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Watch one of our trainers in action: Rod Simpson explains how everything fits together in business analysis!

Considering the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis? New to business analysis or not, a lot of people struggle to piece together the learning from different modules.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has created a diagram to help explain how everything fits together in business analysis, so you can leave each course with confidence.

Here is a short clip of Rod in his element – doing what he does best – Teaching!

Join a FREE BA virtual taster session on 28 July from 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Find out more about:

  • Is a virtual course the right option for you?
  • Which qualifications should you choose or start with?
  • If Metadata Training is the right training provider for you?

Click to book session

To watch the full video of Rod teaching – fill in the request form below.

Continued

Meet our Apprenticeship Mentor: Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

We know there are often so many questions when it comes to considering an apprenticeship, and so we’re on a mission to help you understand what’s involved, how an apprenticeship is structured, and what your personal journey might look like. Meet our Apprenticeship Mentor, Jason.

This week, we’re focusing on our mentors – a team of experienced Business Analysts who guide our apprentices through their learning journey, and work with them closely to help grow their technical abilities, confidence and skills along the way. We talked with Apprenticeship Mentor, Jason about his approach.

How do you work with apprentices?

As an apprenticeship mentor, I’m here to help our apprentices take what’s learned on the course, and apply it in their day to day practice as a Business Analyst.  Through one-to-one mentoring and coaching I help them to build confidence in their work, which leads to becoming a more effective Business Analyst.

Business Analyst Pyramid

We use a skills assessment pyramid (among other tools) to help evaluate where they are at the beginning of the programme, and to identify where they want to be. We then work together to take the steps necessary throughout the programme to help them achieve these objectives.

As an apprenticeship mentor, I also encourage them to think and reflect on their individual strengths and preferences in the context of their work. This helps them to understand what aspects of the role they find most enjoyable and rewarding, and to seek or create opportunities to spend more time on those activities. By doing more of what you love,  you will love more of what you do!

How does this work in practice?

We hold regular 1:1s every two weeks where we get together and map out what’s happened since the last meeting, whether there are elements of the learning the apprentice needs help with, and we also work through any potential blocks or barriers or issues.

I think of myself as a coach as well as a mentor.  I support the apprentice to understand and apply what they have learned to the work environment, and act as a sounding board to help understand and explore what they observe at work through the lens of Business Analysis.

From my own experience it’s useful to speak to someone who can relate to your day to day experience, but can offer a different perspective to help you to see things in another way.

Want to find out more about the BA apprenticeships programme? You can read our related article here

Continued

How to engage stakeholders on a project to elicit requirements

Engaging stakeholders on a project can sometimes be a challenge for some business analysts.

We’ve asked our network what are their best tips to engage stakeholders on a project to make sure that their perspective is heard and that the right problems are solved and the right solutions are being offered.

You can read the post below on our LinkedIn profile.

Some of the advice given was:

  1. Use visuals to create a shared understanding of the problem being solved
  2. Make sure you focus on your stakeholder’s needs and don’t focus too much on requirements

For more great advice see the post on LinkedIn. Are you experiencing any challenges in your role at the moment or would you like to learn more about a particular business analysis topic? Click to send your suggestions

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Now is the time for change managers to develop business analysis expertise

Is now the time to develop business analysis expertise by up-skilling current staff?

If your team’s role is to deliver business change for your organisation, the short answer is Yes. 

Because of Covid-19 and Brexit, change is happening at a faster rate. And change managers need to deliver that change fast. 

Do you have the right skills in place to deliver change?

As agents of change, business analysts can be your allies in delivering the change your organisation needs to stay in business.

You can hire skilled business analysts, you can get expensive consultants in or you can train and up-skill your current team members who know and understand your business.

The first 2 options are costly and time-consuming. The third option is available to you right now.

But how do your upskill current member of staff in business analysis when all training budgets have been cut?

Imagine this, your company has money available for you to train yourself or your team members and if that money is not spent it will be wasted – for you, for your team and for the company?

Why let money go to waste? 

Why miss this excellent opportunity to develop your team?

We’ve helped other companies develop their business analysts. We would love to show you how we can help. 

