Categories: Agile, Business Analysis, Business Analysis/Requirements Management, Career Development, Communications Management, Construction Management, New Practitioners, PMI Standards, Project Management, Risk Management, Schedule Management, Scope Management, Team Work, Time Management
I am glad to announce that I passed the PMI-PBA Exam on March 23, 2019 with Above Target rating. It was a journey full of challenges and knowledge gain which finally paid off with a huge success.
PMI Resources: PMI Guide to Business Analysis & Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide. Those two resources are more than enough. I did not have much guidance as to how to approach the exam so I went through the Practitioner Guide first then went through the PMI Guide which confused me a lot so the First Lesson Learned is to go through the PMI Guide first then fill in the blanks by referring to the Practitioners Guide. Those two resources are more than enough.
Exam Content Outline: Very Important to go through it in details as it might help you get some clues in the exam.
PBA Course: I purchased a course on Udemy by John Sipin and it was great. Upon completion of the course and all assignments, they sent me a CoC and I was able to claim 35 Educational PDU's.
PMI Application: This is my fifth certificate with PMI and it was the first time I get randomly audited but, guess what, I was already prepared so I mailed all required documents to PMI the next day and then 3 days later, I contacted PMI to check if the package was received which they confirmed it was and shortly after they approved my application. The staff was very friendly and accommodating so the Second Lesson Learned is not to worry about the audit if you have all your documentation in order as per your submitted application.
Study Time: It took me a bit less than a month to study and go through some simulation exams. One month might seem light but I used to study 4 hours a day and 6 hours on weekends in addition to that to took the last week off work to study extensively so it was more of a Bootcamp Personal Plan. At a normal pace, I would say 2 - 3 months (2 - 4 Hours / Day) should be enough considering you are already a PMP & ACP (Both helps a lot).
Simulation Exams: One great resource for simulation exams was iZenbridge. They have a great questions bank and although the exam questions are very different, still, iZenbridge's simulation exams provides you with great ideas and explanations. It is worth also noting that their fees were reasonable as well (It was about $99 USD for 2 months access). I heard from others about another good resource for simulation exams which is Watermark Learning but I personally never used it.
I am going to talk about my personal exam experience (Without going into details or specific questions):
Level of Difficulty: The level of difficulty could be easily comparable with PMP. Out of the 5 exams I took with PMI, this was the most challenging after the PMP. Although the exam was very tough but PMI did a great job putting this pool of questions together.
Exam Questions (General): All the exam questions were scenario based some of which were short, others were very lengthy (At least 50%). Even the shortest 1 line questions were not straight forward.
Exam Depth: The exam tests your understanding of Business Analysis very deeply beyond any text book. You need to ensure you fully understand all principles, processes, models and so on. Third Lesson Learned: Do not spend time memorizing things but make sure you fully understand everything.
Exam Language: The language of the questions and answers was not easy at all. You might end up reading the question and answers 3 times. I am fluent in English and yet, I recall having to read lots of questions 3 times so the Fourth Lesson Learned: Read all questions and answers very thoroughly.
Exam Time: I thought my ACP exam experience in terms of timing was the most challenging but it turned out not, compared to the PBA. It is literally the first time I completely run out of time. I finished the last question 1 minute before the end of the 4 hours and did not have time to review any marked questions so the Fifth Lesson Learned is to Watch your time - Some would think that 4 Hours is a lot but trust me, it is not. Make sure you target around 50 Questions per hour.
Elimination Strategy: You will find it easy to eliminate two answers but very difficult to chose between the remaining two. You need to deeply think of every word in the questions and answers to properly get to a conclusion in terms of which choice is the best.
Good Luck to all future Aspirants !