Tips for Using the Watermark Learning CBAP Certification Study Guide

CBAP-CCBA Book CoverA LinkedIn group member and purchaser of our CBAP® Certification Study Guide asked me for tips on studying for the CBAP® exam. Here is a 3-step overview of some tips to get the most out of our study guide and the trial subscription to our CBAP® (or CCBA®) Online Study Exam that comes with it. The tips apply equally to preparing for the CCBA® exam as well as for the CBAP®.


  • When first beginning your CBAP or CCBA preparation, you need to read the BABOK cover to cover. The key to passing the CBAP or CCBA exam is to understanding the BABOK completely.
  • We wrote the CBAP® Certification Study Guide to make the BABOK more accessible and to chunk the information to make it easier to absorb. We structured it to follow the BABOK so you can study using the two together. Our Guide also has memory techniques to help you absorb the details to let you concentrate on the situational and sometimes tricky questions on the exam without stressing over the many details.


  • After reading the BABOK and if you have time, then re-read each chapter of the BABOK along with each chapter of our study guide. Take the practice questions at the end of each chapter to gauge how you are doing.
  • Our Guide gives detailed explanations for each correct and incorrect answer, together with BABOK reference numbers. Use this feedback to dive into the BABOK to re-read portions of it to understand what you are tested on and why an answer is correct or incorrect.
  • Our Guide comes with a trial subscription to our CBAP Online Study Exam, a valuable tool to help you get maximum practice before the real exam. Some people wait until they are nearly done with their study to activate it and report good results with this approach. They use it as a final “dress rehearsal” before their exam.
  • Others find it useful to purchase a longer subscription and take practice exams as they study. If you feel nervous about passing a major exam like the CBAP, you will reduce your test anxiety by using our tool. (Read what others say about our online exam tool.) You can take advantage of the Drill feature and take practice questions after each chapter to really go in depth. Our exam bank has between 130-160 questions in each core Knowledge Area to give you wide exposure to and help you absorb each part of the BABOK.
  • If you choose to wait until you activate your exam, we advise you to use other methods to absorb the BABOK.
    • Some people are helped by joining study groups and use our Guide in their groups. If your learning style favors interacting with others or spreading your study out over several weeks, this is a good method for you.
    • If you don’t have time for or access to study groups, you could consider taking a training class. We have classes for both CBAP Certification Prep and CCBA Certification Prep, offered in select cities and also held as virtual classes over the internet. A class compresses your study time and gives you additional tips for taking exams from the instructor as well as other students.
    • A third option is independent study. Using our Guide, you can employ learning aids such as flash cards, memory sheets (also known as “brain dumps”), and taking practice exams. Devising your own practice questions can be effective, and forces you to dig deeply into the BABOK to find and absorb some detailed “nuggets” of information.


  • Once you’ve completed your Knowledge Area-by- Knowledge Area study, it’s time to do some simulations. Our Guide contains a complete 150-question exam simulation to test your knowledge. We provide detailed answer explanations so you can get insights into areas you may be struggling with and reinforcement for areas that you have mastered.
  • To allow you to re-take the exam questions in our Guide, we provide answer sheets on our web site that you can download, print, and re-use. BTW, we have LOTS of other free resources on the web. Check out all our free CBAP® and CCBA® resources, including application worksheets to help you prepare your app.
  • If you haven’t activated your trial subscription to our online study exam, you should do so within a month of your exam date. Make sure you do several 150-question simulations so you get the feel for the real exam.
  • We also suggest you time yourself on simulations to find your “pace,” especially if English is not your native language. If you are having trouble finishing the simulation in 3.5 hours, you need to study more. Taking practice questions is a great way to improve your question-taking ability in addition to mastering the content of the BABOK to pass your exam.
  • We also simulate the real exam by deferring the feedback until after you finish. You can review all your questions and answers afterwards and get detailed explanations for all correct and incorrect answers to help you research the BABOK to bolster your studies.
  • We give you results of each simulation so you can gauge your progress. You get an overall score, plus results for each KA. We advise people to keep practicing until your results are around 90% or better on the simulations. That is probably overkill, but we want you to be over prepared so you find the real exam “easy” compared to our study exam. Many successful CBAPs have told us they found our questions harder, and we take that as a compliment!

I hope these tips help you get the most out of your CBAP® Certification Study Guide and CBAP® Online Study Exam. Don’t forget to see the free CBAP® and CCBA® resources on our web site. We also have additional products on our web site to help you prepare. Best wishes on passing your exam!

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