Join our webinar on 16 July from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm to find out more about:

  • Why you should consider an apprenticeship to develop business analysis expertise within your team
  • The benefits of a business analyst apprenticeship for your team
  • How to decide if the BA apprenticeship is for you (there are a few things to consider before)
  • How will the BA apprenticeship develop your team’s business analysis expertise?
  • Why is it called the Supercharge BA Apprenticeship?

Click to register for the webinar

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Modern Apprenticeships: surprisingly suitable for all ages

The term apprenticeship often conjures up the idea of a 16 school-leaver, fresh out of their education and looking to kick-start their career. In fact, the modern apprenticeship is a completely different way to train.

Overhauled in 2017 by the Department for Education, the apprenticeship programme is intended to address two significant problems in the uk; poor productivity in the UK, and a significant fall in employers’ investment in training over recent decades.

Apprenticeships provide a flexible and affordable way to learn new skills as part of your existing role.

Here are a few things you may not know about apprenticeships:

  • an apprenticeship combines work with training – at any level, from school-leavers through to degree-equivalent levels
  • apprentices can be new or existing employees (e.g you can recruit for an apprenticeship role)
  • an apprenticeship must last for at least 12 months
  • apprentices must spend at least 20% of their paid hours doing off-the-job training. Other than that, there is complete flexibility around the training
  • this training may be delivered by an authorised provider, the employer or a combination of the two
  • Government contributes to the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment, so if you’re a company it’s an effective way to deliver training without using an additional training budget
  • at the beginning of an apprenticeship your training provider (e.g somebody like us) will sit down with the apprentice and manager to agree workload and schedule for the entire period of the apprenticeship

When might this training be right for you?

An apprenticeship might be right for you, if you can identify with any of the following statements:

“I’ve been working in a Business Analysis role, but fell I need to upskill and formalise my qualifications to help me deliver my role better.”

“I’m looking for a change on career, and considering business analysis.”

“I need to take the next step in my career, and would like a qualification to help me.”

“I  want to be more efficient in my business analyst role, but I’m not sure which qualification will help me.”

We’re working to bring you some case studies from existing business analyst apprentices, to help give you a flavour of what you can expect from a modern apprenticeship in business analysis. For more information about apprenticeships, you can find out more about becoming a business analysis apprentice, or search for an apprenticeship here 

Our mentors use this handy little tool at the beginning of the programme to help apprentices identify their current level of expertise and where they can aspire to growth during the 18 months. Where would you place yourself right now?
Want to find out more about our Business Analyst Apprenticeship programme?
We are running a free online session on Thursday 16 July from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm.
Find out how the apprenticeship can transform your career and help you move to the next stage.
 

Click to register for this session

 

 

 

 

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Business Analysts can change the world!

Business Analysis is about CHANGE

  • ensuring that all stakeholders are involved
  • understanding their needs, wants and issues
  • specifying the agreed changes that bring the most value to all
  • working with IT and other partners to build the processes and systems  that support the change
  • helping embed the changes with all stakeholders and ensuring that value is added

As an Apprentice Business Analyst (BA) you’ll:

– spend about 20% of your time over 18 months developing your BA skills
– be mentored and supported by experienced BAs
– work as a BA with colleagues and teams involved with change in the Council
– develop the soft skills that support BA and change work
– understand agile approaches to change and gain an agile qualification
– gain the BCS BA Diploma – the most sought after BA qualification set
Find out more about the skill you’ll need as a Business Analyst here

As part of the Business Analysis apprenticeships programme, we will help develop your soft skills as well as your technical ability:

  • good interpersonal skills
  • basic English and Maths
  • curiosity and willingness to learn
  • analytical skills to help get to the root of a problem
  • big picture thinking and attention to detail
  • desire to make improvements happen
If you want to help change the World, you might be interested in a Business Analysis apprenticeship.
Continued

Develop business analysis skills without spending your training budget

Develop business analysis skills and expertise without spending your training budget : Webinar Wednesday 16 July 2020 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

As a specialist business analysis training provider, we can help you develop business analysis skills at no extra cost to your company.

