Passing TOGAF 9.1 Certification

After a four day training course with http://enterprisearchitects.com/ and then two weeks of hard revision I am very relived to have passed both the TOGAF 9.1 Level 1 and 2 certification exams. This post is about why I decided to take the TOGAF exams and some useful resources and techniques  I found invaluable

Why Study for TOGAF 9.1 Certification

Having previously been a Senior Developer and then moving into a Technical Architect role means I am still close to the code.  I was very keen to improve my architecture modelling skills  with a framework certification. 

I looked at three certifications, TOGAF, Zachmann and the British Computer Society. TOGAF by The Open Group stood out to me as a widely adopted architectural framework with a worldwide footprint. The BCS certification also recognises TOGAF certification so I have the option to do one exam with the BCS to get Practitioner level certification.  

TOGAF is a Enterprise Architecture framework so has helped me understand how to work at higher levels of abstractions and modelling and provide foundation skills for progressing along the Architecture Career path.

There are three main components of TOGAF I could see having immediate benefit to my current role.

The Architecture Development Model - a set of guidelines and techniques for architecture development

The Architecture Capability Framework  - reference materials for establishing and architecture function in an enterprise

The Architecture Content Framework - a location and classification mechanism for architectural output


Useful Resources

I found the following invaluable to be able to pass the TOGAF certification exams

  1. Attending a revision course, the  Enterprise Architects Togaf 9.1 level 1 & 2 was really good but there was no exam at the end. 
  2. Reading the study guides by Rachel Harrison they are very good  Foundation Study Guide and Part 2 Study Guide
  3. Downloading the practice exams and reference cards from The Open Group Publications study materials section and do them over and over again
  4. I was advised not to buy any practice exams other then The Open Group ones and I found I didn''t need to.
  5. I did try the free questions on The Open Arch but found them significantly harder and confidence shattering
  6. Reading this Exam Study Guide by Nik Ansell a really useful point to help navigate the level 2 exams was "The best technique for answering a long and sometimes overwhelming question like this, is to use the paper/scratch pad the testing centre provides. Write each answer down, then mark off which concern is addressed by each answer. The one that addresses all the concerns if obviously the right answer " 
The Result

After all the hard work and travel I was very please to have passed with a overall mark of 81%, largely due to the course and the tips above.

Be prepared to travel to do the exam if you are not near a major city, I am based in Nottingham and the only place I could get into an exam in reasonable time was London, which meant two trips one for the course and then a day travel for the exams.