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How to Earn Your CBAP Certification and Find the Best CBAP Courses

Joyce Manrique - January 25, 2021


Companies look to hire business analysts whenever competition intensifies. Businesses are scrambling to keep up with trends to make sure they won’t lose customers. A CBAP-trained business analyst can provide a company with information that will help it make decisions to ensure future success.

The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification is specifically designed for professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of business analysis. Taking CBAP courses and earning your CBAP certificate will give you an advantage when looking for jobs in this field.

What Is CBAP Certification?

The CBAP certification is one of six IIBA certifications . IIBA, or the International Institute of Business Analysis , is a non-profit association for business professionals that is present in more than 120 countries and has 29,000 members.

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Business analysts study for and take the CBAP exam to prove their skills and stay competitive. This certification is mainly for professionals currently working as business analysts or as project managers .

To earn a CBAP certificate requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment. Before you apply, there are a few things you should consider.

What Are the Benefits of a CBAP Certification?

Training for the CBAP could be an excellent investment. Before you take the test, you must undergo intensive training to build your skills and knowledge of business analysis. Passing the test requires a lot of work, but it also comes with many benefits.

  • Professional competence. Earning a CBAP shows that you are a reliable business analyst who has been trained by experts.
  • Job marketability. A CBAP certificate is appealing to hiring managers. On your resume, it proves that you are a highly experienced and knowledgeable analyst.
  • Global recognition. The IIBA is a global organization, so the CBAP certificate is acknowledged everywhere. With it, you will have no problems proving your professional experience when applying for jobs overseas.
  • Clear path to success. Increasing your credibility with a CBAP certificate will also make you more credible within your own company. Your managers will trust you with more important projects, which can increase your chances of landing a promotion.
  • Inroads in information technology. Business analysts often thrive in all kinds of information technology careers because the IT industry is highly innovative. In this way, CBAP doubles as an IT certification that can bolster your IT skillset .

Earning Your CBAP

Earning a CBAP is not an easy task. It is a difficult certification exam that takes serious commitment. Passing the exam is one thing, but the process to qualify to take the exam is a long and bumpy road.

The following information will help you learn how you can earn your CBAP certificate.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a CBAP?

The CBAP certification is a combination of professional work requirements and exam preparation. Before you can take the test, you must have spent 7,500 hours, or five years, working as a business analyst. There is also a mandatory 35-hour professional development training course that includes webinars and online courses.

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you will earn the CBAP certificate as soon as you pass the exam.

How Much Does a CBAP Certification Cost?

A CBAP certification has two different prices depending on whether you are an IIBA member. To become a member, you need to create an account on the IIBA website and follow the instructions.

The CBAP certification fee includes an application fee of $125 for both members and non-members. The exam fee is then divided into three categories, as listed below.

  • IIBA Member: $260
  • Non-Member: $360
  • Corporate Member: $231.40

CBAP Certification Requirements

Time and commitment are important factors when you are considering whether you should take the CBAP certification exam. The professional experience requirements are listed below.

  • 7,500 hours, or five years, of business analysis work experience in the past 10 years
  • Minimum of 900 hours completed in 4 out of the 6 BABOK® Guide Knowledge Areas
  • A minimum of 35 hours of professional development in the last four years, such as webinars, online courses, and conferences
  • Two references to vouch for your character and credibility
  • Agreement to the Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions of the CBAP and IIBA

What Is on the CBAP Certification Exam?

The CBAP certification exam is offered entirely online. To take it, you must have a laptop or a desktop, a good internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone. Before taking the exam, you must first check for system compatibility through PSI Exams .

The CBAP exam is composed of 120 multiple choice questions that are a combination of situational questions and questions based on case studies. The exam must be completed in three-and-a-half hours.

How to Prepare for and Earn Your CBAP: Step-by-Step

To prove your business analyst skills , you must have self-discipline and stick to your own rules. The training and the test are both offered online, so you are in charge of setting your own learning pace. Below are some steps that you can follow to prepare.

  1. Get the necessary business analysis experience. One of the main requirements of the CBAP certification is that you have over 7,500 hours, or five years, of work experience as a business analyst. Make sure you have proof of this experience.
  2. Make sure to earn your professional development hours. The CBAP requires that you have a minimum of 35 hours of professional development training. Some activities that qualify as professional development include webinars and online certificates.
  3. Complete your documents and submit your application. Show proof of your employment as a business analyst and that you have the required hours of professional development. You should also include two references.
  4. Take the BABOK ® Guide Knowledge seriously. The exam draws inspiration from the questions and case studies in the guide, so make sure to study it thoroughly.
  5. Schedule a date for the exam, and pass it. Passing the CBAP test is as important as having the relevant work experience before you apply. Make sure you wait until you are ready before you schedule a date for the exam.

