CBAP Certification Success Stories
( An interview with our recently CBAP® Certified Master Business Analysis Training student )
MCAL’s training sessions were extremely interactive and promoted experiential learning. Almost all the concepts were backed by suitable real-life scenarios. I found the examples very helpful during my preparation and even during the exam.
Business Analyst, HSBC, Hyderabad
Q. How did you get into the BA Role ?
I am a full-time MBA professional with around 8 years of IT experience as Business Analyst in BFSI domain. During the first 6 years of my career, I had worked on multiple core banking transformation initiatives covering end-to-end SDLC phases – from requirements to release. I am currently working in the Business Intelligence space, wherein I am involved in various regulatory reporting projects.
Q. How did you get into the BA Role ?
I started my career as a software developer and was always inclined towards knowing the Business side of the software that we would build for our clients. Early in my career, I realized that I had an analytical bent of mind and was obsessed with problem-solving – both of which are qualities that support the practice of business analysis. I decided to pursue MBA to hone my BA skills and as luck would have it, I landed up in a BA role after my MBA.
I started my career as a software developer and was always inclined towards knowing the Business side of the software
Q. Why did you decide to pursue CBAP certification?
There were several factors that influenced my decision to pursue CBAP:1. ‘Business Analysis’ is a wide umbrella of activities that a BA performs which can differ from one organization to another, and even one project to another. I had been working in a BA role for 6 years and was keen to do a ‘dipstick assessment’ of my BA skills. CBAP serves as a perfect yardstick to assess ones BA skills and understand where they stand in terms of the industry standards.2. Another motivating factor was the fact that CBAP (especially V3.0) is one of the very few exams that is not a ‘brain-dump’; you cannot possibly mug up BABOK and clear the certification. It is as merit-based as an assessment could get.3. CBAP is the holy grail of the BA industry. As of Dec 2017, there were only around 9000 CBAPs in the world. A CBAP credential gives you an opportunity to become part of an elite professional group globally.
CBAP serves as a perfect yardstick to assess ones BA skills and understand where they stand in terms of the industry standards.
Q. How did you prepare for the certification?
BABOK is the ultimate source of truth and it takes at least 3 reads to fully understand the concepts. If I had to quantify the effort required to prepare for certification – I’d say it’s around 150 hours of dedicated effort. Also, these hours have to be spent prudently, in the sense that one shouldn’t read too much or too little at a stretch. Irregular breaks in the study hours essentially mean that you’d have to start reading the topic all over again. It is also important to understand and appreciate the learning style (visual, verbal, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) that you are most comfortable with and tailoring your preparation to suit your style. For example, I’d consider myself to be a visual and auditory learner, so my method of studying was typically – choosing the topic that I wanted to study, watching MCAL’s training session videos, making notes, reading BABOK, creating mind maps.
’d say it’s around 150 hours of dedicated effort (to successfully clear CBAP .
Q. How did MCAL help you with your preparation?
MCAL has undeniably played a vital role in my CBAP journey, right from the application stage to the day before the exam. Some of the highlights are: 1. To start with, I had chosen MCAL over other training providers because I knew they had some of the best trainers in the BA circuit. I had spoken with the trainer even before I enrolled for the training.2. Since I attended MCAL’s Online Classroom training, I could conveniently sit at my home and learn everything that I wanted to without having to go anywhere. There were no major technical issues that hindered my learning and the interaction between classroom and online participants was seamless. Also, after the training, I had access to recordings of our training sessions which helped me immensely during my preparation.3. When BABOK V3.0 first came into existence, there were enough talks happening universally on how difficult CBAP certification had become compared to erstwhile V2.0 version. MCAL’s Master BA Training helped me quash all my doubts regarding the certification. They laid out a simple exam preparation plan for us at the beginning of the training.4. One of the most challenging aspects about reading BABOK is the nature in which it is written – the concepts are very abstract and not substantiated with examples. Concepts such as ‘Requirement Architecture’ are difficult to digest by reading BABOK alone. MCAL’s training sessions were extremely interactive and promoted experiential learning. Almost all the concepts were backed by suitable real-life scenarios. I found the examples very helpful during my preparation and even during the exam.5. The most common pitfall why candidates fail to clear the exam is when they answer the questions based on their previous work experiences. MCAL’s training laid adequate emphasis on ‘Unlearning and learning’ BA concepts and answering the questions in accordance with what is prescribed in BABOK.
MCAL has some of the best trainers in the BA circuit.” “MCAL’s training laid adequate emphasis on ‘Unlearning and learning’ BA concepts .
Q. Any tips for CBAP aspirants about the overall certification and specifically about the exam preparation?
If I could share some tips that worked well for me, they would be: 1. Creating mind maps for every concept that you learn – The questions asked in the exam do not necessarily relate to a specific knowledge area, but the holistic understanding of all the knowledge areas. Creating mind maps helps you connect the dots and serves as a ready reckoner.2. Knowing the techniques and their usage considerations very well – In the exam you’d invariably find that two out of four options appear correct and there would only be an inch separating the right answer from the wrong.3. During the exam, one of things that helped me pace my exam better was attempting all the case-study based questions at the end – Grab the low-hanging fruits first.4. At last, Performance = Capability * Attitude – Capability in terms of putting in the hard yards (the 150 hours); Attitude in terms of making every endeavor to understand the concepts and their application, and no cramming.
Performance = Capability * Attitude: Capability in terms of putting in the hard yards (the 150 hours) and attitude in terms of making every endeavor to understand the concepts and their application, and no cramming.
Q. How do you plan to leverage the CBAP certification going forward?
As an immediate benefit, I can see myself challenging status quo at my workplace by doing BA activities better than how they have always been done. BA is a relatively new profession that keeps evolving with time. Being a CBAP certified gives me an opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest in the BA arena. I will get an opportunity to promote Business Analysis profession within and outside my organization along with an emphasis on personal & professional growth via certification. Finally, as a CBAP, I can pitch myself for better projects where I can create greater value for the organization and enhance my career prospects.All the best to future certification aspirants.
I will get an opportunity to promote Business Analysis profession within and outside my organization along with an emphasis on personal & professional growth via certification.