The Certified Business Analysis Professional is a course offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and can establish you as a certified business analyst in the global market. If you’re planning to get CBA certified, here’s how you can go about doing it.
Applying for CBA exam is the first thing that you need to do. Get hold of the CBAP certification handbook—it offers you a thorough explanation of everything you need in order to apply for the exam.
Documenting your work experience is important and is one of the most challenging parts of getting a CBAP certification. Documenting 10 years of work experience is not easy and you need to recall information about every project that you’ve ever worked on. You’d also need to align your experience with each task as defined in the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) guide.
You also need determine the number of hours you’ve spent in business analysis training and that should be at least 7500 hours. This means, if you’ve worked in one project for 100 hours, and only 25% of the time was spent on business analysis activities, you can only include 25 hours from that project.
In order to be eligible, you’ll also need experience in at least 4 out of the 6 core knowledge areas. A minimum of 900 hours spent on doing tasks from different knowledge areas makes you eligible for CBAP exam. In about three week’s time you’ll know whether your application has been approved or not.
Once approved, you need to start preparing for the exam with more benefits and BABOK is what you need to start with. It has all information to help you clear the exam. Memorize each term in the book and get a clear understanding of every concept as you’ll need to implement them while solving the paper.
BABOK has everything you need to learn and understand to clear the exam, but BABOK is an extensive piece of business analysis literature that isn’t very easy to understand. Buy a few other guides to help you out when the BABOK gets too overbearing to comprehend. You can even consider joining a BABOK study group, that focuses on discussing BABOK content and even preparing for the exam.
Scheduling your exam is another important thing to do after your application is approved. Ideally, you need 2-3 months to prepare for CBAP exam and so schedule your exam accordingly. Rescheduling the exam is always possible and even if you don’t clear your exam in the first attempt, you can write it again in the same calendar year.
Scheduling the exam well in advance will keep you motivated and help you set an action plan.
When you sit for the exam, you should be in a position to recall the knowledge of BABOK effectively. And there are a lot of ways to do this. You can get a formal training that walks you through BABOK, addresses your concerns and doubts and help you prepare better with mock tests. You can also choose to study independently, then get hold of a study guide and a workbook.
Consider rewriting the BABOK, so that you don’t forget anything. This is a great way to remember the terminology and jargons business analysts need to know.
Lastly, when you sit for the exam, make sure you write it to the best of your ability. Don’t get demotivated if you don’t clear it—there’s always a next time. Once you’ve cleared the exam, don’t forget to celebrate your success; it’s a well deserved one. Look for better job opportunities (as it is they’ll come your way) and remember to get yourself recertified every 3 years to remain a leader in the field.
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