How to prepare for CBAP certification exam?

A step by step approach on – how to prepare for CBAP certification exam and clear it in the first attempt.

CBAP Certification Preparation

In this article, I am going to laydown a step by step approach for CBAP certification exam preparation so that you can succeed in the first attempt. CBAP is not a simple exam to crack. It requires a systematic approach and hard work to clear it.

Here are the seven steps to prepare for the CBAP certification exam. These steps are based on our panel of faculty and CBAP certified professionals.

  1. Be realistic about what it takes to crack it?
  2. Set a target exam date
  3. Make a plan
  4. Make BABOK your friend
  5. Choose the right question bank
  6. Make use of question bank wisely
  7. Condition yourself for the exam

1. Be realistic about what it takes to crack it?

Cracking CBAP takes a systematic approach and a lot of hard work. Analyze your workload, family commitments and motivation before you start your preparation. You don’t want to leave it in between as that you will not only waste your time, it will also be demotivating.

We believe that it takes 180-240 hours of preparation time for CBAP. If you are able to set aside 12 hours a week, it will take 15-20 weeks. This translates to 4-5 calendar months.

Are you up for it? If yes, go ahead.

2. Set a target exam date

Target date is like setting up a goal post to keep you focused. Based on your own assessment in step 1, set an exam date. This will also help you in making a plan as explained in the step number 3.

3. Make a plan

Start your preparation by making a plan. Ideally the plan should be weekly so that you can also set a weekly goal. Day wise targets are very difficult to adhere to because our workload and various other reasons.

This step will help you in couple of things:

  • Validate your target date for exam
  • Working on weekly targets will help you focus better

Make sure that you review your progress regularly and if needed, adjust the plan. I would advise you to keep 2 weeks as buffer to manage risks.

4. Make BABOK your friend

The CBAP exam is based on BABOK and only BABOK. So make BABOK your friend/companion. Read BABOK till you are able to score 75-80% score in the mock exams.

It’s not enough to read BABOK just once. So, how many times should you go through BABOK?

Well, it depends on your mock exam scores. But it is recommended to go through BABOK 2-3 times during the your preparation.

First reading: Understanding key concepts, relationships and making a note of key aspects and developing your mnemonics. This may not be a good point to start taking mock tests.

Second Reading: Start going through each knowledge area more thoroughly. This is time when you should start taking the tests.

Third reading: This reading should be just before you are going to undertake full length simulated tests. Second reading and doing chapter wise tests will give you insights into your weak areas and gaps in your understanding.

Note: You may need to read portions or chapters of BABOK again, if required. 

5. Choose the right Question Bank

Your success depends on choosing a good question bank as it helps you assess your preparedness. Here are a few guidelines to select a good question bank series:

a) First of all, check the reviews by people who have used the question bank.

b) Secondly, you should look for a question bank that has sufficient number of questions. There should enough chapter wise, case studies based and full length questions.   Some question banks also have warm-up question sets.

b) During your second BABOK reading, you need tougher questions based on application of BABOK knowledge. As you know CBAP exam comprises of scenario and case study questions, so you need those kind of questions.

Note: Techcanvass CBAP question Bank also includes crossword puzzles and Match making exercises in addition to 1000+ questions.

c) Also check the number of full length simulations. You need around 4-5 full length tests to get ready for the final exam.

6. Make use of question bank wisely

Choosing a good question bank is just half the battle. Using it wisely and effectively is equally important. What does it mean?

  • Use the chapter wise questions to assess your chapter wise preparedness in stages. If you are not doing well, stop the tests. Go back and read the chapter again and then take the tests.
  • Always target 75-80% score on an average and that’s typically a good indication of your readiness.
  • Leave the full length simulations for the end.

7. Condition yourself for the exam

Mental conditioning  is extremely important for couple of reasons:

  • Length of the exam is 3.5 hrs. When do you think you sat for 3.5 hours without taking a break?
  • With gadgets all around, our concentration spans have gone down considerably. Maintaining focus in a stressful (stress of success/failure) environment is not easy.

So, how do condition yourself?

  • Working hard and practicing enough to score consistently 75-80% scores in all the knowledge areas. (Important is all the knowledge areas).
  • Taking enough full length simulations. This will also help you in preparing you for a 3.5 hours exam.

Using full length tests wisely

CBAP full length tests are lengthy and will be exhausting. Going through 120 questions and sitting for those many hours can be challenging. Before you start taking them, you must consider the following:

  1. Spend as much as time as possible in step 8 to make sure that you start feeling confident.
  2. Start taking full-length tests in the last 7-10 days to give final touches to your preparation.

In the full length exams also, your target should be 75-80% score consistently.

In this article, I have used inputs from many CBAP certified professionals. It’s quite obvious that proper planning and mental conditioning are as important as BABOK mastery.

Hope this helps you in succeeding. All the best.

What’s next

Here is a list of what you can do next?

Read about CBAP version 3 certified Mrinalika Akula’s CBAP preparation journey.

You can also read about Satheesh S’s CBAP preparation approach.

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.

You can check out our CBAP Training course .

Abhishek Srivastava

Abhishek Srivastava is a seasoned IT professional with diverse experience in Banking, Insurance, Utility and Education domains. Managing large accounts, Program management & Developing business solutions has been his forte.An NIT / IIM Kozhikode graduate, He founded Techcanvass ( in 2013. With Techcanvass, He is pursuing his dream of creating an organization imparting quality education to IT professionals. He believes that learning is a lifelong journey and one must never stop learning.He also loves writing and sharing his knowledge. Some of his notable books are ERP to E2RP, UML Modelling for Business Analysts, Business Analysts Practitioners Guide, Software Testing: A practical Approach. All these books are available on Amazon.

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