Watermark Learning is proud of its customers' dedication in passing their CBAP, CCBA, PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®, and Project Management Professional (PMP)® exams. Find out how others have succeeded in their certification preparation, in their own words.

PMI-PBA Stories
PMP Stories

Do you have a story you would like to share to help others get certified? We would love to hear it! Submit your story to marketinginfo@watermarklearning.com.


CBAP/CCBA Certification

"I achieved both my CCBA and my CBAP using your material."

Zenita Lindeberg, CCBA, CBAP

The CBAP guide is well written, interesting, and much easier to read compared to the BABOK (read it but mostly used it as dictionary). The simulation exams and drills are extremely useful for training. (I achieved both my CCBA and my CBAP using your material.) It was valuable to read the explanations and then look up the BABOK section listed (both the correct and incorrect section if needed). I also value the preparation course, which has a lot of valuable discussions with the teacher and other CBAP students.

With the simulation exams, focus on the knowledge areas with the most questions, as well as the knowledge areas with your lowest score. The exam uses a lot of scenarios with a lot of practical use of the different techniques. Make sure you understand the most common techniques and that you can use them in the different knowledge areas. It is well invested time to do a brain dump of the Mnemonics, because they will help you to get a structure; create a Mindmap of knowledge areas, tasks and other Mnemonics, even if you don’t get any list of questions. I started to do a brain dump before I did a simulation just to get used to doing it the same way as I did when I did the real exam.

During the exam, time is scarce, so I strongly recommend that you answer all the questions. Flag/mark the questions that you are unsure about; it is possible to strike out answers you know are incorrect. It will save you a lot of time to only have two answers to consider when you go through all your flagged/marked questions. And if you don’t have time to check all questions, at least you have answered something.

—Zenita Lindeberg, CCBA, CBAP (Sweden)


"I compared Watermark with other resources and realized they had the best to offer..."

Dianah-Rose Kalibbala, CBAP

I passed the CBAP!!! And I just want to say that I don’t think I would have done this without the rigorous preparation that Watermark provided. I had a 3-week window to complete the certification between my last job and a new and exciting project I was taking on, so I quickly went on the hunt for resources I could use.

I compared Watermark with other resources and realized they had the best to offer if I fully utilized both the book and the exam simulations! The book offered a lot of great guidance in its unique approach to the BABOK. I would recommend Watermark any day. Thank you Rich and Elizabeth Larson, amazing job!

—Dianah-Rose Kalibbala, CBAP (United States)


"What I found the most invaluable was the ability to repeatedly take the practice exams..."

Dagmar Cole, CBAP

I found the Watermark study materials to be excellent guides; however, what I found the most invaluable was the ability to repeatedly take the practice exams. Watermark has a bank of questions, so the same questions are not presented every time 

 It has been many years since I have taken a "serious" exam. To correctly answer a multiple choice question is both a strategy and a skill. I had other practice exams but was frustrated when presented with the "correct" answer, trying to understand, "why is this correct and the others not?" The Watermark practice exam does not just provide the correct answer, but the logic behind the correct answer selection. Watermark helped me to be able to train my brain to read the question, spot key words or phrases, and then be armed with the logic to correctly identify the answer for the CBAP exam. I thought the CBAP was easier than the Watermark exam, and I passed on the first attempt. Thank you Watermark!

—Dagmar Cole, CBAP (United States)


"Would definitely not have been as successful were it not for Watermark's study materials..."

Dione Morris, CBAP

I was all set to go for my CBAP Certification towards the end of 2016; however, given the nearing deadline for the switch from BABOK v2 to v3, I found that there were not many CBAP exam appointments available at my chosen testing center left for me to choose from before the switch. As such, I had only 1 option to choose from and booked my CBAP exam for 6 weeks prior to when I intended to write it.

Lesson: Don't leave booking your actual exam date to the last minute!)

As a result, I was incredibly anxious about the now shortened timeline I had to prepare myself for this exam and get through all the material. However, as I began working through Watermark's CBAP Study Guide, and doing some of the Watermark Online Study Exams and Drills after each Knowledge Area, I became more and more comfortable and was very soon feeling a lot more confident and less anxious.

