CBAP Application tips to get approved

CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Seven Steps to Getting Approved

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo30

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series CBAP Application Series

CBAP Application Real Stories

Cristine is a Sr. Business Analyst working in Toronto. She has had a very successful consulting business analysis career spanning over 12 years; 3 years of which have been in programming. She wants to do the CBAP as part of her goal, but is a bit overwhelmed with the application process. She would rather read articles about the greatness of CBAP that make her feel good, than start the dreaded application process (her own words). Even though she got a CBAP application worksheet from some of her friends to help her document the experience (one of which is a “premium” spreadsheet bought from a vendor) she is not really motivated to act. 

Mark is a versatile business consultant. In his career spanning over 20 years, he has mostly been involved in coding, designing, and requirements analysis. His job title for most of his career has been “Systems Analyst” and “Business Consultant”. He is interested  in applying for CBAP (Or CCBA) but feels inhibited by the job titles that he has held. He dreads rejection like a vampire dreads the daylight and doesn’t even tread the path of researching about the exam requirements because he has never held the title of a “Business Analyst” in his career.

Shilpa is a… OK, I am going to stop with real stories of fright, apprehension, and fear of rejection right here. These are real stories of some of The BA Coach community members applying for the CBAP/CCBA exam. And I am sure some of these may resonate with you or you may have your own story <<Imagine Your Story Here>>.

The point I am trying to make here is this: we all have our stories and excuses for not doing something when we decide to do something worthwhile (remember the 2012 resolutions?). For instance, I took nearly one year to just apply for CBAP. Although I was extremely motivated to write the exam, there were some intrinsic and extrinsic impediments to making this happen. Now, I’ve learnt better and know how to squash them, and that is the reason why this new series is written to help you.

A Series of Seven Steps To Get You Approved

In this new CCBA & CBAP application series of blog posts, I will help you, guide you, motivate you, show you step-by-step, shake you up, and assist you in getting your CCBA or CBAP application approved. You will see this broken down into seven concrete and very important steps. In this root post, I will be laying out a framework or outline for these seven steps and expand each of them as a separate blog post in the days to come. This will make the steps more digestible and – more importantly – implementable.

So, hang tight and lets get started.

Here are the seven steps that you must carefully follow in sequence (for the most part) in order to successfully approach the CCBA or CBAP Application process:

  1. The Absolute First Step - begin with the end in mind. In this post I will be explaining the importance of applying for the CBAP or CCBA exam. This is probably a more important step than the exam itself (yes, really); if you have listened to this BOK Talk episode I did with Kevin Brennan from the IIBA, you will get some clues.
  2. Read This Holy Grail of Application Info for CBAP or CCBA – don’t skip this step. Just don’t. In this post you will learn about a very critical and easy step that a lot of applicants miss. Taking this step can get you to the holy grail of application information. And, yes you can skip the 179 comments on LinkedIn to understand how to apply for CCBA or CBAP.
  3. Skim Through BABOK – essential skimming for application success. In this post I will walk through some important sections of the BABOK® that will help you with your application process. This is an important step in order to place your work experience in the right pockets of the application form.
  4. Understand the 5 Core Eligibility Requirements – CBAP or CCBA eligibility requirements demystified. In this segment I will walk through the core requirements of being eligible to apply for the CCBA or CBAP exam.
  5. 7 Ways to Easily Document Your Work Experience for CBAP – simple ways to group and roll up your work experience. You will learn about 7 different ways in which you can simplify seemingly complicated work experience. This post will end by introducing you to the CBAP Application worksheet – where all the action begins.
  6. CBAP Application Template – no I am not just sharing the template. You will see and learn how to use it too. In this segment you will learn about the CCBA / CBAP Application worksheet in detail.  You will also be able to distinguish acceptable and non-acceptable activities / work experience.
  7. Taking Action and Just Applying – this is probably where I will motivate the heck out of you (hopefully) and urge you to take action.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I have covered all the aspects of applying for the CCBA or CBAP exam?

Please use the comments section below to leave your thoughts and additional feedback or suggestions.

Series NavigationCBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 1 of 7 – Begin With the End in Mind >>

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I am a passionate and practicing business analyst, author, and blogger from Toronto, Canada. I host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. Musically driven by Eagles, Lucky Ali, and Linkin Park. Huge fan of Colts, Leafs, and Indian cricket team. To be in the loop for latest member-only resources, and news from The BA Coach be sure to sign-up for our free eNewsletter. View more BA passion painted with digital ink by Yamo!    

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra Cordes March 14, 2012 at 6:58 am

Hi Yamo,

I am looking forward to reading your series of blog posts on the CBAP/CCBA process. For me, my situation is less of a real story of fright / apprehension / fear of rejection – even though I feel that too – but more of time and how to make the application process as efficient as possible to fit in with a busy life!



Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

Thanks, Alexandra. Will be definitely covering the time and making the process more efficient aspects.

“Busy” is another symptom to look into, for sure. Hopefully I can help and motiviate people do this in spite of being busy; since most of the folks looking into CBAP are a busy crowd. :)


David Smith March 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm


Bring it on!



Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 15, 2012 at 2:49 am

You bet, David. Thanks for the comment. :)


Katie Metcalfe March 15, 2012 at 2:41 am

Hey Yamo,

This blog topic sounds so helpful, especially for us fearful, confused and procrastinating BA’s :). Looking forward to understanding the acceptable and non acceptable activities as I’ve heard so many differing stories.

