Top CBAP Success Tips from our 750+ past CBAPs

7 min read
1/12/18 12:00 AM

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) course is the most sought-after certification for business analyst to excel in the corporate world. CBAP is a certification for senior business analysts and gives proven results in terms of salary benefits, career growth and opening up new opportunities in the global markets.

Though work experience is one of the requirements of CBAP as a prerequisite, the CBAP certification examination needs a good amount of practical knowledge of the business analysis concepts and the ability to relate the knowledge to a practical scenario/case. Preparing for the CBAP certification exam can be a daunting task but following our recommended approach and CBAP training shared by our expert faculties will give you sure shot success in 10 weeks.

These CBAP certification tips have been shared by our 600+ successful CBAP certified professionals and here are few CBAP certification tips to help you clear the exam


1. Commitment to the certification goal

If you are committed to the CBAP certification goal and ready to put in about 200 hours of effort towards the same then this is an achievable target. We have found participants who did not commit themselves to the goal and could not complete the certification even in 5 years. At the same time, most participants could complete the certification within 2 months of time.

A practical approach will be to take up a target date between 10 to 12 weeks’ timeframe and work backward.

Set up a plan towards the target, please take into account your family and work commitments while chalking out the plan.

We have seen most of our participants clear this within 10 weeks’ time out of which 4 weeks is the class time and 6 weeks of preparation time.

2. Learn from the masters

There are plenty of CBAP training providers and one can obtain the necessary 35 Hour PDUs at a dirt-cheap price. However, such programs most likely have faculties with a very low level of experience and knowledge, no support in the process and practically no question bank.

Do consider the value of your time and the consequences of not being able to complete the certification while choosing your training partner.

Hence choosing the right trainer or mentor is very important for this task.

If someone is going to read out the BABoK for you, that’s not what you need.

You need someone

  • Who understands BABoK really well
  • Can relate the concepts to real-life examples
  • Can break the knowledge area into smaller tasks
  • Give you examples from real life
  • Create a mind map for you among the tasks and techniques recommended by BABoK
  • Apply the tasks and techniques to a real-life case and make it crystal clear to you

The class should give you clarity of concepts related to BABoK in such a way that it not only makes the CBAP certification exam easier for you but also makes you a better BA in your day job also.

3. Do not start with BABoK

BABoK is the mandated book and curriculum for CBAP certification, however making one comfortable with BABoK can be quite a steep target given the content, subject, and complexity of the subject.

BABoK is an exhaustive book with loads of content which needs to be mastered for CBAP. There are 30 tasks and 50 techniques in BABoK which needs to be understood thoroughly and applied to practical scenarios.

Pick up Adaptive CBAP Study Guide which explains BABoK in a simplified manner. The study guide should break the jargon and terms to simpler words, capture the concepts in a logical manner and at the same time should be concise. Start your preparation with the study guide, understand the concept well and then move to BABoK for preparation.  Starting with BABoK may get little challenging.


4. CBAP Application Filing – Get it off your back

Then comes the task of the CBAP application filing, this can get a bit confusing since one needs to gather experience across the knowledge areas over the last 10 years.

Pick up a CBAP application filing template that simulates the IIBA application filing format and helps you gather the experience throughout the Knowledge areas and guides you with the expectations of IIBA.

CBAP certification cost has the below components:

  1. IIBA membership fee $55 to $125 depending on the country of residence
  2. CBAP Application Fee –$125
  3. CBAP Exam Fee – $325 for IIBA members and $450 for non-IIBA members

The blog CBAP Certification Cost gives details about the cost of the certification.

5. Learn to correlate tasks and techniques

Understanding of core concepts is very vital for clearing CBAP certification examination since the questions are case and scenario-based which requires a deep understanding of the concepts.

Make sure you study tasks in connection with their techniques. Prioritize on this as you prepare for CBAP. You need to understand the techniques best appropriate for particular situations and tasks at hand. Knowledge of their description, advantages, and disadvantages will also help here. Just understand the techniques well and be able to recall their key areas of application.

Understand the tasks and how information flows through the tasks, that is, inputs and outputs. Be able to identify the name of a task given its description and also be able to tell what follows that task. 

