Which business analysis qualification is best for you?
BCS business analysis exams tips can prove useful if you want to successfully pass your exams first time. Exams can be tough especially if you haven’t done one in a very long time.
We put together a few exam tips that will help you approach exams with confidence and successfully pass your BCS business analysis exams to achieve the BCS business analysis qualifications and get the Business Analysis Diploma.
BCS business analysis exams are easy to pass the first time if you:
The BCS business analysis qualifications at foundation level can be achieved by passing a one hour multiple choice business analysis exam which consists of 40 questions. Each question offers 4 alternatives and there is no negative marking. You need to pass 26 out of 40 to pass the exam.
You should study the material very carefully as the exam follows the theory quite closely. As you are not penalised for your mistakes; if you don’t know the answer you should eliminate the definitely incorrect and guess the most likely from the remaining answers. Attempt all 40 questions – you will have plenty of time – most candidates finish in less than 45 minutes. Resist the temptation to rework answers. Research on the results of multiple choice examinations suggests that when students return to previous questions they often undo a previously correct answer. The first, more intuitive answer is usually the correct one.
The practitioner level exams are open book and based on a case study scenario. You will have 15 minute reading time, followed by one hour writing time. If your first language is not English you will get an extra 15 minutes writing time (also if you normally get extra time in exams for conditions like dyslexia).
The exams are set and marked by your BCS exam provider. The exam papers and marking schemes are approved and audited by BCS.
The pass mark is 50%, (moderation by another marker is required if mark is between 45% and 55%). The exam providers send your results to BCS, notify you of the result including your mark (up to 6 weeks after the exam – often much sooner), and BCS will issue an e-certificate (upto 8 weeks)
A variety of qualifications are offered in business analysis topics. The practitioner exams always follow the same format: you are given a scenario describing a business area on which you have to answer questions relating to the analysis topic chosen.
Before starting the exam proper you have 15 minutes reading time – you can read the exam paper, any notes or books that you have. It is useful to refer to practice exam papers and any suggested answers — Metadata provide you with two sample papers and answers for each BCS certificate topic. During this time you are not allowed to write anything nor are you allowed to use a highlighter.
Normally the questions total 50 marks with a pass mark of 25 /50 – 50%. There is no choice of questions so you should attempt all to maximise your chance of success. Marks for questions are not normally equally divided – question 1 could be 10 marks; question 2, 20; question 3, 8; and question 4, 12. Each question usually relates to one syllabus topic but is often divided into several parts. You have one hour to complete your answers so should normally allow about 1 minute per mark – so you spend about 10 minutes on a 10 mark question. Time is often a problem and you will need to think and write quickly.
All practitioner level BCS exams are set by your BCS business analysis course provider and are checked by independent auditors from the BCS. They try to set a common standard that applies to all exams and ensure that BCS exams are covering the syllabus and that exam providers are marking fairly. However each exam provider will have written the exam to fit with their own courses and will, to some extent, be preparing you for that exam.
You should talk to your course provider about the style of answering questions. Metadata Training give their candidates the following advice:
Once candidates have obtained the appropriate number of modules for the Business Analysis Diploma, they will be eligible to sit an oral examination. The BCS business analysis oral exam will test the communication abilities of the candidate, their ability to apply knowledge to their own, or simulated, work environment.
The oral will last for 45 minutes to an hour and will involve two examiners. It is recommended by the BCS that candidates take the oral examination within six months of completing the set of written examinations but we recommend that students should apply as soon as they have passed their last exam. However there is no BCS time limit.
The oral practice day is to give candidates the chance to get used to answering questions that are designed to show their practical understanding of the theory that they have learnt during the training courses.part of our preparation includes evening webinars to which all diploma candidates are invited.
Before taking the test candidates complete a form that shows their history of working in Business Analysis. We will help you complete the form. This form is partially used as a basis for the questions candidates will be asked by the examiners.
We will also go through the marking scheme with you so that you have a clearer idea of what to expect in the oral.
These three processes should highlight any weaknesses that candidates have in time to do something about them before the exam.