As David says..bring it on!



Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 15, 2012 at 2:56 am

Thanks, Katie. Procrastination would be another symptom to look into. Will try and provide some “boosters” to help with this.

I’ve heard many more stories too. I am sure every BA applying for CCBA or CBAP has an interesting story of not applying yet. :) ‘Confused’, ‘Busy’,
‘Fearful’, ‘Overwhelmed’, and ‘Not now’ seems to be the trending pattern.


davidjcmorris March 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

Opens the series up nicely. I look forward to reading and commenting on this series as it progresses.

We’ve just started our second cohort of CCBA/CBAP accelerated study group in Auckland (NZ) based on an intensive 12-week programme which has proved very effective so far (witness the dramatic increase in CBAP holders in NZ over the last 1.5 years). I will make this mandatory reading for them too.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 16, 2012 at 2:15 am

Thank you and much appreciated, David. Will look for your advice and comments all along the series. :)


Misha March 16, 2012 at 4:03 am

Many Thanks Yaaqub for sharing.

keen to study through your 7 steps, looking forward.



Alaeddin March 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Sweet! Looking forward to these posts :)


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

Thanks, Misha and Alaeddin.

Alaeddin – you should see your interview live within the next two months. :)


bennett March 21, 2012 at 1:50 am

You would be doing a great service to the BA community Yamo, if you could demystify the requirements for CBAP/CCBA.

I am fully comfortable and confident of the BA profession, but because I did this for over 20 years in a split capacity (Sr. Programmer/ANALYST), rather than full time capacity as BA, feel that I would not qualify as they have very strict eligibility requirements.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks, Bennett. There are a lot of people in the same boat as you. The good thing about CBAP or CCBA is that you don’t have to go back too far in time. If you focus on the last 10 yrs of your experience and evaluate how it aligns with various knowledge areas in the BABOK, it is a good start. Follow along as I continue to complete this series and you will feel much comfortable with the whole process.


Deepak March 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

Thanks for the wonderful work with the podcasts and posts Yaaqub, they have been very helpful.
I am really looking forward to this series on CCBA/CBAP application process. I have been in a BA role for three years now and was wondering if i should take up the CCBA exam to learn more on the professional tools and gain some takeaways to do my job more effectively.


Bharat D March 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hey Deepak, It’s really good to hear that you like the TheBACoach Contents, I would say browse BABOK first, it will make you a better and an effective business analyst, then the goal to get CCBA will take birth; Just a suggestion, I am learner from the BA Communities. These communities have taken me where today, especially YAMO.

So go thru BABOK, Post to YAMO or LinkedIn Group if help needed, you will get the way.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Deepak. It looks like you are a good candidate for CCBA certification. This period of your career is the most exciting; make sure to learn a lot, listen to all the podcasts and follow along this series as I help you apply for CCBA certification.

@Bharat – you never fail to amaze me with your insights and ‘the-way-you-say-it’ :) Thanks for the additional thoughts.


Toms kuruvilla March 27, 2012 at 4:22 am

Hi Yamo,
I am form India working as a BA in a Software firm,could you advise me on the career path that need to be follow and certifications that I need to get as I am a beginner in this field.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Toms, since you are here… one quick advice to help you is to listen to all the BA interviews, and before you tread on the path of certification, I suggest you read this post (applies to CCBA too):


Rebecca Redford March 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to read all the blogs you mention. I have applied once for CBAP but my application was rejected for lack of solutioning experience which I know I have but perhaps did not articulate correctly. They only give you, I belive 2 weeks to appeal your application and I just didn’t have the time with in that 2 weeks to investigate and correct. Since then I have been very discouraged to reapply especially since I lost the $150 application fee as well.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Sorry to hear about this, Rebecca. It can be frustrating and unnerving to have your application get rejected. I earnestly hope that this series and the pointers in the subsequent posts will help you navigate the application process again and get approved the next time.

Don’t be discouraged, just think of this as another stepping stone towards your certification journey. Besides, you will probably never look at the solutioning experience in the same light that you did earlier; which can be a positive thing too.


Bilal Aftab March 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Great job Yamo. Definitely looking forward to upcoming posts. As like others, i’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for the last 18+ years without knowing that there exists a professional certification in this field. I would shortly be applying for CBAP (but not before you complete this series:).
I would also be getting in touch with you as we down here in Pakistan are really short of mentors in this field (to my knowledge there are only 2 certified CBAP in Pakistan).


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thanks, Bilal. Hang tight … more posts are coming soon. You can read the first step, which in my view is the most important step. If you have any questions on that, please post it on its comments section.


Amy Hall April 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I appreciate what has been posted and it looks like some great topics coming. What is your prosposed schedule for each of these topics? I am ready to apply, but anxious to see what advice you have.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo April 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi Amy, Thanks for the comment. Currently the plan is to release the posts roughly once a week. The latest one will be published tomorrow. I am targetting to complete the series by end of May. I hope all the info on these posts is actionable to you.

How far along the process are you at?

Please use the comments section to ask any questions or leave your comments all along this series.


Art Beecher January 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for this, Yamo.
We’ve been encouraging our BAs to pursue IIBA certification, but have been frustrated by applications being rejected and by IIBA’s refusal to provide information about why the applications were rejected.
Hoping these blog posts can be another tool to help reduce our BAs’ frustration, increase their willingness to pursue certification, and increase the acceptance level of our applications.

Thanks again.


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