Business Analyst Apprenticeships

Managers who want to develop business analysis skills, expertise and capabilities within their teams don’t always know that they can make good use of the levy that their company is already paying to the government.

This money could be wasted if not spent, and your team will miss the opportunity to upskill. You may not know that can use that money to fund training and coaching for your team that can contribute to employees’ motivation, higher staff retention and better skills within the team to achieve your business goals.

Developing business analysis skills

In the current environment, it’s becoming more important than ever to have a team with consistent business analysis skills, to ensure they are delivering the maximum benefit to your organisation. As an individual, accreditations such as the Business Analysis Apprenticeship Programme will help build confidence and assure your team that they are able to fulfil their roles to the best of their abilities, and to gain vital business analysis skills along the way.

Join our webinar and find out:

1. What is the business analysis apprenticeship programme, and how can it develop business analysis skills?
2. Who should consider it?
3. Why do an apprenticeship instead of the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis?
4. What activities and courses do you do on the programme?
5. Can my team still study and have time to deliver projects? And how can Metadata Training support us?
6. How can I engage my company to enrol myself or a colleague for an apprenticeship programme?
7. Any other questions – 10 to 15 minutes of Q&A at the end of the webinar.

The webinar is delivered by Mike Goodland, the Apprenticeship Director of Metadata Training.

Click here to register for the webinar

To talk to us about what the business analyst apprenticeship programme can offer your business analysts, please email us at info@metadatatraining.co.uk or call us on 020 7272 3726

Continued

7 tips for passing the BCS Business Analysis exam

If you’re looking to pass the BCS Business Analysis exam questions,  you’ve come to the right place! With the right preparations, you can easily ace your exams.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has put together these tips to help you approach your BCS Business Analysis Exam questions with confidence.

What are multiple-choice exams?

A multiple-choice exam for the BCS business analysis certification means every question will have 4 possible answers and only one is correct.

The exams have 40 questions and you need to score 26 our of 40 to pass the exam and achieve your qualification.

The following business analysis certifications are assessed by multiple-choice exams:

We recommend the following tips that can help you pass the Business Analysis Certification:

1. Keep your eye on the time.
2. Don’t change your mind if you are unsure of the answer.
3. Skip questions you don’t know the answer for.
4. Read the questions first, then the answer, and then the scenario.
5. Rule out the wrong or incorrect answers (only for paper exams).
6. Use highlighter if necessary (only for paper exams).
7. Be careful when you transpose that you don’t miss questions (only for paper exams)

 

Continued

BCS Business Analysis Sample Exam Questions & Tips

 

Are you considering taking the BCS Business Analysis exams, but have some concerns?

Maybe you’re all ready to book your BCS Business Analysis exam, but worried about what to expect? Maybe you’re just curious about the type of questions you’ll get asked in the exam. Worry over, we’ve put together a handy little sample exam, and some Top Tips from our Trainers to help you approach your exam with confidence. Good luck!

At Metadata Training we understand that you need the right conditions to pass your exams. That’s why we approach things a little differently to other training providers:

  • Get taught by skilled trainers will offer extra exam support if they think you need it.
  • Learn in a small class size means you get a personal service which means you benefit from having time to ask questions and be better prepared for the exam.
  • You can choose when you take the exam – if you are not ready and need more time to practice you can defer the date.
  • If you fail, we’ll help you with free exam preparation sessions – we are here to guide you until you pass and we won’t leave you on your own.
  • Our trainers don’t read from slides – they will show you how things work in practice, and how to add structure to your work.

If you’re looking to pass the BCS Business Analysis exam questions,  you’ve come to the right place! With the right preparations, you can easily ace your exams.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has put together these tips to help you approach your BCS Business Analysis Exam questions with confidence.

What are multiple-choice exams?

A multiple-choice exam for the BCS business analysis certification means every question will have 4 possible answers and only one is correct.

The exams have 40 questions and you need to score 26 our of 40 to pass the exam and achieve your qualification.