The Study Guide was incredibly valuable as it read between the lines of the BABOK and gave insight and context that I, having read the BABOK a couple times myself, completely missed. This enabled me to make better decisions when making choices between questions where I wasn't completely sure of the correct answer. To add to this, the online study sxams, drills, and test simulations, I feel, further cemented my understanding of the material as you are given explanations as to why your choices for questions were incorrect and why others were the more correct or better answers.

I went to the testing centre on the day of my exam feeling relaxed, prepared and comfortable. Having now done the exam, I can honestly say that I would have struggled and would definitely not have been as successful were it not for Watermark's Study materials.

—Dione Morris, CBAP (United Kingdom)


"Outstanding materials and instructor-led training..."

Kevin Winegardner, CBAP

I chose Watermark Learning for help with preparing for my CBAP Exam because of the outstanding materials and instructor-led training that I had experienced when I took my 'Foundations of Business Requirements' course in 2012. I took that course as a classroom course from Dayle Beyer in Chicago (Rosemont), IL. I still use those materials today, and your Concurrent Requirements Modeling tool is invaluable in understanding the relationships between the various requirements models.

Watermark Learning's' 'CBAP Preparation' course covered the IIBA BABOK Knowledge Area's in just the right amount of detail and provided not only the critical knowledge needed to pass the exam, but also a proven well thought out approach and preparation process to ensure I was prepared for the exam.

I would definitely recommend anyone serious about preparing for, and passing their CBAP Exam to contact Watermark Learning and enroll in the 'CBAP Preparation Course'. I personally believe the definition of Quality is 'Conformance to Requirements'; and Watermark Learning provides me with the Quality training I require in my professional pursuits.

—Kevin R Winegardner, CBAP (United States)


"Amazing course material that helped me prepare..."

Shweta Sharma, CBAP, PMP

I started preparing 3 months before my exam on July 8, 2016. First, I read the BABOK version 3; I thought I would take the version 3 exam, but I realized version 2 was half the size and decided to go for the exam before it changed. I tried to understand all the Knowledge Areas, tasks inside each KA, etc. I cleared my PMP® before so it was not that difficult for me to understand how these kinds of exams are, what ITO diagrams are, etc.

After I completed my reading, I enrolled in the Watermark Learning CBAP Preparation course with Anytime Learning. I opted for this because I can take the course any time as per my convenience. I also started my application on IIBA. While filling out the application, the excel sheet on Watermark Learning for the tasks really helped me, because we need to include only BA-related tasks. Thanks to Watermark Learning for providing that sheet.

I started taking the class along with working on my application by providing references, and one by one I was also reading CBAP Certification Study Guide. After I was done with all the recordings and the CBAP guide, I started reading the flashcards, which I bought from Watermark Learning. I also read BABOK version 2 this time and it made more sense to me. I started reading Study Tables, which Watermark Learning provided. I will not say I remembered all of it when I had the exam, but at least I did Input, Output, and activities. Watermark Learning’s mnemonics helped me a lot because I am a mnemonic person myself. Thanks to Watermark Learning for that!

I did all the practice exams provided in the Study Guide. I started doing simulation exams in the CBAP Online Study Exam after I was done with the entire material. I first did the warm-ups and then the drills. I started with my first mock test when I was confident and I scored 68%. I knew I had to work hard so that I can get more than 85% so I started to work on areas which needed more work. The Watermark Learning exam simulator is very good in providing you feedback on what areas you need to work on. After I started scoring above 85%, I knew I was ready for my exam. The last 4 days, I was studying for more than 7 hours. I had my exam on July 8th and cleared it.

The exam was not easy for me. I was expecting easier questions then I got in the exam, so I would say target more than 85% in the simulation exam and I am sure you will pass.

Thank you Watermark Learning for providing such amazing course material that helped me prepare for the exam in a very nice way. Reading the BABOK alone is not enough.

—Shweta Sharma, CBAP, PMP, ADP (United States)


"Figure out a game plan..."

Roger Marceau, CBAP
1st Attempt: Failed

My CBAP journey first started in 2015, approximately 6 months before my first CBAP exam on Saturday, January 30, 2016. In September/October of 2015, I attended the three-day CCBA/CBAP Certification Preparation course based on the Watermark Learning CBAP Certification Study Guide v2.0. From there, I created a study plan that included both in-office training time and at home. I started reading the BABOK and the Watermark Learning CBAP Certification Study Guide v2.0 for each Knowledge Area.

