How a non-native English speaker can pass TOGAF 9.2 ESL easily

We enter the end of the industrialization, “things” become smart and less mechanical driven. Our involvement in shaping the digitalization process of our future starts now by proactive decision-making and outcome-driven activities. Enterprise Architecture and especially TOGAF helps to create a meaningful big picture to your organisation. There are multiple reasons you should consider keeping your EA practice from small business to large corporate organisations up to date. First things first – get the basics right by studying and taking the exam. Read through this article to understand how to pass TOGAF based on my personal experiences.

The journey to accommodate TOGAF 9.2 – ESL (English as a second language) exam

As a non-native English speaker, you are eligible to receive an extra 60 minutes time allowance for the combined TOGAF Foundation – Level 1 and Certified – Level 2 exam. The program code on Pearson’s webshop is OG0-093-ESL. I scheduled the exam in a test facility for early 2020 but due to different reasons, I had to postpone the exam. This is free of charge and can be done via the Pearson portal until 48 hours prior to the exam. The TOGAF 9.2 ESL exam cannot be booked via the portal, it must be done via a Pearson call agent. In addition, you must provide numerous documents to prove your need to receive the additional 60 minutes time allowance. In my case, the entire application process took several days via email and phone. It was a back and forth with providing your available options and then the Pearson agent is calling you back after a couple of days (2-3 days). The postponed exam date got cancelled due to COVID19 with all test facilities closed. A co-worker told me a couple of weeks later that Pearson offered proctored exams, which is an exam option held on your own device, and my accommodation process started again. Fortunately, this did not take long, and I got an exam date within the next month.

How to prepare for the exam?

To set the scene and expectations, you do not need to attend an expensive course and I show you how I studied and passed my exam.

If your aim is to pass TOGAF Foundation – Level 1, memorizing is good enough. TOGAF Certified – Level 2 is slightly more challenging with applying the knowledge to scenarios. A good tip is to ask yourself the question “Why” to chapters you are studying. Your answer shows how good you can apply your knowledge in the scenario-based questions.

You might be curious about what is necessary to pass without attending a course. It is simple – intrinsic motivation, and I assume you have that otherwise, you would not consider taking the exam in the first place.

To give you an overview of what study opportunities are available, I listed different options for you:

After you have decided on how to study, you buy the exam voucher separately or sometimes it is included in the course fee.

I started reading the online material provided by The Open Group. Nevertheless, after the first skim of the document, I felt perplexed by the mere terminology that sounded similar and abstract models that were not intuitive. I decided to summarize each chapter and wrote down a glossary to start distinguishing between similar words. This helped me to get familiar with the terminology and created a better understanding of the context. Additionally, I used TOGAF 9.1 study material including questionnaires. A couple of days prior to the exam and after the first completed TOGAF 9.2 questionnaire, I realized that I did not capture all content. I had a knowledge gap, so I started closing the gap by mapping my TOGAF 9.1 summary with the TOGAF 9.2 online publications.

The exam day

I chose the proctored exam and it comes with certain prerequisites that I had to take care of e.g. system requirements met by my computer, photocopy your ID, take pictures of the room, clean desk, etc. After I opened the application, I had to wait until the exam started and the proctor was ready. In this step, you just follow a wizard that navigates you through the introduction. During the exam, my computer camera was turned on and you are not allowed to leave the room, not even for a toilet break in between the exams.

I noticed that my additional time was not displayed nor added to the timer during TOGAF Foundation – Level 1 exam. I asked the proctor (the proctor changes during the exam) multiple times during the exam, without result, so I tried to stay in the time limit of 60 min. As Level 1 is just Multiple Choice and the questions are not too long it was easy to capture all information in time.

Another tip, at least a third of the questions are TOGAF 9.2 related – make sure you have the latest study material to increase your chances for a positive result.

After finishing the first exam in less than 60 min, TOGAF Certified – Level 2 exam started right after. Again, I realized that there is no additional time displayed and notified the proctor. After three-quarters of the time, I had still half the questions ahead, I started to worry and made a match plan.

In order to calm myself down, I thought „I check 10 min prior to the end“ with the assumption that my exam finishes when the timer expires. This strategy helped me to focus on the remaining questions. During the last ten minutes, I had still 25% of the questions left and felt devastated. I quickly skimmed the questions, did not read the answers entirely and just chose what sounded roughly right. I finished seconds before the session expired. Immediately after the test application exited the questionnaire window with a prompt the time has expired. In this situation, I felt astonished, angry, and powerless as I did not know what to do. Right after I still could use the chat and contacted the proctor with no time rush unlike during the exam. After explaining the situation, I received a claim reference number to contact Pearson a couple of days later to discuss the incident.

A short while after finishing the exam, I received an email with a notification that my results were online. I passed both exams, and my anxious feeling turned into joy and happiness as it was a pure relieve. As a bonus, my girlfriend prepared a heart-warming and thoughtful goodie basket that helped for early recovery.

Do you have any further recommendations on how to pass TOGAF ESL? How was your experience? Did the article help you? Please take a moment to provide your feedback and further improve the content of this website for other test takers!

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