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Author's profile photo Arun Varadarajan

BW Certification – a first hand view of the evolution of certification – Part 1

My first BW Certification Exam
It was 2004 when I underwent training and subsequent certification in SAP BW. The exam was called SAP BW Certificate 2002 or something on those lines , after a rigorous 4 week training at SAP Education in Bangalore , I took the test.

My initial views of the BW 3.0B certification circa 2004 ( End of 2004 )
1. Very book oriented – if you successfully managed to remember the whole education material ( by Rote ) then you could ace the exam … as evidenced by my colleague who scored 88% on the exam and I could manage only 78%.

* Percentages do not matter in certification – you either pass the same or you don’t…

Associate certification in BW 3.5

Then came TechED in 2005 and I took up certification in SAP BW 3.5 as part of TechED. Mainly because Certification was offered for free as part of TechED!!!

The same pattern of questions and most of the questions were based on the education material. In fact BPS and BCS were part of BW3.5 and the questions could be answered by reading the material thoroughly…

Also the experience of taking the exam in TechED is quite different – the exams used to take place on TechED premises after 7 PM and we had a bank of 100’s of computers in different rooms where lots of people took the exam and there was a lone invigilator monitoring all the people ( poor him!!) – a stark contrast to about 20 of us taking the exam in SAP Education the previous time.

Of course I managed the same percentage 78% – !!!

Certified Associate BW 2004S – TechED 2007

Then came the third certification in BI 7.0 as part of … TechED again 0 this time it was TechED 2007…

Some differences I observed in this exam process…
1. We had to pay for the exam and it was not free with TechED admission…
2. There was a lot of credential validation done by SAP before we could register for the exam – this included validation of our resumes and a letter from my employer stating that I had worked with them at least for 1 year and my resume had the correct details in terms of experience etc.

We ( my colleagues included ) had to submit the documentation at SAP GDC India offices in Bangalore for it to be validated and then they sent the details of the voucher and login details for a new site … Pearson VUE …

I registered at Pearson VUE and could schedule my exam for any day ( 2-3 days after TechED ended ) and found a center near my place and a convenient time too… this was a great convenience as opposed to previous patterns…

The exam was slightly different from the previous exams by the fact that there were a lot of questions which were experience based and not directly from the book … it was a nice experience since it avoided thoughts like
“Now where in the book(s) did I come across Real Time Data Acquisition” and made people think like …
“Now If I had to enable RDA for this datasource what do I have to do ” and run through the screens in BW mentally….
And many of the questions were still from the book but then the questions based on experience were a refreshing departure from usual practice…

The pass percentage of the exam is dynamically determined I guess – I had to clear 53% of the questions to pass and some of my friends who wrote the exam the next year had something like 65% or something like that…

More details on the professional exam in part 2 of this blog… ( Links to be updates soon .. )


BW Certification – a first hand view of the evolution of certification – Part 2

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      and quite similar to yours with the NW BW Associate certification; I am glad I took it as it made me be a better BW developer.  I could answer the most detailed questions!

      I liked finding a Pearson Vue testing center near my house (and at 10:00 am on Sunday of all days) - that was great!

      I liked getting my results right away.  It was a tough test!

      I do appreciate the C5's efforts in making the certification matter more, though.

      Author's profile photo Arun Varadarajan
      Arun Varadarajan
      Blog Post Author
      A funnier side to this was when I took my NW BW Associate exam for BI7 - when you finish the test the following message appears on your screen...
      "Please leave the exam hall quietly and contact your center administrator" - I decided that I had flunked and went to the supervisor asking him about how I could book the test again and the supervisor had my results in hand!!!

      I did not face this when I took the exam for the BW Professional though...

      Author's profile photo Mark Finnern
      Mark Finnern
      Hi Tammy,

      > I liked finding a Pearson Vue testing center near my house (and at 10:00 am on Sunday of all days) - that was great!

      Wow, the new church is the certification center 😉

      So were you singing get me to the certification on time instead of church on time?

      Just wondering, Mark.