How to prepare for the CCBA Certification Exam

How to prepare for the CCBA Certification Exam

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. has projected the growth in demand for management analysts, which includes business analysts, to increase at a rate of 14% between 2018 and 2028. It is now clear that the business analyst role cannot be automated. As more and more businesses pursue digital transformation initiatives, business analysts will play a critical role in steering them to achieve their objectives.

Whether they are transitioning from other roles or plunging in straight from school, business analysts are recognized by their skills and years of experience. In fact, some credentials like the CCBA certification can only be earned after gaining some experience in the field. It is important to note that the business analyst role today is very broad and industry-specific, therefore, business analysts will most likely be specialists in certain fields.

Importance of business analysts

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) refers to business analysts as the change agents of the organization. Their overall responsibility is to steer the organization to make the right decisions to enhance processes, systems, products, and services through data-driven insights acquired from data analysis. In other words, BAs are responsible for managing efficiencies in a business.

The business depends on them to use the appropriate techniques to maximize efficiency in the business. To do this, they have to assess the business to determine its needs and/or challenges and then address these using the available IT resources. A BA should thus have a background as their roles and responsibilities in this digital age are centered around IT.

BAs work closely with business owners as they are an important part of decision making. They will offer the insight needed to make important decisions about profitable ventures, solve puzzles, while also determining the root cause of problems arising in the business in the course of its operation. They offer the push that the business needs to make the next difficult move. These professionals also create models used by corporate leaders to make decisions. As trusted guides to organizations’ executives and stakeholders, business analysts should be well versed with industry policies and regulations, forecasting, budgeting, as well as financial reporting.

The role of a business analyst when it comes to directing businesses towards improving processes, systems, services, and products cannot be underestimated. This crucial responsibility places BAs in an enviable position.

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What is the CCBA certification?

Certification of competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) is a professional certification awarded to business analysts who are keen on being recognized for their expertise and skills.

CCBA certification is offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the professional association of business analysts headquartered in Ontario, Canada. Attaining this credential is an indication that you are proficient in business analysis and that you promote compliance to the standards set by the association. CCBA certification is recognized globally.

To earn a CCBA designation, a candidate is required to pass an exam based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide. This is a computer-based test that can be accessed from various locations across the globe and is provided in both English and Japanese.

As expected, there are several benefits that this certification offers. It opens a world of opportunities across the globe and will give you a competitive edge in the job market. Secondly, earning this certification is a way of keeping up with industry trends.

Employers are on the lookout for business analysts with industry credentials. This is because their clients also gain confidence in their products and services when they see a certification like CCBA whose requirement is a commitment to the industry standards set by IIBA for service delivery.

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What is the eligibility for CCBA?

For an application for CCBA credential to be considered one has to meet the following requirements.

  • Have a minimum of 3750 hours of work experience based on the BABOK® guide in the recent 7 years.
  • Within the 3750 experience hours, one should have accumulated at least 500 hours in each of 4 BABOK Guide knowledge areas or at least 900 hours in each of 2 of BABOK Guide knowledge areas.
  • Have at least 21 hours of proven professional development within the last 4 years of one’s career
  • High school level education
  • Provide 2 references to prove one’s experience in the field
  • Signing the code of conduct and agree to the terms and conditions
  • Pass the CCBA Certification exam

Bonus: Take this CCBA exam free practice test to know where you stand and how to go ahead with CCBA certification preparation.

How to prepare for CCBA certification

The certification exam is designed for business analysts with over 2 years of industry experience who are keen on gaining the CCBA designation to move their career to the next level. The key to passing this exam is proper preparation.

It is recommended that you prepare a study plan that covers all the six knowledge areas in the BABOK Guide. Here are some guidelines to bear in mind as you prepare for the CCBA examination.

  • The CCBA exams are online hence can be done anywhere
  • Exams are based on BABOK Guide version 3. Take your time to go through as many practice questions as you can. This gives you an understanding of not only the concepts in the guide but also on how the examination is structured.
  • The exams are scenario-based and employed through multiple questions. This requires you to practice solving business analysis problems based on several different scenarios.
  • You only have one attempt to sit for and pass the exam. The fact that you need to pay for the second attempt makes these exams quite expensive. The IIBA has not announced the minimum passing score.

Having said that, here are some tips to help you prepare and ace the CCBA exam in your first attempt

  1. Familiarize yourself with the CCBA exam format. For instance, understand the percentage weight allocated to different topics in the CCBA guide.
  2. Study the Version 3 BABOK Guide. Considering that this is the comprehensive CCBA competency certification, you are expected to prove your understanding of the entire concept therein. Plan your time well to cover the entire content comprehensively.
  3. Enroll in a certification training course. Training classes help you to overcome the many distractions that come with self-study. Also, selecting a training provider that is accredited by IIBA helps you acquire a professional development unit which increases your eligibility for the certification.
  4. Take as many practice exams as possible. Taking practice exams is only helpful after you have studied and mastered the concepts in the guide. The practice examples will, therefore, help you to familiarize yourself with the actual exam format.

After everything has been said, the ball is in your court and your career stands to be boosted by the effort you will put in attaining the CCBA certification.

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