Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TOGAF 9 certification - preparation tips

I completed my TOGAF 9 certification yesterday. It was definitely tougher than I expected based on all the mock tests that I had given. The questions were tougher, with multiple choice answers in Level 2 similar enough to trip you up.

I was already TOGAF 8 certified, so just took the Bridge exam, which is a single exam of Level 1 (20 simple multiple choice questions) and Level 2 (8 complex multiple choice questions). Both levels are open book in the Bridge, but you still need to know your stuff, and can use the book for verifying/correcting 30-40% of your answers. Else, there won't be enough time to do the rest.

What worked for me

1. Preparing for a period of two months – 1 hour a day was sufficient. In fact, I lost momentum towards the end, as I just didn't have enough motivation to revise.

2. Documenting all inputs /outputs for ADM phases,

a. which phase new deliverables are created

b. which phase deliverables are signed-off

3. Taking all available mock tests

a. Those sent out by through my firm

b. From Books 24 X 7 books – Foundation Part 1 and Part 2 (can be used even for Bridge) by William Manning

c. Previous TOGAF 8 material

d. Chris Eaton's blog - check out the right window pane

4. Watching Knotion TOGAF videos to get a different/more palatable flavour of TOGAF

5. Other material on the net for general browsing– e.g. slideshare, training sites etc.

For the Bridge exam, focus on

1. Differences between TOGAF 8 and TOGAF 9

2. Study Guide 2

3. Remember where in the book the index and the main sections are (quite important as both parts are open book for the Bridge)

4. ADM

5. ADM Techniques

During the test

I took the test in the QA Ltd, Holborn centre.

1. Scrolling through the pdf is clunky, so go to the index first, find the page number and then use page number search (note that pdf page numbers and book page numbers are 34 pages out).

2. Word/phrase search works (definitely use it), but the word is highlighted only for a flash, so pay attention. Sometimes (especially for checking best description of a particular item, summary section may provide answers more easily than the main section)

3. 2 rewritable scratch pads are given (at Holborn test centre), take tissues with you so can rub the notes and reuse again, if needed.

4. For the bridge exam, both the levels are in a single test, so you can start with Level 2 if you want (as it involves a lot of reading).

5. Definitely use the mark feature, but also use the comments feature. You can put comments that you want to specifically consider while going back to the question and referring to the TOGAF book.

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