The following business analysis certifications are assessed by multiple-choice exams:

We recommend the following tips that can help you pass the Business Analysis Certification:

1. Keep your eye on the time.
2. Don’t change your mind if you are unsure of the answer.
3. Skip questions you don’t know the answer for.
4. Read the questions first, then the answer, and then the scenario.
5. Rule out the wrong or incorrect answers (only for paper exams).
6. Use highlighter if necessary (only for paper exams).
7. Be careful when you transpose that you don’t miss questions (only for paper exams)

 

Continued

Webinar on BCS Business Analysis Diploma – Tuesday 28 Jan 2020 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

If you have been thinking about developing your business analysis skills and are considering the BCS Business Analysis Diploma we are running a webinar to give you more information.

Developing business analysis skills will help you be more confident, add structure to your work and feel in charge and less overwhelmed at work.

Find out more about:
1. The structure and content of the diploma
2. What qualifications are included
3. How you achieve the BA diploma
4. If it is the right qualification for you
5. What benefits Metadata Training offers
6. Any questions that you want answering by a trainer

Register for our webinar today and get to know us and how we work to decide if we are the right training partner for you.

Click here to register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_x3W8gZfHS2e1u67k3qtVUA

For questions about the webinar or our BCS Business Analysis Diploma please email us at info@metadatatraining.co.uk.

Continued

ITV

ITV workplace technology approached Metadata because we wanted to train 16 staff in agile approaches using public courses such as Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner. Some of our team were new to agile and others had considerable experience.

After Metadata Training consulted with ITV on their training needs, we collaborated to build a bespoke 3-day course that covered the basics of agile, product owner and scrum master. The first day covered the agile manifesto and general agile principles, the second day focused on product ownership and product vision, and the third on the work of the team from a scrum perspective with some Kanban. The sessions were very interactive with considerable discussion and practical workshop exercises facilitated by a highly knowledgeable, experienced agile practitioner.

From the feedback we got, the delegates felt they now had a shared understanding of agile and how it should work. The training gave everyone ideas and insights into how to apply agile to their projects. All liked the varied methods, interactions and fun activities that brought theory to life. From a financial perspective, the 3-day bespoke courses were delivered at less than half the cost of sending people on individual Scrum courses. It gave ITV the bonus of identifying ways of improving their agile approach and discussing specific team situations.

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Which course: BCS Foundation in Business Analysis or BCS Business Analysis Practice?

 

We get asked this question a lot so we decided to give you some advice in an article.

To get more tips on which qualifications to choose and where to start make sure you download our business analysis guide – click here to download.

BCS Foundation in Business Analysis

The course objectives are to give the learner a complete overview of business analysis and learn useful tools and techniques.

The learning is done by understanding the theory and then answer multiple-choice questions to get the right answer.

The foundation in the title convinces a lot of professionals to start their training with this course. This is not however mandatory. The BCS qualifications are modular which means you can take them in any order and work your way towards the higher level qualification, the BCS Business Analysis certificate.

The course is heavy in theoretical concepts so if you are new to business analysis you will learn a lot. We use mind maps to show how everything relates and make it easy for you to remember the theory for the exam. You will also practice for your exam using our online exam simulation environment.

The exam is a one-hour closed-book examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The pass mark is 26/40.

To find out more about this course – click here 

BCS Business Analysis Practice

This course objective is to learn to apply business analysis techniques to understand the business objectives, analyse project issues, investigate stakeholders perspectives and identify potential business solutions.

This is the type of work you are expected to do before you move on to eliciting requirements. It is a critical part and if not done your time will be wasted on implementing the wrong solution to the wrong business problem. And the wrong solution can have a negative impact on your organisation!

The learning is done by applying the theory to real-world case studies and discussing this in groups and with a very experienced trainer.

The BCS Business Analysis Practice (BAP) is one of the mandatory modules if you want to achieve the BCS Business Analysis Diploma certificate. This means the knowledge you gain on this course is essential to business analysts.

Compared to BCS Foundation in Business Analysis it is also a more hands-on, practical course. You will apply the theory to real-world case studies then discuss solutions in groups and with a very experienced trainer. You will clearly understand how the concepts apply to the real world.

Because this is a more practical course, we recommend you start your training with this course.

