What is the PMI-PBA® Certification Exam?

Instructor: Eric Campos

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Certifications from the PMI are continuing to gain recognition as leading accreditations in the business and management fields. Obtaining a PMI-PBA certification can help you gain practical skills needed for business analysis and project management functions, while also making your qualifications stand out to employers. Read on to learn more.

The PMI-PBA Certification Exam

The PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) certifies the individual as a business analysis expert, capable of gathering requirements and developing project parameters to ensure project success. Determining business needs, working with stakeholders to maintain objectives, and creating solutions to project issues are major skills in project management. One of the main causes of project failure is insufficient requirement gathering. This makes the PMI-PBA a very versatile and applicable credential to have.

To secure this credential, you'll need to satisfy a set of prerequisites and pass the comprehensive exam that covers the fundamental skills of business analysis. Passing this exam certifies that you have the standard skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the role.

Prerequisites for the PMI-PBA Certification Exam

Prior to taking the certification exam, you must satisfy several requirements to secure test eligibility. These prerequisites serve as a starting point for your preparation and ensure that that you will be familiar with the test material. These prerequisites account for formal education, training in business analysis, and hours of experience in the field. Having a bachelor's degree alleviates some of the experience requirements for the exam. However, if you have an associate's degree or a high school diploma, you'll still be eligible to take the test as long as you meet additional hours of experience. Below is a breakdown of the prerequisites.

Option 1
Bachelor's degree, or global equivalent degree
2,000 hours of project experience
4,500 hours of business analysis experience
35 educational contact hours in business analysis


Option 2
High school diploma or associate's degree
2,000 hours of project experience
7,500 hours of business analysis experience
35 educational contact hours in business analysis

Another important thing to keep in mind is how you can tally your experience hour requirements. For example, your project team experience can include business analysis work. Holding a PMP or PgMP certification satisfies the project team hours' requirement as well.

What's On The PMI-PBA Certification Exam?

The PMI-PBA exam is comprised of 200 multiple-choice questions focusing on the 5 domains of business analysis proficiency. These include needs assessment (18%), planning (22%), analysis (35%), traceability and monitoring (15%), and evaluation (10%).

Each of the domains has a set of tasks that are used for the questions. These tasks represent key actions and skillsets that a professional would face within each of these domains. For example, one of the tasks in the planning domain asks test-takers to describe a strategy that's used in requirements traceability. Your success on the exam will depend on how well you navigate these tasks and answer questions correctly.

The exam also tests the knowledge and skills you will need to actually perform the tasks relevant to each domain. This, of course, will require knowledge of terminology and specific strategies. A few knowledge and skills that will be focused on in the exam include contingency planning, documentation management tools and techniques, reporting tools and techniques, and more.

How To Prepare For The PMI-PBA Certification Exam

Like any major test, the key to your success will be in preparation and study. As you reflect on your work experience, past training, and education, it would behoove you to review the fundamentals of management and business analysis. To supplement your exam prep, check out Study.com's Project Management and Business Analysis courses. Our online resources are fully mobile, allowing you to study whenever and wherever you want! Through video lessons, written transcripts, and practice quizzes and tests, you'll be able to delve into the material at your own pace. If you find yourself needing further assistance, remote tutors are also available to address your questions!

The Project Management Institute Professional in Business Analysis Exam (PMI-PBA) is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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