My mistake was not taking the online drill exams after each section. I also used the CBAP Certification Study Guide more than I should have the BABOK. The BABOK should be used at all times and the Study Guide as a "guide." I did end up reading both the BABOK and the CBAP Certification Study Guide, but I don't think I retained enough information. I started taking the a few CBAP exam simulations to get used to the style of questions that could be asked. These were very helpful. I also started taking the drills and warm-up questions. By that time, I thought I was okay (although my exam scores did not indicate that). Exam day came on Saturday afternoon, January 30, 2016. I was able to jot down all of the mnemonics by memory but the overall Knowledge Areas were still a concern. When taking the test, the questions were confusing and overwhelming at first glance. I think I "Marked/Flagged" the first 100! I started looking at the clock, and I had 1 hour left to complete the exam. I believe I rushed through the "Marked/Flagged" questions to be honest. In the end, when I submitted my answers, I failed, scoring a 494 out of 500 possible points.

2nd Attempt: Success!

The second part of my CBAP journey started approximately 3 months before my second CBAP exam on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. I gave myself a month off after failing my first exam to clear my mind and figure out a game plan. This time around, I scheduled my exam during the week and took the day off. Then, I focused the majority of my study time at work (where applicable) as I did not retain the information when studying at home. When studying at work, I focused on reading and understanding the BABOK first. Then, I used the CBAP Certification Study Guide as my guide with mnemonics and study tips. After each Knowledge Area, I took an online drill exam. If I was below 80%, I went back in the BABOK and reviewed the correct answers. I took these exams until I scored 80%. Every so often, I would take the warm-up exam to see where I'm at. Then, I'd review the BABOK again.

Eventually, I took the CBAP simulation exam a week before my exam. I reviewed the wrong answers and focused on the Knowledge Areas that needed improvement. Every day leading up to the exam, I reread the BABOK and Watermark Learning CBAP Certification Study Guide v2.0. Two days before the exam, I started focusing on remembering the mnemonics and the Knowledge Areas they applied to, including the Inputs and Outputs. I reviewed the techniques as well as the glossary. The night before the exam, I did a quick review and went to bed early. The day of the exam came, and this time I scheduled it in the morning, as I'm a morning person and the information is fresh in my mind. I was able to jot down all of the mnemonics by memory and understand Knowledge Areas. I felt confident in my answers but still flagged around 70 of the 150 questions. After reviewing the "Marked/Flagged" questions, I still had 2 hours and 30 minutes to go. I could slowly review the questions and answers this time around and finished with 1 hour to go. After hitting "End" to the exam, I was told that I passed the exam. Am I glad it's over? Yes, but I did learn a lot about myself in the process.

—Roger Marceau, CBAP (United States)


PMI-PBA Certification

"The only book required to clear the PMI-PBA Exam..."

Satish Katkade, MBA, PMP, PMI-PBA


"The Watermark PMI-PBA Study Guide is the only book required to clear the PMI-PBA Exam.

How I prepared for my exam:

  1. Through reading of Watermark study material
  2. Solving the chapter tests given in book
  3. Then, I noted all the points where I have marked wrong answers and focused on those areas to get a better understanding
  4. I converted my TRAVELING TIME to STUDY TIME. I prepared chapter notes. These notes I voice recorded in my cell phone. Every day during traveling to the office, I listened to those voice recorded notes instead of any music.
  5. I also opted for Watermark's online exam module, where I took 51 tests.  
    • First, I tried to achieve good numbers in each charter test
    • I tried to complete two different chapter in 1 hr. (solve 50 questions in 60 minutes). This helped me to manage time during the final exam.
    • Finally, I took 6 simulation exams where I covered more than 70%. This made me confident about the final exam

Thank you!

—Satish Katkade, MBA, PMP, PMI-PBA, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd. (India)


"A must for passing the test on the first try..."

Faye Snowden, PMP, PMI-PBA


Watermark test prep practice questions and self-study guide in combination with the Practitioner’s Guide are a must for passing the test on the first try. Following the study plan outlined in the self-study guide was my roadmap to success.

Don’t take the test expecting to get a few easy concept questions thrown in there. The questions were scenario-based! All 200 of them. You must read carefully and interpret each question. I can’t stress this enough. You must read and interpret every single question. I was extremely discouraged during the exam because I didn’t know the answer to maybe the first 10 questions. I think this was mainly because I didn’t expect all of them to be scenario-based. My advice would be to read the questions, figure out where you are in the process from reading the question, and answer from there by going forward or backward in the process based on the question’s context.

