How to apply for the cbap exam

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification is designed to help professionals earn new skills and expertise in excellent documentation, competent planning, and creating business solutions. The CBAP certification exam preparation course aligns with the high standards set by IIBA and will assure continued progress in the field of business analysis. Professionals with CBAP business analyst certification will be qualified to stay connected with quick changes in the IT industry and competence in all phases of business analysis.

CBAP certification is the most popular business analysis certification globally, and it is aligned with the 2016 release of CBAP by IIBA. It will enable you to acquire the skills to be expert in business analysis, while also allowing you to clear your IIBA–CBAP exam on the first attempt. With this course, you will develop expertise in the six knowledge areas defined in BABOK Guide Version 3: business analysis planning & monitoring, elicitation, requirements management & communication, enterprise analysis, requirements analysis and solution assessment & validation.

Skills you will gain with CBAP Certification:

Explain and identify the most relevant elements of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK).

Document progress and recognize gaps in your business analysis qualifications.

Identify knowledge from the CBAP certification training course needed to pass the examinations and earn your CBAP certification.

Package your business analysis experience and education for the application process.

Apply decisive business analysis knowledge for the examinations.

Who Can Benefit with CBAP Certification:

Business Systems Analyst

Intermediate to Advanced-level Business Analyst

Systems Architect or Designer

Project Manager or Team Leader

Why Should You Choose CBAP as a Career?

A Certified Business Analysis Professional is one who has obtained the CBAP certification, awarded by the reputed IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) by qualifying in the CBAP certification exam. CBAP certified owners have years of experience in business analysis and are masters in recognizing business requirements of an organization. They propose the best business solutions for companies to get the maximum benefits. Business analysis and Systems analysis are the most basic and best-suited candidates for CBAP certification program.

1. Knowledgebase Development

The complete learning process for the CBAP certification will give you the knowledge that you would have never learned through work experience alone. The integrated courseware extends across many situations and goes in-depth with concepts and solutions, and your current knowledgebase will be broadened across business and industries with an effective academic procedure.

With such a knowledgebase at your end, your career opportunities will expand beyond the extension of past organizations and roles, and you can think beyond the industries that you have worked with so far.

2. A Networking Platform

The CBAP certification process is an excellent platform for networking with industry experts. Group study sessions and interaction with other business analysts will introduce you with a wealth of prospects, ideas and most importantly relationships that will be valuable as you attempt to build your career.

3. Correlating with Other Business Analysts

The certification method tends to provide possibilities to connect with other business analysts. While it is likely to pass the exam by independent study alone, most practical study methods include either a study group or a certification preparation course.

Study groups and prep courses comprise communication with different business analysts about the BABOK Guide. As a result, you get to learn how different business analysts work and obtain a more distinct perspective on the business analysis assignments and techniques.

4. Showcase Industry Standards

Employers the world over are looking for professionals with certifications that designate specific industry standards. Client facing business analyst positions are impelled with certifications like the CBAP as it reflects the organization’s commitment to maintaining global standards of process and delivery. It is a proof of efficiency to the stakeholders of the organization. Proven industry standards also go a long way in delivering dependable and higher quality results made desirable by techniques that have been attempted and tested by professionals the world over.

5. Recap Your Career Graph

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification will give you the confidence to build on your business analysis profile. The application method itself offers applicants an opportunity to document and recap their own business analysis experience. This is an exercise that will give your perspective on your journey in the business analysis so far and gives you a flash of how much you have received and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.

Since Business Analysis is an essential part of any organization in recognizing the needs of the business a professional Business Analyst is a must. Due to which there is a huge requirement of highly skilled and expert analysts. Choosing CBAP as a career can confirm your skills and upgrade your profile to get selected in a reputed company.

All in all the CBAP certification is an empowering certification for any aspiring business analyst. Having this certification will ensure that you are on top of your game while also extending your platform for other industry certifications and qualifications and the rewards that come along with increased experience.

formerly of Professional Project Services, LCC

How I passed the CBAP

I recently took and passed the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) certification test offered by the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA®). Since my employer, CodeSmart, paid I was doubly anxious to pass on the first attempt. Yay! I did.

A couple of things helped give me an advantage. The first was a lot of experience in business analysis. Not just the title of Business Analyst, but the activities I did within this role were in alignment with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®). While the specific terms or context of knowledge areas and processes were new, they concepts themselves were very familiar. The second advantage was previously achieving certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP). Many of the tools and terms crossovers the professions including estimation, work breakdown structure, and the underlying competencies required.