The good thing about doing the course with us is that when you leave the course you will know exactly the preparation and analysis you need to do before moving on to eliciting requirements. Also, you will know how to make sure that the project stakeholders are on board so they don’t jeopardise your project

There’s nothing more wasteful and frustrating than putting a lot of effort into eliciting requirements for change initiatives that the stakeholders don’t want and reject.

The exam for this course is an open book exam based on a case study. It is very similar to the ones we will discuss in class so the chances you will pass are very high. We have a 95% pass rate on this course.

To find out more about this course – click here

Which one of the two to choose then?

If you like to first get an understanding of theory and then move to practical work then start with the BCS Foundation in Business Analysis. If you like to learn by doing then start with the BCS Business Analysis Practice. Most delegates do both as they want to achieve the higher qualification, the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis.

To get more tips on which qualifications to choose and where to start make sure you download our business analysis guide – click here to download.

Continued

Stories from the workplace – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon completed his Diploma in Business Analysis with Metadata in 2016.

Here we ask him a few questions about why he took the course and his experience.

Paul, what made you decide to take the diploma?

I was already doing a business analyst type role in my department but I didn’t realise there was actually a separate team of business analysts because the company is so big. When I asked to be transferred to the business analyst team I was told it was a requirement to be a fully qualified BA. And so I got in touch with Metadata to complete my diploma with them and finish my business analyst qualification.

What were you doing before?

I’ve been everything in my career from an accountant, a computer programmer, a systems analyst, a project manager and working my way through the IT department. I got earmarked within the IT department as a creative type and someone with good communication skills. That was the start of my formal career as a business analyst and moving into my current role.

And what is your role now?

I work as a business analyst in the pensions administration team. We work with companies to deliver outsourced benefits administration services covering pension administration, treasury and accounting, pensioner payroll and trustee secretarial services.

What did you learn from taking the diploma?

I found the practical exercises the most helpful. It’s a bit like building a shed; you can sit around drawing diagrams until you’re blue in the face but until you pick up some wood and a hammer you don’t really know what it’s like. In the same way with the courses, knowing everything about the theory is generally not that useful, you need someone who’s been there, done it and can do it again. The practical exercises were where the rubber hit the road and you discovered this is how you do it and this is what the results look like.

How have you found working as a BA?

It’s a very varied role which I enjoy. It also requires a good level of interpersonal skill which is something that doesn’t always suit people in IT! In my experience, certain job roles call for a certain type of person and it’s not always possible to mould yourself into what is being asked. For me, being a business analyst I can bring my creativity and communication skills to the fore which really helps.

And finally, any tips you’d give for anyone thinking about taking the diploma?

I’ve said it already but be sure you’re comfortable working with people and have good communication skills. On top of this having a naturally analytical mind will also stand you in good stead!

Paul Dillon completed his BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. To find out more about this certification – click here.

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What qualifications do you need to be a business analyst?

Demand for business analysis skills has increased as the pace of change has grown. Often this is driven by technology, the traditional BA role ‘bridges the gap’ between business experts and technical software teams. Apart from business analysts, project managers, business change managers, product owners and software developers benefit from BA training and qualifications.

Currently, there are two main bodies who can support professionals in achieving a business analysis qualification: BCS (The British Computer Society) and the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), both of which offer a number of BA qualifications tailored to your experience, career goals and personal preference.

Business Analysis Diploma Qualification

Developed and managed by BCS this remains the most sort-after business analysis qualification in the UK. As it is divided into individual modules,  it is easy for professionals to achieve the relevant certifications within their personal time constraints and according to their specific interests. If you are looking to gain important practical knowledge with hands-on training experience then this is the qualification you should choose.

How do you achieve the diploma?

The BCS diploma in business analysis consists of a foundation and three practitioner qualifications which are followed by an oral exam.

Each qualification stands alone and, in various combinations (IREB and IIBA qualifications also give partial exemptions), leads to the International BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. The delegates can take the four courses over as short a time as 8 continuous days or as several sessions spread over a year.

The courses can be taken at dates and in any order to suit you.

Core Practitioner (both mandatory):

These courses can be taken together in a one-week fast track, see Fast Track Business Analysis Course.