Some questions can be interpreted to be a concept definition question, but these were very few. Also, the first break I took, I was not happy because I thought nothing I studied was on the test. Later I realized that it was because I wasn’t slowing down and interpreting the questions. Once I did that, I was able to answer based on what I learned from class, Watermark, and the Practitioner’s Guide.

Finally, you can’t pass the test via memorization. You have to know this stuff. Forget the brain dump. The subject matter must be baked-in and internalized. As I believe Watermark suggested—start 3 months out, and do something every day. Take advantage of practice tests in Watermark and the test prep questions online. DO NOT TRY TO USE FREE PRACTICE QUESTSIONS ON THE INTERNET. Sorry for yelling, but most of these were wrong. They will confuse, not help. I needed every bit of the 4 hours allotted for the test, and ran out of time. I think that was because I freaked-out when I thought nothing I studied was on the test and I was going to fail. Even with that, I managed a score that was well-above average. That is because I slowed down and calmed down during the test.

—Faye Snowden, PMP, PMI-PBA (United States)


"Watermark's questions were more difficult than PMI's..."

Felicia Grand-Pierre, PMP, PMI-PBA

I passed the PMI-PBA exam today! In addition to using A Guide to the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), BABOK, the PBA Practitioner Handbook and the Watermark Exam Prep book I used the Watermark Online Study Exams. The exams were key to my preparation. Over my two month study time I answered 3100 exam questions!

I set aside regular time to study Monday through Friday. I did at least one drill a day reviewing any missed answers. I also did the simulation tests once a week to help prepare for the longer exam. It helped me to prepare physically too! The practice exams also helped me to get used to the scenario question structure.  I learned how to ignore irrelevant information and recognize trick questions.

I passed my exam in the 'Above Target' range. Watermark's questions were more difficult than PMI's. I highly recommend the investment in the practice exams.

—Felicia Grand-Pierre, PMP, PMI-PBA (United States)


"The prerecorded sessions were more captivating than the previous live sessions I attended from another provider..."

Daniel Perryman, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-PBA

After enrolling for an onsite PMI-PBA exam prep course with another provider, I was disappointed when the class was canceled due to insufficient attendance. Their scheduling coordinator assured me that an online “live” course would be a great alternative and would be just as informative. I was disappointed with the content and format and chalked the experience up to a lesson learned the hard way.

Several months later, I decided that I might as well apply for the exam and see what happens. If I were accepted, I’d worry about the studying then. Well, lo and behold, I was accepted and scheduled my exam out about a month. I signed up for Watermark’s online test module and started studying. After several unproductive self-directed sessions with lots of distractions and not much progress, I realized the exam was two weeks away and I hadn’t a prayer of passing. In a panic, I searched for a class that I could cram into the next two weeks. There weren’t any in-person or live online courses that would fit my timeline. I found the option for the Anytime Learning class and decided to take a leap of faith.

Watermark’s sales consultant was great to work with by email and phone and helped me to start building my confidence. I set a schedule for myself over the course of one week and a long weekend. I started my sessions and was delighted to find how engaging, good-humored and interactive they were.

Yes, the prerecorded sessions were more captivating than the previous live sessions I attended from another provider! I even found myself participating in the recorded student discussions – that may be a subject for my therapist, but that is another story. After a fourth of July weekend spent with a computer and my documentation, I sat for the exam on July 5th and passed. I could not have done it without your help! Thank you so much! You will be my first choice for future education needs. All the best!

—Daniel Perryman, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-PBA (United States)


"Memorizing all about tools & techniques wasn't possible for me but I LEARNED..."

Jorge Lamadrid Guerrero, PMI-PBA, PMP, PRINCE2

I passed the PMI-PBA exam on my first attempt, here in Lima (ICPNA-Prometric).

After preparing for the PMP and passing in October 2015, I thought it was going to be the same but it wasn't. Each challenge is different. Two years ago, I could study more calmly (now my kids are more demanding and I need to play with them, help them with homework, etc.) as well as professional responsibilities. I didn't have much time so an intensive plan wasn't realistic and it took about 6 months step-by-step but I passed on my first attempt.

I bought your Exam Simulator and your Tables.

