Crack CBAP in First Attempt

My CBAP Preparation Approach

How did I crack CBAP certification in 1st attempt?

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.

CBAP exam preparation approach

I prepared and cleared my CBAP v3 exam in 2017 and it was quite an experience. The exam was tougher than I anticipated. Even though, it took me some time to calm my nerves, but my preparation helps me do well.

To give back to the fellow CBAP aspirants, I thought to jot down the preparation approach for CBAP certification exam.

Here are some of the key aspects of my preparation:

Fix a target date for exam

It looks to be an obvious thing but actually it is not. My projects were hectic and I had limited time to study. I heard people saying that it took me 2.5-3 month but owing to my schedule, I targeted 4 months. This target date helps in planning backwards and helps in focusing. Without a target date, there is a always a risk and most importantly, it works for me.

Get your hand on BABOK

As BABOK is the book, which is what questions are based on, I spent a lot of time on going through it. Making my own notes to remember key points. I did try to remember the knowledge areas and tasks but not everything as it’s very big.

Joined a study group

Join a Study group, or join groups on Being in a group, 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.

Understand exam pattern

It’ll always help 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.

READ: CBAP exam pattern and certification details

Make a Study Plan

Instead of slaughtering the KAs and memorising, approach BABOK as a cohesive whole. 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 importance 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!


Mrinalika Akula

Read: Detailed CBAP preparation approach 

Read: How Satheesh aced CBAP Exam?

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You can check out our CBAP Training course.

CBAP Certification for Business Analyst Professionals

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