It's no surprise that the certification of business analysts is more sought after today than ever before.

Worldwide the demand for qualified practitioners, and the ability for them to quickly demonstrate their capabilities in requirements management and development, continues to grow. Growing almost as quickly is the number of people taking the Certified Business Analysis Professional TM (CBAP®) exam. The 150-question exam is based on the International Institute of Business Analysts' (IIBA®) Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®). This constantly evolving business analyst's handbook reflects the most current, generally accepted business practices, and is one of the best references in preparing for the challenging multiplechoice exam. So what does this mean to you? For those looking to take their careers forward, or to give themselves an advantage over the competition in the job market, the CBAP certification can mean an advanced career path, documented professional expertise and a positive impact on your organization. The exam is as challenging as the certification is valuable, but the time you take to prepare, from collecting and submitting your extensive application materials, is well worthwhile. As with any standardized testing, there are literally hundreds of sources for information, tips and strategies. From that mountain of information, here are 10 widely recognized best practices for applying for, preparing for and taking the CBAP exam. 1. Take your time, part 1. Even applying to sit for the exam will take a significant amount of time. Most experts and CBAPs agree that you should give yourself at least eight hours total to complete the application. Yes, you read that right. Eight total hours. (When you read #2 below, you'll understand why.) Read each question and section carefully. Answer to the best of your ability and take the time to really focus on the application. To further minimize omissions and errors - or the odds of having your application rejected - always use the IIBA-supplied templates, available with the application at http://www.theiiba.org/ under "get certified." 2. Know the requirements and fees. To successfully apply for the exam, you must demonstrate your professional experience, specifically in indentifying business needs and determining the best solutions for business problems. The completed application must meet the following five requirements: 1. Work Experience: 7,500 hours of verifiable, hands-on business analysis work over the 10 years preceding your exam application. 2. Knowledge Areas: Demonstrable experience and expertise in at least four of the six knowledge areas: Enterprise Analysis, Requirements Planning and Management, Requirements Elicitation, Requirements Analysis and Documentation, Requirements Communication, Solution Assessment and Validation, and Business Analysis Fundamentals. 3. Education: High school or equivalent 4. Professional Development: 21 hours of verifiable coursework in the past four years, directly related to business analysis.

Exam Fee for IIBA®Members Exam Fee for non-IIBA® Members $450 USD $325 USD The fee pays for the initial exam sitting and will NOT be reimbursed if you do not pass the exam. you will be reimbursed the exam fee. Before jumping in. Quite simply. client (internal or external) or CBAP are required. especially if they haven't taken an examination in some time. you can then expect to devote a substantial amount of your time and attention to preparation. Next. Please note: You can submit both the application and the exam fees with your application. This point can't be stressed enough. what many people forget. Once you've applied. have a clear understanding of how you learn and retain information. This fee pays for the processing and administration of your application. These references must indicate that you are a suitable candidate for the CBAP® certification. References: Two references from a career manager.so why not essentially apply for "free?" Fees: IIBA® $95 USD membership fee: Application Fee $125 USD Paid annually. Do you do better taking classes and interacting with others or working through . It is non-refundable. or perhaps you remember spoken words more readily. with savings of $125 for members (exactly the amount of the application fee). If your application is declined. depending on whether or not you are an IIBA member. 3. consider applying for IIBA membership before applying for the exam. is that not every study method works for every person.5. For example. Consider the idea that you will probably join IIBA after gaining your certification. The fee pays for the initial exam sitting and will NOT be reimbursed if you do not pass the exam. the fee schedule for the exam varies. As you will see below. you may be a visual learner. Experts estimate total "ideal" study time at anywhere from six weeks to six months. Know your study style.

narrow your choices by creating a list of study resources and be very selective. 5. 10. With the vast number of available study methods and resources. Since the exam focuses on practical. Practice. The night before the exam. consider making some flash cards for yourself. so get them . Knowing what you're supposed to get out of a solution will increase your confidence as you work your way through the examination." Many CBAPs laud flash cards as study tools for exam terms and definitions of each knowledge area so much so that the study technique is actually featured in many preparation courses. All the studying in the world is for naught if you're surprised when you sit down for the actual exam. Demonstrate intimate knowledge. Next. Just get a good night's rest . Memorizing terms and knowing the BABOK is just one part of passing the CBAP exam. Usage. find a quiet spot. becoming familiar with when to apply each. Most testing facilities provide these. efficient way to study anywhere. data and behavior models are all areas tested on the exam. taxing test. usage and context for all six knowledge areas is also very important.study guides on your own? Tailoring your preparation to your style will save you hours if not days . one popular preparation method is decidedly "low-tech. Even in this age of palm-sized computers and high-speed mobile Internet.of frustration and increase your confidence on exam day. flow. but it never hurts to be prepared. Practice. Know your activities. maintain your certification. Set aside three hours. 9. 8. Know your resources. process. Even if you've chosen not to take a formal course. 4. Regardless of the preparation regimen you ultimately choose. and being focused and alert is the best favor you can do for yourself. the real one won't seem so intimidating. it's very important to devote significant time to practicing modeling and more importantly. Practice. don't try to cram or re-read the BABOK. memorize the tasks and activities within each knowledge area.it is a three-hour-long. CBAP study guides featuring practice examinations are available. keeping in mind your personal style (#3 above). 6. become familiar with the input and output of each activity across all knowledge areas. Whatever your preparation method. and build upon your existing skills. it's wise to contact your local IIBA chapter. or you can leverage the knowledge of peers who have already achieved their CBAP® certification. and knowing exactly what to expect. Success depends on your ability to align your business analysis experience with the exam questions. situation-based questions. Take your time. as well as business analysis courses to help you prepare for the exam. part 2. be sure to develop a plan for practicing with CBAP-format questions or full-blown practice examinations. understanding of language. Many chapters offer study groups. They're an easy. Know your modeling. Get a flash of brilliance. If you aren't already. 7. you are allowed to write on the exam booklet. You can get a feel for activities by creating your own small models for each knowledge area or by using the models included in many of the available classes or guides. and work your way through. After a few practice exams. dress comfortably and bring paper and pencil to work out your answers. On the day of the exam. If you've memorized items. Since the exam uses situational scenarios throughout.

However. you must wait three months before you are allowed to re-take it.it will give you one less thing to think about.written down before you begin . You're not scored on how quickly you complete the exam and rushing leads to costly mistakes. if you solidify your skills and knowledge and take advantage of your experience as a Business Analysis professional. Good luck. the CBAP examination can be intimidating. Without proper preparation. Finally. Scoring the exam takes up to 30 days and results will include knowledge area breakdowns for those who have not passed. If you do not pass the exam. you'll have your certification sooner than you think. . put everything you've learned to use and pace yourself.

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