and eligibility criteria for taking up CBAP certification, so go ahead and verify.

Close the application process: Get ahead with the application process if you find yourself eligible. Consider enrolling into training from a recognized EEP to gain PDs.

Schedule your exam: You can schedule your exam based on your preparation schedule.

The preparation approach for CBAP v3

CBAP certification is designed to test your understanding of the business analysis practices and their application into real-life case studies. Mastering BABOK v3 alone may not be good enough to help you get through. I have listed down the approach, I took to clear the certification exam.

Find a team: Join a Study group, or join groups on linkedin.com. Being in a pool who are aiming for the same goal will always be a motivation factor. There will be constant discussions and churning of information. This will keep you sprinting towards the certification. Find a BA mentor if possible who can groom you for the exam.

Fix a target date for the exam: Oftentimes unless there is a mandate, the certification date ends up being a shifted like a goal post. On an average, 8 to 12 weeks of preparation time would be ideal.

Understand exam layout: It’ll always be helpful to get a grip on the variety of questions encountered in the exam. CBAP exam is an assessment of Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation of BABOK concepts. Expect scenario based or case study based questions.

Make a Study Plan: Instead of slaughtering the KAs and memorizing, approach BABOK as a cohesive preparation. All the KAs are interrelated and the inputs, outputs, tasks, elements, guidelines, techniques are important cogs in the machinery. This is the only way to retain 500+ pages of information.

Try to solve mocks & simulators. Aim at scoring above 80% which is a safe finishing line.

Once you find yourself scoring above 80% consistently take the leap. It’s better to appear when you are at peak performance, unnecessary stretching will overwhelm you.

Mental Conditioning: For exams like CBAP, its extremely important to be calm and relaxed. On the exam day stay full and be hydrated else it can really impact your focus.

On the D day: Now coming to the most important 3.5 hours of the journey.

  • Need to be really swift in data interpretation and analysis especially in case studies.
  • Technique and more techniques, please focus on mastering them.
  • UML diagrams, DFDs, ER diagrams – be thorough with them.
  • Inputs and outputs for tasks can be asked under scenario based questions, don’t ignore them.
  • Time is very crucial. 3.5 hours are just not sufficient. Hence pace your exam time, wisely.

Hope this would be helpful for future CBAP aspirants. Good Luck!

About Mrinalika Akula

Mrinalika is an accomplished IT professional bringing in a successful and robust 10-years career in Business Analysis and Enterprise Application Integration. She is a CBAP v3 certified from IIBA Canada. She is also an AWS certified cloud practitioner.

Mrinalika has worked in top tier companies for fortune 100 clients in India, US & Europe, in multiple roles like Developer, System Analyst, Technology lead. She has experience of working on multi-tier CRM, ERP integrations and SOA based IT restructuring programs.

She has conducted many practice and unit level trainings, she has been part of COE teams in integration space, designed training programs and authored content for them. She has successfully led and facilitated Knowledge transfer sessions at client locations.

She does individual mentoring for CBAP aspirants.  She works with business analysts and solution teams in helping them understand the technology landscape that they work on. She specializes in creation of detailed visual models for Strategy teams.

About Techcanvass

Techcanvass offers IT certification courses for professionals. We are an IIBA endorsed education provider (EEP), iSQI ATP (for Certified Agile Business Analyst Training) as well as Agile Testing alliance partner for CP-SAT certification training in Selenium.

We have a Business analyst training course with domain training in-built into it. This training program offers you the opportunity to get certified with ECBA certification as well as have banking domain understanding.

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