CBAP/CCBA FAQs-Part 4


CCBA LogoCBAP LogoHere is my final installment of FAQs from a recent webinar on CBAP certification I gave. Hopefully these are proving useful to you in your certification journey. Please contact us at info@WatermarkLearning.com if you have additional questions. Also, subscribe to our eNewsletter, The ProjectBrief™ for further updates and webinar announcements.

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Q: Why does it take the IIBA certification folks 3+ weeks to approve your application, where as PMI takes less than a week?

A: First of all, the CBAP and CCBA applications are much more rigorous than the PMP or CAPM. It takes longer to verify and validate the projects you indicate on your application. Also, please bear in mind that IIBA is less than 10 years old and PMI is more than 40. IIBA relies heavily on volunteers as it grows and so the process will also take longer for that reason.

Q: Would this be a useful certification to have if I already have a PMP?

A: It depends on how much business analysis work you do. We train quite a few people who perform both PM and BA work. If you do that in roughly equal measure, then having both the PMP and CBAP/CCBA makes sense. Having both certifications makes you more marketable. It also demonstrates you are dedicated to both professions, something that employers respect.

Q: Can you give an example of how you would structure or document your BA experience on the application?

A: A good example is on our CBAP/CCBA application worksheets. We show an example project and the type of information you should gather. Check out our CBAP/CCBA resources page and download the applicable worksheet.

Q: Are there any specific classes required in order to get the certification?

A: No specific classes, but you must have 21 or more hours of business analysis training in the past four years. It can’t be training on project management, testing, query tools, etc.

Q: Can you also provide the link to where the presentation will be posted. Thanks!

A: The webinar recording will be posted here: http://www.watermarklearning.com/webinars/webinar_recordings.php

Q: Hello, are there any handouts that we can use after the webinar is done with?

A: A copy of the slideshow was emailed to participants and a recording of the webinar will be posted within a week. We also have several handouts available on our CBAP/CCBA resources page.

Q: I am a project manager with some of my job requirements associated with effectively developing a process to deliver the project. Would this count for a Business Analysis Project?

A: If you did process modeling as part of your work, then that would count. Process Modeling is one of the BABOK techniques.

Q: When will the exams for certification use the 2013 version of the BABOK?

A: IIBA has not announced the cut-over date yet. But, my best guess is that it will be July 1, 2013 or after. (Please check with IIBA or watch our eNewsletter for announcements of the exact date.) What I advise people who are studying now is to work to get your certification before then, so you don’t have to start over and work on absorbing the new BABOK! Generally speaking, the exam will only be harder with each new release.

Q: How many questions are there in total CBAP?

A: There are 150 questions in both the CBAP and CCBA exams.

Q: Is it good practice to start with the questions in BABOK and then read the book?

A: I’m not sure what you mean by questions in the BABOK. A study approach we recommend is to read the BABOK completely, then focus on one Knowledge Area (KA) at a time. Whether in a study group or on your own, take practice exam questions like those provided on our CBAP and CCBA Online Study exams. It also helps to read about each KA in our CBAP Certification Study Guide and take the questions in our Guide. (Is that what you meant?). After going through all the KAs, we recommend taking exam simulations. These are 150-question exams to test your knowledge of all the KAs mixed together and to get used to the experience of answering many questions in one sitting. Make sure the online exam you get mixes the questions in the same percentages as the CBAP or CCBA exam, like ours does. Use the results of your exams to re-study areas in which you are not scoring well. That will help focus your study time.

Q: Does CSPO training count for 21 hours?

A: Certified Scrum Product Owner training may count, depending on if the content of the course teaches BABOK-related tasks and techniques. Here is what IIBA says about how to evaluate whether training counts towards the initial 21 hours of professional development:

“If it’s aligned with the BABOK and the other criteria in the handbook then yes it qualifies. We don’t evaluate courses unless they’re part of the IIBA endorsed program.”

Q: What types of classes are recommended? Any advice whether to invest in accredited university classes such as Villanova’s Master Certification?

A: Classes that qualify for the CBAP professional development requirement can be any class that supports the BA Body of Knowledge. If you take courses from IIBA Endorsed Education Providers (EEPs) such as Watermark Learning and Villanova U, then their courses will support the BABOK.

Having an accredited university class won’t necessarily help you learn the BABOK or pass an exam. We offer two levels of university credentials: certificate programs and college credits. Consider the university affiliation to be “icing on the cake,” and not the cake itself. They enhance your experience by 1) showing current and potential employers that you are dedicated and 2) round out your training and reinforce key concepts when you take a full program.

If you are asking about courses to prepare you for the CBAP or CCBA exams, then that is a different matter. CBAP or CCBA prep courses like ours are devoted to helping you pass your exam. Of course, we recommend our courses and related products such as our Online Study Exams!

Q: When summing up multiple short projects in the application, should their functionality be summed up too?

A: You could if that helps you organize them, and it does make sense to do that. The IIBA cares more about what you did on the projects than they do about what the projects produced. Remember, they are not in a position to understand or judge the outcomes of our projects. What they do care about and can judge are the tasks we performed on projects and whether they consider those BA tasks.

Q: My approved application to test expired before I could take the test. When I reapply, do I have to submit new references or will my original references still be on file?

A: The IIBA says your references are valid for one year. If you re-submit your application, they say to “email certification@iiba.org for further instructions.” You can always re-submit them to be on the safe side.

Q: Is the Agile Ext being added to v2 of the CBAP test?

A: No, and I would doubt IIBA would add it to v3 of their exams, either. It is considered a specialty, and not a generally accepted practice, so my guess is they will at most create a separate “Agile BA” credential. They can make more money that way, too! (See what PMI has done with their specialty certifications in risk, scheduling, etc. for examples of what the IIBA may do.)

Q: Do we need to fill in the app. form and send the fees thru cheque to IIBA address before appearing for the exam and after application approval?

A: First, you send in your application fee when you apply. Then, you need to pay for your exam only if your application is approved. This needs to be done before you schedule your exam, and can be done with a credit card or check.

Well, everyone, those are all the questions left over from the webinar! Thanks for the great quantity and variety of questions. Watch our eNewsletter or web site for future CBAP webinars. And, remember that the first Friday of every month we have a “CBAP/CCBA Study Hall” in which you can ask any question about understanding, applying for, preparing for, or re-certifying your CBAP or CCBA. Please join us and see our events page for details. They are held the first Friday of the month at 12pm ET, 11am CT (note the former name of “Ask the CBAP®/CCBA® Experts”). See you in class or in the next study hall!!

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