A self-study guide for TOGAF certification

TOGAF 9.1 is the latest version of the Open Group’s enterprise architecture methodology and framework. Building on the success of previous editions, TOGAF continues to be the most widely adopted and enterprise architecture.
In a business world increasingly integrated and dependant on technology, it comes as no surprise that a greater number of organisations look to enterprise architecture to align management concepts with that of their IT resources in order to achieve business goals. As such, there is an increasing demand for enterprise architects, specifically those proficient in the learning of TOGAF.
The following guide was created to support individuals planning to self-study for TOGAF 9.1 certification or as a supporting resource for those attending training. The guide is split into the following sections:

  1. TOGAF Certification Pathways
  2. TOGAF 9.1 Framework
  3. Available Study Guides
  4. Practice Question Resources
  5. Booking your exam
  6. Basic learning and exam preparation guidance
  7. Self-study isn’t working for me

1.       TOGAF Certification Pathways
No matter your circumstances, whether this is your learning from scratch or looking to upgrade from TOGAF 8, you can only gain certification by passing the applicable exam set by the Certification Authority.
The following diagram outlines the three pathways that lead to TOGAF certification

·         TOGAF 8 Certified? Take the TOGAF 8-9 Advanced Bridge Exam, although you’ll have to hurry as this is soon to be withdrawn with the last exam available as of the 31st October 2013.

·         The two-step approach – take TOGAF 9 Part 1 exam and gain TOGAF 9 Foundation, then at a later date take TOGAF 9 Part 2 exam to become TOGAF 9 certified.

·         The combined approach – get all over in one go by taking the TOGAF 9 combined Part 1 and Part 2 exam to become certified in one fell swoop.

2.       TOGAF 9.1 Framework
The best way get to grips with TOGAF 9.1 is to read the entire framework available on the Open Group website here. It’s also possible to download TOGAF 9.1 free of charge, though there are a variety of licencing options dependent on you proposed usage.

·         A free and everlasting Corporate License is available organisations planning to utilise TOGAF 9.1 entirely for internal purposes.

·         A free and everlasting Academic License is available for any organisation looking to use TOGAF 9.1 for academic or research purposes.

·         An annual Commercial License is available at cost for organisations looking to utilise TOGAF 9.1 for commercial gain.

3.       TOGAF Self-Study Guides
There is a range of self-study guides available in multiple hardback and digital formats to support you in self-studying TOGAF. Whilst you could simply navigate to Amazon and purchase a range of unofficial guides, I’d recommend sticking with the official guides made available from the Open Group:

·         TOGAF® 9 Foundation Study Guide – the guide covers all learning objectives associated with the foundation syllabus, ie. TOGAF 9 Part 1 exam. It is recommended (but not required) that you have existing knowledge of enterprise architecture when using this self-study guide. The document also contains a variety of exam questions to assess readiness.
Available in Hardback or PDF format – it can also be found on Amazon for Kindle.

·         TOGAF® 9 Certified Study Guide – this guide assumes knowledge equivalent to foundation and is designed to prepare those looking to take the TOGAF 9 Part 2 exam or the TOGAF 8-9 Advanced Bridge Exam.  The guide covers all learning objectives for the exams, which upon passing you become TOGAF certified. Like the Foundation study guide it also contains a variety of practice questions for self-assessment.
Available in Hardback or PDF format – it can also be found on Amazon for Kindle.
You can also purchase the TOGAF® 9 Certification Self Study Pack which is both guides combined; there is however no discount so if you are looking to study for both exams, it doesn’t really matter which format you purchase them in.

4.       Practice Question Resources
At regular intervals, it’s important to regularly assess your knowledge in the form of Practice Questions. These can help assess exam readiness or identify a weakness in a specific topic area to work on. It can also be a great way of building motivation and confidence as you exhibit your greater understanding of TOGAF.
So, as you read the architecture framework and scour the self-study guides cover to cover, be sure to schedule in practice test questions to assess your progress. To help you along the way, below is a compiled list of practice question resources:

  • The Open Group Official Demo – likely to be similar to the test questions in the official guides,  The Open Grou[s demon contains a series of 10 example TOGAF questions.
  • Technology Trend Analysis –Udayan Banerjee, CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, kindly created a series of TOGAF foundation and higher level practice questions –TOGAF Practice Questions 1 & TOGAF Practice Questions 2 for Foundation and TOGAF Part 2 Questions.
  • The Open Arch – this site contains 5 exam simulations to asses knowledge for both parts of the exam.
  • ArtITecture – a PDF of 30 practice questions provided by Chris Eaton, an enterprise architect with 15 years’ experience from IBM and now BP.

5.       Booking your exam
So you’ve done all the reading, completed all the guides and practice questions and you are finally ready to take the exam, what next…..
Head to the Prometric website and search for a test centre close to yourself, it really is that simple.

6.       Basic learning and exam preparation guidance
Many of us forget the basics when learning or preparing for an exam, so below is a set of simple advice to point you in the right direction when learning the material for TOGAF 9.1 or final preparation for an exam.

·         Have a plan – if you are going to participate in self-study, ensure you have a clear learning roadmap. If you know the final destination, but not the route to get there, you may end up very lost.

·         Goals – implement a series of SMART goals to benchmark success and progress through the plan.

·         Environment – it’s vital that you place yourself in an environment conducive to learning and free of distraction.

·         Test, test and test again – what better way to assess progress than with the series of practice questions supplied earlier to demonstrate your improved knowledge.

·         Learn your way –we all have our own style of learning, whether it be long form notes or giant swathes of fluorescent highlighted text, adopt the style that’s best for you.

·         Sleep – vital the night before an exam but also just as important when studying, get a decent night’s sleep. You’ll have more energy and likely retain greater information.

7.       Self-study isn’t working for me.
We actually covered this in section 6, ‘learn in your own way’. Self-study is a popular option, mainly as it’s low cost and flexible, but self-study isn’t right for everyone.
You might find yourself stuck for answers, lack the motivation to study individually or just want to give yourself the best chance to pass the exam, there are alternative training options that can be complimentary or used as an alternative:

  • Classroom based learning – put yourself in a classroom environment conducive to learning. Surround yourself with likeminded individuals seeking the same goal alongside a qualified instructor to guide you through the learning material.
  • Online Learning – this can be a hit and miss practice. A good platform will offer learning material in a variety of forms supplemented with whitepapers, practice exams, online video tutorials and live support if you require it. A poor platform is likely adds no value additional value above and beyond the guide you have just read.

Author Bio: Edward Jones works for Firebrand Training provider of TOGAF 9.1 certification. Edward has been in the IT Training industry for 2 years and writes on a range of topics including certification trends, study guides and industry news.

Documents are in common file formats such as Microsoft Word (doc), Powerpoint (ppt), Excel (xls,csv,xlsx), and Adobe pdf. 1


Leave a Reply