Foundation (choose one of the below):

Practitioner (choose one of the below):

Oral exam preparation

The diploma is completed by a 50-minute oral exam with two examiners. A one-day training day gives excellent preparation for this exam

What do we offer?

Metadata Training offers a variety of cost-effective diploma bundles that can help you achieve the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis at a reduced cost. Click here to find out more.

CBAP/CCBA Qualifications

The CCBA & CBAP qualifications are developed and managed by IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) and are very popular outside the UK. The qualification process is more complex and rigorous and unlike the BCS the exams are based on multiple choice questions.

The CCBA & CBAP qualifications offer a more systematic and comprehensive structure of the role of the business analyst and the way they should perform their work. The process, as well as the tools, are fully explained in the BABOK, the standard guide for these qualifications. These qualifications are heavy in theory and there is a lengthy application you need to go through in order to sit the exam.

IIBA has chapters in most countries who organise events for business analysts. They also have online resources for business analysts to use and continue their personal development.

What do we offer?

Metadata Training offers a course to support you achieve the CBAP or the CCBA qualifications. The qualification you choose depends on your current level of experience. Click here to find out more.

Which qualification should you choose?

The BCS Diploma with its modular approach makes it easier for a professional to break the training into smaller chunks and work towards achieving the highly regarded BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. In addition, a significant attraction to the BCS Diploma is the fact that it has no expiration date

Achieving one of the IIBA qualifications requires more commitment and dedication because it’s based on the BABOK guide which contains a high amount of theory and it involves a lengthy application process where you need to detail your experience and provide references. In achieving this you will be part of a selected group of professionals who are highly committed to a continual professional development as the qualifications need to be renewed every 5 years.

If you still need more advice on which qualifications to choose or where to start, you can download our business analysis guide or speak with a course advisor today on 020 7272 3726.

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Become a Business Analyst

We are often asked the following questions:

  1. How do you become a business analyst?
  2. Can the business analysis qualifications help me get into business analysis?

We would like to share with you our experience and thoughts.

Many professionals engage in business analysis work in their current job even though they don’t have a business analyst title.

(more…)

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Business Analysis Weekend Courses

We run weekend courses to support busy professionals continue their professional development without taking time off.

Our weekend courses are very popular and allow our delegates the flexibility they need to achieve their qualifications.

(more…)

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BCS Business Analysis Exams Tips

BCS business analysis exams tips can prove useful if you want to successfully pass your exams the 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 exam success

 

BCS Business Analysis Exams Tips for Foundation level

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.

 

BCS Business Analysis Exams Tips for Practitioner level

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 the 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 (up to 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 provides 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 gives their candidates the following advice:

  1. Make sure you answer every part of every question.
  2. Make your answers as specific to the scenario as you can
  3. Use the information given in the scenario as far as possible, most of the answers should be provided within the scenario (it can be useful to highlight or mark the question paper after the reading time). For example, a Business Analysis Practice BCS exam using an estate agency case study might ask you to do a PESTLE analysis (6 marks) — under Economic; recession, or falling house prices would be a reasonable answer (but ONLY if it were mentioned in the question).
  4. Bullet point style answers are acceptable if you find these quicker to write, but flowing prose is also OK
  5. Don’t worry about the legibility of your writing or of your diagrams, we will have seen worse!
  6. You have to write in ink and we recommend you just cross out any errors
  7. When drawing diagrams (e.g. use case diagrams or business activity models) show as many items as you reasonably can. You will not get penalised as long as these are reasonable, and are justifiably within the scope of the scenario. The marker will be following a marking scheme which will reward certain specific items. Thus a use case diagram in an exam worth 12 marks could expect 8 marks for use cases, 2 marks for actors, and 2 marks for communication channels. If your diagram only shows 4 use cases then, even if these are perfect, you can only get 4/8 marks for this part. However, if your diagram shows 10 use cases of which 6 roughly correspond to those in the model answer and the other 4 are reasonable but do not correspond then you will score at least 6/8 and possibly more.
  8. Some questions ask for a number of specific points e.g. identify 2 stakeholders (2 marks)

 

BCS Business Analysis Exams Tips for Diploma level

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.

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