CBAP and CCBA Exam Preparation

I recently received two emails about certification, one from a customer of ours who purchased our CBAP® Online Study Guide. The other was from a colleague wondering if we planned to offer training for the new IIBA certification, the CCBA™ (Certification of Competency in Business Analysis). Both are good questions and prompted me to share my thoughts with others who might be interested.

Q. Can you please give me some advice on starting my preparation for the CBAP® exam? How did you prepare for it? Where are CBAPs most valued in the world?

A. Thanks for writing. I wrote an article about an approach to passing the CBAP exam. It’s based on surveying a wide group of CBAPs who passed the exam. For my own certification, I mainly used the BABOK and my knowledge as a PMP because there were no other study aids available in early 2007 when I took the exam. The CBAP exam is based largely on the BABOK®, so our Study Guide will be a big help to understanding the BABOK® and to answering questions about it.

To prepare, I’d suggest reading the article and using it to create your own plan. Everyone studies differently, depending on their learning style. Overall, you should expect to study 80-100+ hours for the exam based on the median and average study times of 100 hours in our survey. One other tip is to use our online study exam system that you receive with the purchase of your Guide. It has summary feedback by knowledge area so you can judge your mastery of the BABOK. Each question has explanations for correct and incorrect answers. Students in our CBAP Prep classes tell us the incorrect explanations are very useful to help them learn the BABOK® concepts.

Based on the numbers of CBAPs by location, the certification seems to be most valued in the US and Canada, particularly in Ontario (Canada) and in Minnesota (US). These two areas have the highest number of CBAPs of anywhere in the world. There are now 1000 CBAPs in the world, a nice threshold that we crossed. Hope this helps you, and best wishes on passing the CBAP exam!

Q. Do you plan to offer separate training on preparing for the new CCBA exam?

A. We are not planning on offering a separate CCBA Study Guide or Exam Prep class. From everything the IIBA has announced the exam will be based on the BABOK®, so our Study Guide, preparation class, and all of our ancillary products will still be highly applicable. We urge CCBA candidates to download a copy of the BABOK from the IIBA and begin their preparation by reading it thoroughly. We’ll make a more formal announcement of our plans as we learn more from IIBA, and when their CCBA exam gets closer to being ready. The exam is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2011.

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