6. Practice a sufficient number of exam questions

No amount of studying and practice is enough unless you test your knowledge.

Study each chapter thoroughly and take the chapter based test of concepts and then gradually moving to case-based questions on the chapter. Each time you make a mistake go back to concepts, read it again and verify with the answer and try to relate. Take a CBAP question bank which gives you real exam pattern questions and simulators. The more number of questions you solve the better prepared you are for the real CBAP exam.

Once you are comfortable with the chapter based questions then move to simulators. But simulators should be taken up when you are more or less thorough with the concepts. The simulators give you real exam experience with 120 questions (mix of case and scenario based) to be solved in 3 hours. Monitor your performance in the simulators, go back to all those questions where you were wrong and then move to the next simulator, take up simulators till you score around 85% consistently.


7. Utilize your travel time to study BABoK

All of us spend a significant amount of time traveling to and from work. Utilize this time to brush up your knowledge by listening to CBAP audio book that helps in refreshing the memory and concepts. This helps in memorizing the terms and tasks as well as input, output etc.

8. Choose the right date to take the exam

No amount of study will be enough if you don’t set a deadline and work backward. Set up the exam date preferably after a weekend or if not then on Sunday. Don’t go for the exam after a week of a workweek, that doesn’t let your brain relax. One needs to stay cool and have a good rest before the exam since the exam is quite exhaustive. Once you have set up the exam dates then do at least 2 times revision of the study guide and the question bank. Brush through your notes and CBAP certification tips.

9. Stay composed during exam and time management

CBAP is an online web-based and competency-based exam that you can take from anywhere. All you need is a computer, microphone, webcam, and working internet connection.

Some CBAP exam and time management tips-

  • Relax and read the instructions carefully
  • Target to clear 40 questions per hour. This will give you about 30 minutes to handle those that you may have marked for review. Pay close attention to the number of questions answered and remaining, and the countdown of time remaining.
  • Don’t spend more than 2 minutes on one question
  • Never leave a question unanswered. Select the best answer and mark it for review and revisit it at the end.
  • Make use of the highlight and strike-through features of the exam software.
  • Attempt the calculation-based questions first, there is an on-screen calculator available, make use of that.
  • Case-based questions take the maximum amount of time, glance through the case on the first read and move to the questions and then come back to the case since there is a lot of extra information that is not needed to answer the questions. Try to make use of the highlight feature. It will help you in long cases when you highlight the important parts of the case
  • Take a break if you feel your mind is tired and blank in the exam
  • In CBAP Understanding the situation and question are very important. Read the question slowly and twice if required to understand correctly. 

10. Stay focused on your goal

At the end of all this, the most important point is to stay focused all throughout the journey, Keep a target for yourself and work towards it, make some progress every day.

Keep some time marked for prep every day and make use of the weekends more effectively.

I have tried putting down the most exhaustive list of tips here which many successful participants have shared with us.

Hope these CBAP certification tips help you in your preparation.

Go for the test. Do not overburden yourself. Success will be in your hands.

The reassuring feedback from one of our CBAP certified professional's-


While preparing for CBAP, I realized it's a tough nut to crack and the questions were tricky. A friend suggested adaptive simulation tests for practice. I joined the adaptive workshop and cleared my exam within one month after my last session. The sessions from LN, Peter, Lora were helpful in understanding the BABOK terminology better. Though I have good BA experience, it's important to practice the simulation tests and understand how to manage time during the exam. The simulation tests and presentations from adaptive were close to real exam so we can decode the questions well. Adaptive also has lots of other blogs, study material that's helpful in this profession. I would recommend the adaptive workshops for anyone who is looking for CBAP preparation. Thanks to Adaptive and LN for taking up my questions in email even after the sessions and guiding me through my prep"

~ Bhavana Kandikonda, CBAP

Many more feedback here -

All the best ahead for your preparation for CBAP, may you pass your exam with flying colors! 


Some blogs which will be helpful in your preparation-

How to prepare for CBAP certification - A step by step approach

CBAP Exam pattern 

CBAP Exam Passing Score  


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