Six Tips to Prepare Before the Exam
1. Make a clear study plan. This includes an understanding of your available time for studying, whether or not to register for a course, the content you want to go through, as well as a fixed date to take the exam. If you do not register for a fixed date, you are likely to postpone the exam.
2. Of course, you should study the TOGAF content in detail and also do test exams. However, if I had to choose, I would rather focus a bit more on doing actual test questions, instead of reading once more through the content of the guides.
3. For level 1, study the content and test your knowledge with the test questions. For level 2, study by understanding how to answer the test questions. It is not needed to study any additional content for level 2 except how to understand and answer the exam questions.
4. Level 2 is an open book exam, which means that you will get access to a PDF version of the TOGAF standard. Make therefore sure that you know roughly where to find what in the PDF and which key words to search for in the PDF (search function is enabled). The computer of the test center might be a bit older and the PDF might not work smoothly. Therefore you should be prepared to limit the key words that you need to search for.
5. Make sure that you answer all test questions at the end of my post on how to develop a study plan to pass TOGAF. All together, they cover already a large portion of all topics and if you put those questions in the center of your studies, you are good to go. After all, the passing grade is just 55% / 60%.
6. There are some things that you should know by heart, e.g. the phases of the ADM including their activities and outcomes (e.g. when is the topic of migration plan first touched and when is a draft finalized during the ADM?) differences between terms (e.g. consistent and compliant), TOGAF definitions (What is an enterprise, what is a content framework…) etc.
Four More Tips to Apply During the Exam
7. Regularly check how much time you have left. You have the possibility to mark questions that you are not sure of so you can later go back and check. Therefore, answer all questions that you know for certain first and later do the harder ones. I found the time for level 1 more than enough (60 minutes), while I had some time pressure during level 2, although you have 90 minutes for it.
8. This tip is valid for level 1 as well, but it is particularly meant for level 2: Eliminate the wrong answers if you cannot directly identify the correct answer. In level 2, eliminating the wrong answer will leave you with 3 more answers that are worth 5, 3, or 1 point; i.e. on average 3 points! As there are 8 questions and you need 24 points to pass, you would already be expected to pass by just identifying 100% of the worst answers. The worst answers are often the ones that are very different from the other three answers…
9. Make sure to read every question twice and do not just answer and proceed to the next question – especially if you are not a native English speaker. You might overlook a word that changed the meaning and hence the correct answer. In the end, there is enough time to read everything meticulously. Before registering to the exam, there is even the possibility for non-native speakers to register for a special exam that will give you 60 minutes of extra time – to compensate for not being a native speaker in English! Apart from English, the exam can also be taken in Chinese.
10. Stay concentrated and do not get nervous. In the worst case, you would have to pay the exam fee once more – which is quite some money. However, if you studied according to my plan provided and especially if you manage to pass your test tests with confidence, you will also pass the real exam. If you aim for achieving 80-90% during your studies, you can be sure to achieve at least the required passing grade of 55%/ 60% on your test day.
If you want to learn more about how to pass the TOGAF exam, take a look at my other posts. If you are worried about the relevancy of TOGAF, also consider how important TOGAF still is accoording to the number of certified professionals!