CBAP/CCBA Exam Notes

My Exam notes for CCBA/CBAP. I will be blogging about CBAP/CCBA notes over the next few weeks.

BABOK V3 is in development and based on my twitter interaction with Kevin, the final version of the BABOK won’t be released until end of 2014.


Let me rephrase, the BABOK V3’s final version won’t be out for the most part in 2014. This date is also not final, and there maybe more delays since majority of the folks working on BABOK either as authors or reviewers are volunteers and may cause a further delay in the final release (hey! life happens).

There is one key conclusion here:

BABOK V3 exam won’t be administered in 2014. IIBA hasn’t announced the dates of the new exam yet, but in all likelihood it won’t be immediately after the release of V3. Additionally, you will have six months after the launch of final version to take an exam for an earlier version of the BABOK. So, you can take the BABOK V2 exam until June 2015. That’s a lot of time at hand. So, if you’ve been stalling your exam prep citing BABOK V3, this must shed some light.

However, beyond the V3’s there are 13 more reasons that I would like to highlight.

Talking of 2014, and the new year, roughly 45% of us make at least one New Year resolution and interesting only 46% of them keep their resolution through the year.

The reason I am writing this post in March is to let the novelty of the New Year to wear off a little bit and give all of us a dose of reality.

Now, if you happen to be  among the 46% of them or the flip 54% of them, this post is for you.

1. It’s the new year – Sorta

Since we are March, there is no better time to make what I call the real New Year resolutions. This is when you can decide the resolutions that really matter to your personal and professional life. If one of your resolution is to advance professionally in the realm of business analysis, there is no better way to get certified. Here is a key takeaway for this:

Getting the 4 letters don’t matter as much as the journey of self-reflective learning journey that you go through!

BABOK V3 is no longer an excuse for this year. In my opening thoughts, I have highlighted the importance or lack thereof of BABOK V3. Here is a key take away:

BABOK V3 is not a factor for your prep in 2014, not until at least June 2015.

2. More material to cover 

As you maybe aware that BABOK V3 is a more expanded version of the business analysis framework. With a few new concepts and perspectives. However, keep in mind there WILL definitely be more content to cover in V3 than in V2. Here is the crux:

BABOK V3 will have more content than V2

3. Avoid the sunk cost 

You bought 4 study guides, 3 exam simulators, invested in an expensive prep course, instead of buying the Macbook or iPad Air or upgrading the dog shed that was falling apart. Now, how can you let go of this investment? You must avoid the sunk cost associated with your V2’s prep journey by making sure you can take the exam in 2014. Like my mom always used to remind us that, “Money doesn’t grow on a tree” … so, unless you have a backyard with a plant that yields the green $ bills, avoid sunk cost by taking the exam in 2014. Here is the crux:

Avoid the waste of time and money spent so far in V2’s prep

Time is precious, don’t squander it and money doesn’t grow on trees!

4. You are becoming a PM

If you are one of those BAs who gets pushed into (voluntary or involuntary) a PM role as a career advancement move, you will miss being a BA. And, please don’t leave the profession without truly understanding the what business analysis really is and mastering the BABOK – the most definitive global framework of practicing business analysis tasks. Here is the crux:

Understanding the BA framework of tasks, will make you a better PM.

Or like I always say to my PM friends:

One minute of effective business analysis now, will save two minutes of project management later.

5. PMP is more appealing 

A direct consequence of # 5, you may have already started preparing for PMP, and think that you should get that out of the way first. And, yes having a PMP along with CBAP is a good combination especially for dual roles. However, based on what I’ve heard CBAP is more difficult that PMP. So, tackling a relatively more difficult exam with V2 is more wise that starting the prep from scratch for V3. Here is the crux:

Even though PMP is easier than CBAP, tackle the harder exam first.

6. Leverage your IIBA membership 

One of the reasons you may have become an IIBA member is to get the discount on the certification exam, and after being overwhelmed with the information in the BABOK the plan to take the exam may not have panned out. If you have no intention to renew your IIBA membership, then this is year for you to get this discount. Here is the crux:

Leverage your IIBA membership before it expires to get the special discount for the exam

7. This is your final straw 

Completing your certification in 2014 is the most realistic goal you can set yourself. With the exam being available until at least mid-June 2015, you really can fall back if life or work comes your way. This is the final straw, your last chance to get certified for V2.  Here is the crux:

This is your last chance to set and achieve a realistic goal to get certified in 2014.

8. It is insured 

Although we haven’t yet made the formal announcement yet, we will be insuring all the CBAP-CCBA prep courses and material for BABOK V2 in 2014. If you enroll for yourself in a course or get ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit’ in 2014, your investment will be insured. This means that for whatever reason if you are unable to take the exam after attending our prep course, you will get a complimentary V3 prep course. So, the crux is:

BABOK V2 exam prep is now insured for the first time!

9. Free refresher course for V3

This is the second biggest news that we are announcing now. If you get certified in 2014, you can also get a complimentary refresher course. So, you don’t have to miss out on the delta between the two versions. This will help you get a perspective on the changes in V3.  So, here is crux:

V2 certification now comes with complimentary V3 refresher course.

10. PMI is coming out with a new BA certification

Oh yes! There are signs that PMI is going to come up with a new BA certification. My good friend Kent McDonald was not too happy about it, and yes, I get his sense of indignation. However, I feel that this can actually be a good thing for IIBA and the BA community. I should probably share my thoughts on this in a separate blog post. In a nutshell, I feel that being certified as a CBAP or getting your CCBA, you will be able to have more insightful conversations with your project manager. So, here is the crux:

Getting your CBAP/CCBA will prep you to converse meaningfully with someone certified by PMI in the same realm.

11. You love being a BA

In spite of all the challenges and difficulties our profession poses, if you still love it, then this is your year to get certified. Getting certified will help you truly appreciate what you are doing. Remember the euphoria you get when you understand the inner workings of things and hidden history around the attractions you visit? That’s it! So, here is the crux:

Do it for the love of the profession!

12. Qualify for the next interview or get an edge 

Now we are seeing more and more BA job posting that require a CCBA or CBAP as an entry criteria. I have also seen this for requirements managers, directors, and other management positions. So, why not make 2014 the year to get this edge? This can only get better, right? So, here is the crux:

More and more jobs are now asking for CBAP-CCBA, and this will only go up in 2014.

13. Unprecedented support and material is now available

I took my CBAP in 2011 after taking a snake oil prep course and there were no useful study guides available that time. This frustration, lack of quality content, and many requests from the BA community, made us create our online prep courses and the ultimate study guide, engaging the best professionals and BA practitioners from around the globe. So, here is the crux:

2014 is the year where you have the best in class tools available to study!

14. You read this

Let’s admit this: You made a choice to read this. You may have been either curious to find out or really find that WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for getting certified in 2014. You have exercised a thought process, you took action. You are a motivated kind, so why not take the leap! So, here is the crux:

You read this, now it’s the time to act!

Which of the reasons above resonates the most with you?

Is there any other reason you can think of?

Please use the comment space below to leave your comments.

“Are you kidding me, Yamo?”

If that was one of the first thoughts that came to your mind when you saw this post, I wouldn’t be surprised.

A few business analysts think that the BABOK is really a dry read. Granted it maybe for various reasons. We will explore a few reasons why BABOK can be a dry reading and what to do about it by diving into the five ways to make the BOK talk to you.

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