CodeSmart also paid for me to take online training through ESI. I received a 20% discount for having visited their booth at the PMI North American Global Congress in October. The eTraining was available for 42 days from registration. It provided some introduction to the course, to the BABOK, and pre-assessment test and then units by knowledge area. It concluded with test tips, drills, two more practice exams, and a course evaluation. I felt the course gave good exposure to what to expect on the test and some guidance on study but was rather high level. It was by no means a waste of time, but I couldn’t solely rely on the course and be sure of passing.

As test day got closer I began to read the BABOK® through. I didn’t do anything too special at this time. I had previous experience with a large number of the tools and techniques covered. But the more technical diagrams I felt I could use some review on. I spent one evening reading the BABOK and searching online for examples to study until I was sure I understood each better. I am glad I did this. It helped me get at least a few questions correct on the test.

I knew I wanted to commit the map of knowledge areas and processes to memory. I am a visual and kinetic learning, so simply reading the BABOK or practicing the drills of the course were not going to be much help. In the end (the day prior to the exam) I used a big pedestalled white board in my living room. The idea was to map the knowledge areas with processes plus underlying competencies. I took one pass without additional study or reference and got 53% percent of the mapping correct. I then drilled myself by drawing the mappings and practiced, waiting a couple of hours and tried the mapping again. This time I got 98%. I slept with the white board in my bedroom that night knowing that if I woke up panicked about the material, it would come in handy. In the morning I wiped the slate clean and tried the mapping again and again got 98%, getting a different section wrong then previously. I felt that I had retained enough to be comfortable taking the test. In the end, having this down pat didn’t provide that many additional correct answers.

How to apply for the cbap exam

That sums up my study:
• Online course
• Read the BABOK
• Ensure understanding of tools and techniques
• Commit to memory knowledge areas and processes including underlying competencies.

The test itself was an online computerized test proctored at a local community college. The test is 150 questions and they allow three and a half hours. You have the ability to flag questions either answered or unanswered. The test navigation allows you to move from previous or next question or previous or next flagged questions. In taking the test I went through each question and answered if I was relatively sure of the answer, flagging those that I skipped, or wasn’t sure enough. Once I got to the end I took a break and then went back to review the flagged questions. I did feel more confident the second time looking at the flagged questions. I struggled with the decision to review the questions a final time or to submit the test. I had plenty of time either way. In the end I submitted the test reasoning that the number of questions I would change on a review would not make an impact on my overall score unless I was one or two away from passing and any changes I made were in my favor rather than against it. I hit submit, was presented with a survey regarding the test experience, and the second I submitted the survey received a “congratulations on passing” message. I don’t yet know my actual score, but I know the important thing.

I would recommend doing some research or asking around before picking a study service. Price, hours to complete, and depth of material will vary. You want to make sure any service you buy, if any, meets your style of study. Some people may be comfortable without purchasing a study service at all. I would have been disappointed if I had paid the full amount for the ESI program myself. The 20% discount helped. Good luck in your own search for certification. I hope this blog has helped, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Also see this PRESENTATION I gave to CBAP/CCBA Study Group members from the Seattle IIBA Chapter in January 2012.

I need some help in documenting my BA experience for the CBAP requirements, i.e. total 7500 hrs exp, 900 hrs exp. in any 4 knowledge areas of the BABOK, the 21 PD hours and 2 references…how do I prepare this document for applying for the exam?

How to apply for the cbap examAaron’s response:

Fortunately for those interested in BA certification the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA ® ) simplified their application process a couple years ago and made it available online. You may now go to their website and apply for either the CCBA TM or CBAP ® certification online.

Unfortunately I see that the IIBA has removed the link to the paper version of the application. This could serve as a useful guide as to the information that the online application process will request. Without this useful guide I shall have to describe the information that you must document to successfully navigate the application process.

Work Experience

The CBAP ® requires 7,500 hours of BA work experience over the last 10 years. The CCBA TM requires 3,750 hours over the last seven years. So over that time span you need to document every project that you worked on in which you performed any Business Analysis (BA) tasks (as defined in the BABOK ® ). For every project you will be asked to document, the organization that project was for (name, address and website), a contact person for the project (this should be a project manager or a manager for the organization; name, phone number(s), email address), total hours spent on the project and of those hours how many were spent performing BA tasks. The total BA hours of all the projects documented must add up to at least 7,500 for the CBAP ® or 3,750 for the CCBA TM .

Hint: document more than the minimum requirement. Your application will go through a review by the IIBA. If they should feel any of the tasks you defined as BA do not qualify, then they will reduce the total BA hours of your application. If you fall below the minimum requirement your application will be denied, so document more than the minimum.

These articles cover the work history section in more depth:

Knowledge Area Experience

The CBAP ® requires at least 900 hours in four of the six knowledge areas (KA) defined in the BABOK ® . The CCBA TM requires at least 900 hours in two of the six or at least 500 hours in four of the six knowledge areas. On your application this will be documented within the projects you documented above for the work experience. Once you have documented the information above for each project, the application process will take you through each of the six knowledge areas; first asking you what percentage of the BA hours of the project was spent in this knowledge area. It will then ask you to check off tasks that you performed in this knowledge area.

Hint: The six knowledge area percentages for one project must add up to 100%. Then you can take the percentage multiplied by the total BA hours of the project to determine number of hours in that knowledge area (i.e, 1,000 total project BA hours * 10% Elicitation KA = 100 hours in Elicitation KA). Add up the KA hours across all projects to verify that you have the required number of hours in the required number of KAs. Again, document more than the minimum required to ensure that your application stands up to the review process. Try to document 1,000 to 1,500 hours in four or five KAs.

Professional Development Hours

Both the CBAP ® and CCBA TM require 21 Professional Development (PD) hours of BA training to sit for the exam. This must be a training class on a BA topic that has been completed within the last four years. In the past this meant an instructor-led, in-class training on a BA topic or underlining competency. However, these days there are virtual training options available over the internet that qualifies for PD hours. The requirement that an instructor must lead the student(s) through the material still remains. You must also have some interaction with the instructor and other students in the class.

There must also be a measurable learning objective to the class. If it meets all these requirements it should qualify for PD hours. Classes, virtual or otherwise, offered by Endorsed Education Providers (EEPs) of the IIBA have already been evaluated by the IIBA and the education provider may advertise the PD hours for which the class qualifies. Should you take a class from a non-EEP, you can only list the class on the certification application and wait for the IIBA to determine if it qualifies for the PD hours that you are requesting.

References

You will need two people that will attest to your candidacy for certification – they are your references. They will have to sign a statement that basically states, “I endorse your name’s candidacy for Business Analysis certification. They will also have to rate your BA skills. So these must be people that you have worked with either in the past or present and will have the ability to rate your skill level. There are three categories that these references can come from 1) a career manager (someone that is involved in your annual review process), 2) a client (internal or external), or 3) a CBAP recipient. During the application process you will have to give two names and their contact information.

With all this documented you should be able to complete the IIBA certification application process. I do recommend getting this information down on paper before going online to start the application process. As you can see, the amount of information you are being asked to document is quite intensive, especially in the work experience and knowledge area experience areas. The application process itself is part of the process of obtaining the certification and is intended to be daunting. Some will shy away from having to do so much documentation; and thereby, never receive this certification. Don’t let the process frighten you away. You don’t have to complete it in one sitting. You may start the process and see the information that it is requesting. Stop there and start documenting the last ten years on paper; then go back to the online process. Take your time, be complete and you will find how non-intrusive the process really is.

>>Learn More About Becoming a CBAP or CCBA

Interested in becoming a CBAP or CCBA? We cover 8 steps to the CBAP certification, that will take you to just learning about the certification to successfully sitting for the exam.

14 Mar CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Seven Steps to Getting Approved

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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 >.

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.

Certified business analysis professionals are in-demand and it was recently reported that CBAP certification holders earn 13%* more on average in salary, compared to non-certification holders.

Attaining the highest certification in a profession demonstrates commitment, a superior skill set, and leadership expertise. Learn more here.

How to apply for the cbap exam

What’s the Process to Get CBAP Certified?

The IIBA Core Certification Handbook describes the process for attaining IIBA certification for the core BA levels, including the Certified Business Analysis Professional™.

Visit IIBA online here to access the Certification Handbook plus additional resources to learn more about the CBAP certification.

Reach Your Full Potential

With the business analysis profession tapped as one of the highest growing occupations with 14%** growth projected between 2014-2024, it’s never been a better time to jumpstart your career and showcase your knowledge and expertise as a CBAP .

The Value of Certification

When you get certified, you join a growing community of supportive professionals. Some of the benefits of certification include increased fulfillment at work, salary increase, promotion, better job opportunities and greater confidence at work. Learn more about the benefits of certification.

How to apply for the cbap exam

How to apply for the cbap exam

Become a Certified Business Analysis Professional

Ready to stand out from the crowd? See how an investment in certification validates your commitment to the profession, highlights your BA expertise and can boost your earning potential by thousands of dollars.

*Source: 2018 IIBA Global Business Analysis Salary Survey Report

**Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®) is a professional association dedicated to uniting the business analysis community to create better business outcomes.

Through a global network, IIBA connects with over 29,000 Members and more than 300 Corporate Members and 120 Chapters.

As the recognized voice of the business analysis community, IIBA supports the recognition of the profession and discipline and works to maintain the global standard for the practice and certification.

14 Mar CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Seven Steps to Getting Approved

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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 >.

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.

Watermark Learning holds monthly IIBA Certification chat sessions, and we get great questions each time.

I compiled many of the questions received over several months and answered them below. Most are about CBAP certification and we’ll publish a separate blog post on ECBA questions.

In part 1 of this blog, I addressed parts 1-3 (general, study tips, and study materials) of our extensive guide on CBAP certification FAQs. Part 2 will cover the last two sections on the CBAP exam and application.

For space reasons, we list only a few questions in this post. For all of the FAQs, including those from part 1 and more, download a pdf of The Ultimate Guide to CBAP Certification FAQs.

CBAP Exam

Q. Will my CBAP score be shown immediately after exam?
A. Yes, you will know immediately if you passed or not. Plus, you will get feedback on which Knowledge Areas you were above average, average, and below average compared to other examinees. This feedback is helpful in case you need to re-take your exam.
Q. Do we have questions on tools & guidelines, perspective, core concept, elements, management theories (theory X)?
Q. How important is “Perspectives,” which is added newly in v3?
Q. What about the Agile extension?
A. You will have questions on all of these except none on Perspectives and none on the Agile Extension. The management theory you mention is an example of underlying competencies and you will be tested on a few of these.
Q. Some techniques may require some calculations, does the exam include that type of questions?
Q. How many formulas will I need to know, and which?
A. We have reports from successful CBAP candidates that they have had to perform calculations on their exams. Our recommendation is to memorize some of the basic financial formulas like ROI, but not the complicated ones like Net Present Value. We also suggest memorizing the formula for PERT estimates, since it is straight-forward and widely known. Our Online Study Exam has some calculations like the ones I just described.
Q. What are the important Techniques I should focus on?
A. The techniques are challenging, since you will receive many questions on them. There are 50 techniques and we can’t imagine you will be tested on all of them. I always recommend focusing on the ones most widely referred to in the BABOK. Appendix B in that Guide has a handy cross-reference table called “Techniques to Task Mapping” to help.
Q. What is the breakdown weight of each knowledge area on the exam?
A. We list the exam blueprints for all IIBA exams (CBAP, CCBA, and ECBA) on our CBAP FAQs page.

CBAP Application

Q. Do I need to complete training before I fill out the Education Hours of the application?
Q. Are there any restrictions on the professional development training requirement?
A. Yes, your 35 BA education (professional development or PD) hours need to be complete before you can finish your application. Bear in mind the training must be BA-related, and “close calls” such as Six Sigma or CSPO Certification won’t count. You also cannot include PDU/CDU activities such as webinars, conferences, articles, etc. You will need CDUs for re-certification, but not for initial qualification for the CBAP (or CCBA or ECBA for that matter).
Q. When filling out the application and listing projects, are we supposed to post projects from most recent to the oldest worked on?
Q. When completing the application, does the “Your Role” field always have to be Business Analyst or can it be Business SME or Tester?
A. Yes, IIBA requests that you list projects in reverse order, newest to oldest. I would recommend you list your role as “BA” and only include hours spent doing BA tasks. If your role was as an SME or tester, you should not include those projects. If you had multiple roles, only list the hours spent doing BA work.
Q. I’ve heard IIBA’s application process for CBAP is pretty strict. Do applications happen to get denied or asked for more info?
Q. Is there a sample tracking sheet available where the six knowledge areas are provided – something that would facilitate tracking the 7500 hours prior to registering for the test?
A. IIBA has made the application process simpler and we think easier with version 3. That said they are strict with the requirements of 7500 BA hours, 35 hours of PD, two references, etc.
We have a tracking worksheet available that you can download and use to list your hours. It has many handy calculations, including a way to see if you meet the 900-hour requirement and the overall 7500-hour requirement.
Q. Regarding the application process, I paid for my application and instantly got an email stating my application is APPROVED. (No wait or lead time.) As for the next step, I believe I need to pay the exam fee. Does that have any sort of processing time or do I expect an instant “Go ahead and schedule” email once I pay the exam fee?
A. You should be able to schedule your exam instantly once your application is approved. If anyone knows differently, please leave a comment!

by Marc Berman July 16, 2020, 7:45 am

Certified Business Analysis Professional is a certification awarded by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA); it is the level 3 certification. Statistically, it has been seen that professionals who have been awarded this certification from one of the leading institutes of business analysis- IIBA, have a higher chance of being accepted in top companies for higher positions. But how one becomes CBAP is completely dependent on the individual and the time he/she has to qualify for it.

There are multiple ways one can become a CBAP. Some take a week-long boot camp, while others invest over a year or two to prepare for CBAP preparation while practicing to become better business analysts. Following are the general steps one can take to become a CBAP:

Be sure of your business analysis experience: To apply for a CBAP certification, one needs to show at least 5 years (7,500 hours) of business analysis experience. At the same time, you also need to show 900 hours of experience in at least the four out of 6 knowledge areas. These prerequisites are mentioned in the BABOK Guide.

Documenting these required qualifications helps build confidence in an individual. A lot of times, professionals have applied for the CBAP only to realize that they do not meet the criteria due to lack of experience. At the same time, if one does not wish to apply for the level 3 certification, they can apply for the IIBA’s Certification of Competency in Business Analysis, which is level 2 certification or the Entry Level Certificate of Business Analysis, which is the level 1 certification. One can even opt for a Professional in Business Analysis certification awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Professional Development Hours (PD) are required: A professional needs to have in his or her credit 35 hours of documented professional development hours. There are some conferences that are accepted as PD credits. There are also various online courses that provide professional development credits that can be earned according to the comfort of the individual.

Submit your CBAP application: One needs to submit the CBAP application to the IIBA’s official website. They have a full web page on the complete CBAP certification process. Apart from the above-mentioned requirements of business analysis experience and professional development hours, one also needs to qualify the minimum educational qualification to apply for the certification, along with two references.

Get well accustomed to the BABOK Guide: To successfully obtain CBAP certification means that an individual will be considered to be a senior business analyst professional. This position is defined by IIBA through A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide). So, to qualify for the CBAP certification, one needs to demonstrate expertise on the contents of the BABOK Guide through an examination where one implements the knowledge they earned from the BABOK material.

BABOK, as is expected, is a dense book that needs to be read at least twice or thrice to properly grasp the contents of the book. People can join various informal study groups, where the contents of the guides are discussed. People can also opt for more formal tuition courses or exam simulators that can be of great help to judge one’s level of expertise of the book and identify the portions that they need to further work on.

One can even take courses on core business analysis skills: While one is preparing for the IIBA’s certification, one can even take additional training in core business analysis skills. They are;

How to create precise documents: Having a clear and precise documentation skill can go a long way in making anyone confident in expressing themselves. This is important because as a business analyst, one needs to keep records of wireframes, business cases, and more. Honing proper writing skills is just the beginning.

Effecting analysis skills: To become a business analyst, one needs to be good at analyzing problems and figuring out solutions. Having the skills to properly interpret software, business and workflow will help in cracking the certification course.

Have knowledge of how to use business analysis tools: The modern world has some really useful tools that make business analysis easier. Knowledge of basic Microsoft Office programs like Excel, PowerPoint, or visualizing tools like Microsoft Visio will go a long way in making things easier for an individual to handle important business decisions.

Know visual modelling methods: Tools like flowcharts or BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) are expected of professionals to be well versed in to analyze, record, improve, and automate business processes.

Have excellent verbal skills: High intellect alone is not enough to succeed as a business analyst. One needs to have good elicitation skills to explain the various business requirements and steps to stakeholders and employees. Having the ability to clearly and precisely explain and write the business requirements and conduct meetings effectively are marks of an accomplished business analyst.

Take your CBAP Exam: You can schedule the CBAP exam according to your convenience. This gives you time to mentally prepare yourself to take the exam once your application is approved. It is advised for one to schedule the exam 2-3 months after his/her application is approved. That way, one has the time to revise and prepare for the exam, while maintaining the momentum of study and practice. One can always reschedule their exam if required and if they did take the exam and did not qualify, they can always reschedule the exam within a year of their application getting approved. One must not lose heart if they do not qualify the first time. Just go ahead and schedule the retest and stay motivated and try again.