Sunday, November 18, 2007

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) Examination
I have cleared the CBAP examination conducted by the International Institute of Business Analysis. I have received some mails asking me about the examination / certification after my comment on the IIBA community in orkut. So it may be worthwhile posting what I know, if it helps at least one person out there.

The CBAP examination is a test of your knowledge of common Business Analysis processes and practices. This is no rocket science and IMHO all you need to crack the exam is a week of dedicated effort ( ~ 30 hours of study ) - well, that is for a person of average retention like me. If you are smarter, the lesser hours you need to invest.

The CBAP questions are from 6 main topics,

1. Enterprise Analysis,
2. Requirements Planning and Management,
3. Requirements Elicitation,
4. Requirements Analysis and Documentation,
5. Requirements Communication,
6. Solution Assessment and Validation

A quick glance at the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ), would convince anyone who has spent a couple of years doing Requirements Analysis that these chapters contain processes that they follow in their day to day work. The CBAP certification is aimed at intermediate and senior Business Analysts ( you need 7500 hours of BA experience + a few other things..check the IIBA website for details. )

A couple of mails were about how I prepared for the exam. Well, this is what I did,

1. I read the BABOK cover to cover twice (300 pages of processes and practises. I had to read it twice for the ideas to percolate deep enough). As I said earlier, If you are smarter than me, you may have to read it only once.

2. CBAP exam questions/question papers are not available online and hence I bought the CBAP exam guide from B2T Training. Here is the link. It contains about 450 multiple choice questions that you can attempt after you read the BABOK.

3. A few questions ( I recall about 4 or 5) are from outside the BABOK. They may be from the PMBOK ( the one used for the PMP certification) or any of the reference books mentioned in the BABOK. I didn't spend any time reading these books - most of these just need common sense to answer. Example :
In which level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs does Problem Solving belong ?
a) Self-actualization b)Esteem c)Belonging d) Safety

I had no idea about the 5 levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs when I first saw this question ( It is also not mentioned in the BABOK ). But there is a no reason to think that it would belong to Esteem, Belonging or Safety. Problem Solving and Creativity should be associated with Self- Actualization.

To cut a long story short - Read the BABOK cover to cover, take some practise tests and you should sail through. Good Luck !

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At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insights. I am planning to take the CBAP exam next year.

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the cut off mark needed for CBAP?

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Sarath said...

Well, let me get my score card and certificate. I am expecting them in the first week of December. Shall check and let you know the cut off score.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for your insights and is it possible for you to share your study notes & sample questions if you have.

Please mail me at

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments on the exam. I am in the process of studying for an April exam.
How did you find the study guide from B2 training? I am not sure if I should order this or another set of exam questions online at ACC (

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Sarath said...

I have not heard about ACC. B2T offers a book with about 450 questions and concise definitions and I found it useful.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning to take the CBAP exam and just wondering if there are questions with "All of the above" or "None of the above" as potential answers?

At 9:10 PM, Blogger dinesh said...

Hi, Thanks for your information. Nice help boss. I am interested to take cbap. Could you please share sample questions and study notes to

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Sarath said...

Strange question :-), I have to say ! But yes, I remember a couple of questions (not may) whose answers were all or none.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Sarath said...

I am sorry, I do not have a soft copy. You can download the BABOK from the IIBA website.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarath,

Can you please help me some material and some tips to write CBAP exams


At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarath,

I plan to take CBAP Exam in a month and found your blog. Did you find out your passing rate since then? If possible, Could you please share sample questions and study notes to Thanks,


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