Passed the TOGAF 9 Certified exams!

This morning I passed both the TOGAF 9 Part 1 & Part 2 to become TOGAF Certified! According to TOGAF, this “is to provide validation that, in addition to the knowledge and comprehension of TOGAF 9 Foundation, the Candidate is able to analyze and apply this knowledge”. As I’ve spent a large amount of effort and time into this, I’m really happy with this result! Read this post if you want to learn more about TOGAF and taking the exam.

What is TOGAF and how do I use it?

The TOGAF Standard is an open Enterprise Architecture from The Open Group. It is used by leading organizations to improve business efficiency. As a Solutions Architect it allows me to better align with the Enterprise Architecture of the organization. Especially when the organization adopted TOGAF as their architecture framework, since that allows the various architects within the organization to use a common communication language.

How to become TOGAF 9 Certified?

Becoming TOGAF 9 Certified requires you to pass both the TOGAF 9 Foundation (Part 1) and TOGAF 9 Certified (Part 2) exams. You can combine both exams which requires you to take both exams at once. You have 60 minutes to complete Part 1 of the exam and 90 minutes to complete Part 2. If you live in one of the ESL Countries specified on the TOGAF site, you get an additional 30 minutes for Part 1 and 30 minutes for Part 2.

TOGAF Certification Pyramid
The TOGAF 9 Certification Pyramid. Source

Prepare for the TOGAF 9 Exams

Within Avanade Netherlands, 3 TOGAF Certified architects gave training to a group of participants from various departments. This is a great way to understand where TOGAF fits into my daily work and which phases you are connecting with colleagues from other departments. I highly recommend this way of learning for TOGAF because the training material is very ‘static’ and hard to understand if you cannot make the link with your daily work. (A big thanks to our great trainers!)

Besides this training, I was on a project which required a 3 hour drive per day. This allowed me to listen to the TOGAF Part 1 & Part 2 courses from Scott Duffy. While this course is not enough to pass the exam (as Scott also states during the course), it gives you a nice overview and helps you to get familiar with all the phases in the ADM and the different terms used across TOGAF. Besides that, it’s not too expensive. I payed around 20 EUR for both courses combined.

Last but not least, you need to spend a lot of time with the TOGAF 9 Study Guides. Make sure you use the practice tests in the book after each chapter. Flag chapters where you made too much mistakes or you’re not familiar with. Go through the book again and make notes. Make the practice tests after each chapter again. Feeling confident about the content? Make sure you take sufficient time between the tests to make sure you’re not remembering the question and answer combinations. If you are confident, take the practice tests from Appendix B. I scored 32 and 33 points for both practice tests, which told me that I should be ready to take the exam. According to the book, the required points to pass the practice exam are higher in the practice test when compared to the actual exam. To me, the actual exam was more difficult than the practice exams in the book.

Repeat these steps for the Part 2 exam. While each chapter doesn’t contain a practice exam, you can read through the book and try the practice exams in the Appendix. I scored 33 points, where 28 points are needed to pass the exam.

Go for the Part 1 & Part 2 combined?

Yes, for sure. I spent most of my time on Part 1. Part 2 is an open book exam. During the exam, you get access to the complete TOGAF Standard document, which contains over 900+ pages. As long as you understand Part 1 and you are able to carefully read the cases, you should be able to pass this one as well.

Take the TOGAF 9 exams

Taking the combined Part 1 and Part 2 exam requires some more effort. You need to stay focused for 3 – 4 hours, which can be difficult in a noisy exam center. (I still remember the noise from the AC!) Also be aware that there is no break between the two exams and you will not receive your score after taking the Part 1 exam. After the last question of Part 1, Part 2 automatically starts. Take the exam at the time that you are most comfortable with. To me, that is early in the morning. (I was the first one in the exam center today, so I could find the spot I like)

Part 2 Exam Tip

For every question, note down “1A, 1B, 1C, 1D” on your paper and look for the most unlikely answer. This answer is worth 0 points. You don’t want to select that one as it’s a distractor. After finding the distractor, look for the 2 most likely answers. Carefully study the answers and validate them in the book. Is the answer following the correct steps according to the TOGAF Standard? Go look into the TOGAF Standard document and use the search functionality.

Finished the exam? It will not tell you that you’ve passed. You have to go back to the proctor which will get your result from the printer. After you know your result, it can take up to 6 days before The Open Group confirms your exam via email.

Good luck! Let me know in the comments if this was useful to you!

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