Tables are VERY important and helpful. I memorized all tasks (kind of the PMBOK® Guide 47 processes) and used that BA-tasks brain dump. It helped me during exam to structure my decisions in some difficult questions. Memorizing all about tools & techniques wasn't possible for me but I LEARNED and understood how to categorize them and that was fantastic!

—Jorge Lamadrid Guerrero, PMI-PBA, PMP, PRINCE2 (Peru)


"The PMI-PBA Certification Boot Camp was instrumental in achieving my certification."

Flávia Guarnieri, MBA, PMP, PMI-PBA

The PMI-PBA Certification Boot Camp provided by Watermark Learning was instrumental in achieving my certification. It gave me a clear idea of how to prioritize the topics for studying; the study tables provided an easy way to memorize all that I needed to, the on-line exam simulations are really close to the style of the real exam; and I also gained lots of insights that I have been using in my daily activities.

It was great to get accurate information from the knowledgeable instructor and also to exchange experiences with my classmates in a virtual environment. The training infrastructure was great, and the on-line training was dynamic and fun.

I have not used other materials than the ones provided by Watermark, since they all seemed too complex and not really clearly focused and organized for the exam preparation.

Flávia Guarnieri, PMP, PMI-PBA (Canada)


"First time I got a certification on my first attempt..."

Antonio Canas Martinez, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA

I started studying the CBAP with another [competitor's] book, but I failed the exam. So, because I had to wait 3 months until the second attempt, I moved forward with the PMI-PBA to keep studying BA. I bought the book and study tables for both certifications of Watermark Learning. I passed the PBA at the first attempt on Tuesday and yesterday I started reading your CBAP book, right now is with me in the subway. I hold PMP, ACP and PBA from PMI and it is the first time I got a certification on my first attempt. Thank you to help us with good materials for our study!

Antonio Cañas Martinez, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA (Spain)


PMP Certification

"The instructor made each module exciting..."

John Jackson Avudria, PMP

I have been consulting as an IT Infrastructure Project Manager for ten years. Although I took the PMP exam prep with Milwaukee and Madison PMI chapters, I did not have time to take the exam.

In February 2017, I was in job transition when I met with my counsellor in the Dislocated Worker program in Woodbury, MN. We discussed career options, and I told him I wanted to take the PMP exam and think this would improve my chances of lending a better job. He suggested I could take the preparation course either at St. Thomas University or Watermark Learning. The course at St. Thomas would start in July, but the Watermark Learning PMP Certification Boot Camp was starting at the end of February. Therefore, I signed up for the training at Watermark Learning.

When I started the class, most of the people in the class were also in a job transition state, except for three people. We were almost the same age range, except perhaps two or three middle-aged people in that class. The majority of my classmates had been project managers but none of them had formal training.

The group dynamics in the class were excellent. Everyone participated actively in the class exercises. The delivery method for the course was superb and the instructor made each module exciting, despite the fatigue after long days.

After the course, I mobilized a study group and 2 guys from my class joined me and we worked hard for 2 ½ months as a solid team. We studied 7 days a week. Whenever a team member had a job interview, he would take off the hours he needed. We practice taking tests with the Watermark Learning practice tests a lot, as a team and on our own. We also purchased demo exam from PMstudy.org and practiced tests as a team and on our own. To pass the PMP exam, you need to commit a lot of hours for study. Master all knowledge areas, inputs, tools/techniques and outputs. If you can sing them like a song, you not have trouble on the exam.

Passing my PMP exam and ScrumMaster certifications within two months (a goal I had set for myself) was really a bonus. I am hoping that these certifications will open new doors and enable me to compete effectively for IT Project Manager positions requiring certifications.

—John Jackson Avudria, PMP (United States)


"Invaluable in helping me pass the PMP exam..."

Lizanne Cooper, PMP

I took the PMP Certification Boot Camp with Watermark Learning and thought it was fantastic. My trainer was engaging and made the class a lot of fun. Her encouragement, along with the support of my classmates, was invaluable in helping me pass the PMP exam. The class materials had relevant and absolutely up-to-date content. The trainer was incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, and supportive. She gave us useful tips and guided us in focusing on the right information to study, all of which propelled me towards successful PMP certification.

Thanks to Watermark Learning, I was able to make PMP certification a reality and drive career success.

—Lizanne Cooper, PMP (United States)

The PMP and PMI-PBA are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc