The Road to the CBAP is Not Paved by Applied Knowledge

I have the pleasure of introducing a guest writer for today’s post, Tina Underhill. Take it away, Tina!


The Road to the CBAP is Not Paved by Applied Knowledge

The glorified CBAP credentials have been a desire of mine since their inception.  How awesome it would be to stand up and say, “Yes, I am a Master BA and can help you solve your business problems.”  Unfortunately, this week that did not happen.

I have been a Business Analyst, well, before there were Business Analysts.  Documenting very detailed requirements, facilitating meetings, resolving conflicts, bridging gaps between functional departments, mapping processes, have been the strong suites that paved my career for many years serving health insurance, professional liability insurance, property and casualty insurance.

I have changed industries when the economy went downhill; moving into e-commerce and the wonderful world of websites and mobile applications, becoming very successful.

My phone, email, and LinkedIn page “blow-up” every week to see if I am available to help companies.

By now I am sure you are wondering, “How did you prep?”  Below is a list of the things I engaged in to best prepare and the costs associated with each:

  • Joined the IIBA – $125 for 2011
  • Applied to the CBAP $125 October 2011 and my application was approved within 2 weeks
  • Joined the Greater Boston IIBA – early bird special $28
  • Renewed IIBA membership $110
  • Purchased Watermarks online test simulator $200+ for 90 days
  • Used test simulator, mapped out BABOK 2.0, flash cards, etc.
  • Volunteered to be a contributing author for BABOK 3.0
  • Paid for exam $325

Total study time = over 200 hours

Total spent = $913

I sat for the exam in October of 2012. Did I pass? No. Am I disappointed? Oh, yes.

Where is the silver lining?  Is this money down the drain?

Not necessarily.  Being engaged in the above did open many professional doors.  Many companies have recruited based on the above engagements.  I have met some pretty amazing people in this industry that I would not have met otherwise.

The silver lining:  I know what an amazing Business Analyst I am and what I can contribute to our field.

Next steps:  Joining my company’s internal CBAP Study Group starting tomorrow!

Best of luck to all!

Join me on LinkedIn!


I have ranted about certifications before. I will again. Tina is a firecracker of a BA. How she could not pass the certification is beyond my comprehension. You can reach Tina at tfx5743 at gmail dot com.

As you can see, I am judiciously taking guest posts. Have something to say? Email me.

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1 Comment

  1. Russell Bogartz

    Hi Tina,

    I really love this attitude! I think it’s really easy to get into a world of self doubt in this line of work and I commend you for your positive attitude in the face of what was very likely a significant disappointment. I have not yet prepared for or taken the test yet but I would submit that the opening of professional doors is not the only benefit you have received in this process.

    You now have knowledge of a method you applied that you now KNOW was not able to achieve success. I’m sure you are going to alter your plan of attack for next time and probably all other exams you’ll take in the future from this experience. The application of this experience and the ability to adjust for future challenges you’ve gained is a competence that is essential for good business analysis.

    I have to say, I liked your game plan going in. I have no advice as to what to do differently (especially since I haven’t done it yet). I wish you the best of luck though!

    Reply

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