Saturday, March 1, 2014

TOGAF 9.1 Certification - Preperation Guide

You may also refer to

TOGAF Part 1 Exam

  • OR TOGAF Foundation exam
  • Closed Book Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • 40 questions in 1 hour
  • You have to choose from one of the five choices
  • There are only few sections from TOGAF document are not part of TOGAF Foundation exam

TOGAF Part 2 Exam

    • OR TOGAF Certification exam
    • Open Book Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
    • 8 questions in 1.5 hour
    • A scenario will be explained to you. Based on the scenario, a question will be asked to you, assuming that you are playing role of a Chief or Lead Architect, and you will need to choose an option that explains your approach to solve the problem as per TOGAF  
    • You have to choose from one of the four options

    Self-Study vs TOGAF Certification Training

    Studying for TOGAF can be boring - specially if you are from technology background and have been a hands-on architect. It is just monotonous text and you are expected to remember it word by word. TOGAF class instructor training or Webinars will help you stay focused. 

    You will need lots of motivation to do Self-study. 

    In case don't want to spend money on training or can't manage enough motivation to do self-study, you may look at option of creating a "Study Group".

    Part 1 and Part 2 separate or Combined

    TOGAF is just one document. For Certification, Part 1 requires lots of memorizing. Part 2 is more application of knowledge. You don't need too much time preparing for Part 2. 

    Also, taking the exams together is substantially cheaper. 

    In my opinion, it is better to take the two parts combined to save yourself from reading the same stuff twice. In case you don't want to stretch yourself on one day - take the two exams separately, but the gap between two exams should not be huge.

    Self-Study: How much time you need

    A lots of time. The text is boring and sometimes ambiguous. There is no body to answer your questions and it becomes tough to correlate different sections of the text.
    • Read slowly and try to absorb stuff. Read 2-3 hours a day - Or as much as you can. I had a target of 5 pages per day of Study Guide (Refer Section: TOGAF Resources). It took me 2-3 months for first iteration as I had to refer to back sections multiple times
    • Read the complete Study Guide (Refer Section: TOGAF Resources) twice (or thrice) slowly. First iteration is for understanding, second and subsequent ones are for memorizing. Second and third iterations should be substantially faster than first
    • Make notes OR use the good ones available online (Refer Section: TOGAF Resources). This will save you time revising during the last week
    • Spend sometime doing Mock exams. Not just do the questions, read the corresponding section from TOGAF document and memorize AND Make notes

    Part 1 - Tips

    • Choices will be similar and sometimes more than one option may look correct
    • Lots to memorize
    • Mock exams can help - but you need to understand the stuff rather then simply memorizing the mock questions
    • By all means 1 hr is more than enough, you should be able to complete one round within 25 minutes. Spend rest of the time reviewing the stuff. Do multiple revisions - you may correct some questions and that may mean "Pass" or "Fail" for you
    • You either know the answer or you don't know. If you don't try and improvise and increase your chances
    • Try to use your understanding of the subject to eliminate options. This will increase your chances of getting things right. For instance, if you eliminate 3 out of 5 choices - and are not sure of rest of the 2 choices - choose one of the non-eliminated choices - you have now 50% chance of getting the questions right.
    • MCQs (or any other exam) depends upon your ability to focus, analyze the question, recollect from your brains memory bank, and improvise - so stay calm during the exam and don't compromise on sleep while preparing.
    • Questions are tricky - knowledge of the subject is not enough. Read the questions and choices clearly, you might get fooled by a hidden clause
    • General knowledge about the subject is not good enough - you need to understand "as per TOGAF". You need to read the TOGAF document word by word
    • Questions in the Study guide are not tough. You will get approximately 50% of the questions of same standard - some of them will be exactly same
    • Some of the Mock exams (Refer to Section: TOGAF Resources) are tough - but you will actually get 20-25% questions which are tough or tricky
    • Question will use exact Verbose from Study Guide (Refer to Section: TOGAF Resources) OR from TOGAF document. Study Guides will cover 90% of questions with exact verbose. Make sure you do thorough job with Study guide. For rest of the questions you will need to work with TOGAF document - it is just not possible to go through the complete document

    Part 2 - Tips

    • Scenario explanation is lots of verbose - Be patient, and take time reading it
    • Available mock exams are very easy. The actual exam is way tougher than the mock exams
    • Manage time cleverly. If you don't plan, you may not be able to complete all the questions
    • Use commonsense to eliminate options. 
    • Don't try to play safe and verify everything from the TOGAF document - Trust what you remember and verify only what is required
    • Prometric centers provide a PDF for reference - Its not very user friendly, the font is small, you cannot use mouse scroller to increase the font. Ctrl-F will not work for search - you will have to click "Find" Button - this may account for some time 
    • Plan to do each question in 10 minutes. That will take 80 minutes. Spend rest of 10 minutes to review or to revisit dodgy questions
    • If you understand the subject, this part is a lot simpler than Part 1

    TOGAF Resources