Friday, 20 October 2017

TOGAF Exam: 10 Things You Need to Know

TOGAF exam 10 things you need to know for TOGAF exam preparation

Pass the TOGAF exam and you’ll prove you know how to implement the world’s most reliable enterprise architecture (EA). By using TOGAF in your organisation, you’ll be able to develop an EA that’s flexible, consistent and employs the best practices.

How difficult is the TOGAF certification?


To achieve your TOGAF certification, you must pass both the Level 1 & Level 2 TOGAF exams. Fail one of these exams and you won’t achieve an overall pass result - but you can retake the one you failed.

Getting the TOGAF certification is an investment of time - it can be achieved with hard work, determination and a good knowledge of the material. There are no shortcuts.

To help you get closer to an Enterprise Architect role (with average salaries of £70,000) here are 10 tips to prepare you for your TOGAF 9.1 certification exam.

1. You'll have to pace yourself in the exam


You have a fixed amount of time to complete the questions in your TOGAF exams and once the clock starts, there’s no stopping it. The exam durations are:

  • Level 1: 60 minutes (40 multiple choice questions)
  • Level 2: 90 minutes (8 scenario questions)

During the exam, make sure you keep an eye on the clock – it will be shown at the top of your screen throughout your exam. Not a native English speaker? Select the “English as a Second Language (ESL)” option to get more time – increasing Level 1 duration to 90 minutes and Level 2 duration to 135 minutes.

In the Level 1 exam, you only have an average of 90 seconds per question to make your decision. If one tough question is dramatically slowing your progress, you may want to skip it or risk missing easier questions that can be answered quickly.

Complete the Level 1 section and you can choose whether to move onto Level 2. If you do complete the Level 1 exam with time to spare, don’t rush into Level 2. You won’t get more time for the Level 2 section and you won’t be able to return to Level 1 to make any last-minute eureka changes.

2. You don’t have to pay for TOGAF certification preparation


You don’t have to pay for your TOGAF certification preparation. From exam simulators to enterprising eBooks, there’s a massive range of TOGAF revision resources available online that you don’t have to pay for. 

We’ve compiled some of our favourite resources in this blog post: Top 10 TOGAF resources you don’t have to pay for. Or, take a look at this post for frequently asked questions about TOGAF.

3. Don’t waste time on questions you can’t answer


There’s no point spending extra time on the trickier questions if there are easier ones you could be answering – every question is weighted identically.

First, answer the questions that you know and you’ll have more time to return to the trickier ones. Mark those you can’t answer in under 90 seconds on the electronic exam system. After the last question, you’ll be able to revisit your marked questions from the summary page. 

Again, only return to the questions you know you’ll be able to answer. Try to avoid spending time on hard questions when there are easier ones waiting.

The pass mark for Level 1 is 55%. That means you’ll only need to answer 22 of the 40 multiple choice questions correctly.

4. Make the most of The Open Group’s website


The Open Group administer the TOGAF exam, so don’t underestimate their website as a resource. On Opengroup.org, you’ll find the TOGAF 9.1 Standard courseware, a list of popular TOGAF publications, white papers and information on the Certified TOGAF 9 Practitioner Program (one to consider after becoming a TOGAF certified professional).

5. How to conquer the TOGAF Level 2 exam scenarios


Unlike Level 1, the Level 2 exam is open book and you’ll have access to an electronic copy of the specification that’s built into the Prometric test software.

The Level 2 exam consists of just 8 scenarios, each with 4 possible multiple choice answers. These answers are graded: 5 points for the correct answer, 3 for the next closest, 1 for the next and 0 for the furthest. 

Answer every scenario question with a correct answer and you’ll get 40 points. That’s a full 100%, but with a pass rate of 60%, you’ll only need to get 24 points. 

To conquer these scenarios, take your time to analyse and understand them. Consider which phases of the Architecture Development Method (ADM) cycle are relevant as well as the concerns of the stakeholders. 

Before you make your choice, eliminate the wrong answers and work your way back to the most logical answer. If you can eliminate just one wrong answer, you’ll still be earning points for that question.

As you’ll have access to the TOGAF PDF documentation during the Level 2 exam, avoid getting side-tracked in this document - you’ll still have to be smart with your time. It’s a great tool that should be used as a source of reference to assess your own judgement, rather than as an in-exam revision guide.

6. Your personal experience isn’t always the correct answer


This one is for the experienced enterprise architects. It can be tempting to refer to your personal experience when taking the exam, but you’re going to need to take the word of TOGAF as law. 

It’s brilliant if you have a wealth of personal knowledge and experience, but the exam is designed to test your knowledge of TOGAF and there’s no room for interpretation. What matters is the correct implementation of the TOGAF Framework, not what worked for you.

7. Learn the TOGAF language


You’ll want to brush up on your definitions before diving into the exam. TOGAF exam questions and answers are precisely phrased using language defined in the TOGAF documentation. You may find it helpful to compile glossary to refer to when studying. 

8. Memorise the ADM diagram


The Architecture Development Method (ADM) forms the core of TOGAF and is supported by the other main parts of TOGAF: TOGAF Enterprise Continuum and TOGAF Resource Base.

The ADM is summarised succinctly in a diagram, which you’ve undoubtedly already seen (if you haven’t, here’s the ADM documentation). Take time to memorise this useful diagram and it will help you out during your exam.


9. Practice the exam


There are a number of practice TOGAF exam resources available online, like the TOGAF exam simulator from The Open Arch.

It’s not-affiliated with TOGAF but was developed alongside TOGAF 9.1 certified architects. We go into further detail on TOGAF practice exams on this post: Top 10 TOGAF resources you don’t have to pay for.

10. Self-study isn’t the only option


Self-study is ideal for TOGAF students with time to revise, but it’s not for everyone. There are a number of classroom and online courses available.

To get enterprise architects certified fast, Firebrand Training created the only accelerated 3-day TOGAF course, including Level 1 & Level 2 exams (which you’ll sit during your training). Find out how you can get TOGAF certified in just one weekend.


TOGAF exam in just 3 days