The Best CBAP Training Programs

a person holding a pen over a table filled with notes
After earning your CBAP certificate, you can start working on your Agile Analysis Certification (AAC).

There are several training programs and courses you can take to prepare for your CBAP exam. This can take the form of practice exams or online courses. The Internet is filled with study materials, many of which are available for free.

Best CBAP Certification Practice Exams

Practice exams will help you get more comfortable with completing CBAP questions under pressure and time constraints. You will take the CBAP exam online, so taking practice exams on a digital platform will be good practice.

Free CBAP Exam Prep Practice Test

  • Provider : Simplilearn
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : Free

Simplilearn is one of the top results for CBAP practice tests because the questions are good examples of what you could get asked during the real test. This practice exam is composed of 150 multiple choice questions that you must finish within 210 minutes. Since it’s free, you can take it as many times as you want.

Certified Business Analysis Professional Practice Exam

  • Provider : TestPrepTraining
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $15.99

Upon purchasing this practice exam, you will have lifetime access to the digital test. It contains a total of 169 unique questions. Each question comes with an in-depth explanation of the answer and the logic behind it.

CBAP Online Study Exam

  • Provider : Watermark Learning
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $99 for a 30-day subscription

This practice test includes over 1,200 questions, including case studies and scenarios consistent with the format of the real CBAP exam. They are separated into three categories: warm-ups, drills, and simulations.

Best CBAP Training Programs

Training programs for the CBAP certificate will help guide you before you sign up for the test. These programs can shape your journey as a business analyst. Then, when it’s time to take the exam, you will have the practical knowledge you need.

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

  • Provider : Pluralsight
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $29 per month

This training program follows the BABOK® Guide, so it is consistent with the IIBA. Through this program, you will learn business analysis planning. Each topic in the course is subdivided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

CBAP Certification Training Course

  • Provider : Simplilearn
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $1,211.82

This online bootcamp experience promises to help you master advanced business analysis skills. Over 56 hours of learning, you will cover all the core aspects of business analysis. This program also uses the BABOK® Guide.

Best Online CBAP Courses

Aside from training programs, there are many online courses you can take to learn the material for CBAP. They will help you thoroughly prepare to receive your highly-regarded certificate and will help you with exam prep questions.

CBAP Certification Course. Full Course.

  • Provider : Udemy
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $121.34

This course guarantees a 95 percent success rate on CBAP certification exams. It closely follows the format of the BABOK® Guide, discussing the six main topics of the book in on-demand videos and instructional materials.

CBAP® Certification Exam Preparatory Program

  • Provider : Multisoft Virtual Academy
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $325

The course tackles topics such as business analysis concepts, planning and monitoring, and strategy analysis. Like most other CBAP online courses and training, this offering also makes use of the BABOK® Guide.

Best Online CBAP Resources and Study Guides

There are other CBAP study guides available if you need more material to prepare for the exam. The texts below are helpful for those who prefer to learn through books and written materials.

CBAP Certification Study Guide v3.0

This study guide was written by Richard and Elizabeth Larson and published through Watermark Learning. It is based on the third version of the BABOK® Guide. It includes real-life scenarios faced by business analysts.

A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)

This book was prepared by the IIBA for CBAP candidates. The guide features the wisdom of business analyst experts from all over the world. It also deals with topics like process management and business intelligence.

Why Should I Get a CBAP Certification?

CBAP is globally recognized and it is guaranteed to prove your chances of securing any job you apply for. It will also increase your odds of getting promotions and raises at your current workplace.

CBAP Certification Job Possibilities

The field of business management is continuously growing, as evidenced by the number of high-quality online management courses . Companies are aware that they must be more specific about the analyses they conduct to improve business. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent growth rate for business analyst jobs over the next ten years.

As a CBAP-certified analyst, higher-ups are more likely to trust your contributions and suggestions. Being an expert on business analysis will give you the credibility you need to be trusted with major business decisions.

CBAP Certification Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that business management analysts earn an average of $85,260 per year. However, if you have CBAP accreditation, you can earn an average of $92,004 per year, according to PayScale .

CBAP certification will open a lot of opportunities, from honing your skills and knowledge to creating more job opportunities to receiving higher compensation.

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Joyce Manrique

About the author: Joyce covers online courses, learning platforms, and tech careers for the Career Karma publication. She graduated with her AB in Philosophy and her BS in Management of Financial Institutions from De La Salle University. After graduation, she found immediate success in the finance sector of an oil and gas company. After some years, she decided to pursue her love of writing, leading her to join the Career Karma team in October 2020. Her work has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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