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Me, after passing Six SAP Certifications, I thought it is time for me to share my experiences, tips and ideas with the user community on passing a SAP Certification. SAP Certification is a tensed affair not because of its toughness, but, because of the money involved in it (gambling on one day cricket match πŸ˜‰ ). This is particularly true, in case if you have also attended SAP Training at SAP Education or SAP Authorised Training Institutes. There are many people who have invested everything for just a Certificate. Me also one of such bunch of jokers (my wife says !!! πŸ˜₯ ) who invests everything in education / certification, and at the end of the day, what you get is a peace of paper. However, the value of certification will come along with you and definitely recognised your efforts in the long run. There are many people still blame the certification process itself, because they feel that SAP has not tested their knowledge properly or they might have failed in one of their SAP Certifications or they may feel SAP Certification is a waste of money. Probably, this blog is not for so called intelligent people. I know the importance of hands on experience, but at the same time your fundamentals must be clear to work on a system. I have seen people who are having very good knowledge and 5 end to end implementations under their belt, but failed. I cannot blame their knowledge, I feel, there is a GAP in approach in attempting SAP Certification. This blog is for those who are really motivated to crack the SAP Certification at any cost and prove themselves to add one more A4 size paper to the list of their certificates πŸ˜†

I would like to summarize some my personal experiences, tips and ideas, may be helpful in approaching and cracking SAP Certification.

Identify your strengths: Before writing a certification first know your strengths. If you want to write a certification in a particular area, you should know whether you have worked in any of those areas and gained any functional knowledge / domain knowledge / end user experience / configuration experience / coding experience / training etc. Note that everybody cannot get all the opportunities in all the above areas. But, you should able to Identify your strengths with respect to these areas, then decide which Certification you are required to attempt.

Understand SAP Certification Policies: Unfortunately, SAP is having different type of policies with reference to SAP Certification in different countries. I had to travel from India to Malaysia in order to write my SAP BW Certification 😑 . Dictionary meaning says Policy means, the rules are same for every one. But, unfortunately, SAP Education policy change from country to country, person to person and organisation to organisation. They are very complex, layman like me cannot understand πŸ™ . First contact your local SAP Education Team and understand what is their policy applicable for your case and get a written confirmation that you are eligible to write the certification. Sometimes, it may so happen that you are eligible to write SAP Certification on day 1 and surprisingly may not be eligible on day 2.

Formal Training: If you are really new to an area, but intended to write SAP Certification, you need to attend the formal training. In some countries, SAP says, you must get trained from SAP Education / SAP Authorised Training Partner. But, in other countries, you can register yourself and write the exam. If you are fortunate enough to afford the money, then, it is recommended to get some sort of formal training. There may be some exceptional people who has written some Certifications without formal training. But, please note all the certification you cannot adopt the same approach. Some of the Certifications really test your ability and conceptual knowledge. Please note that unless you are formally trained, you cannot reach the level of passing the Certification Exam. If you pass such certifications without having any knowledge and training, then you are a star 😎

Plan in advance: You must plan in advance. At least couple of months are really required from the date of start of your formal training and attempting the certification. If you are privileged to get a formal training from SAP, you would get lot of new concepts every day and will have less time to practice and study, then your next day starts for new movie πŸ˜‰ . Therefore, hardly you get any time to master the things. Since, you have gone through every page in detail, probably, you may in a better position position to attempt the examination.

Exercises: At the end of the each chapter, there used to be exercises, but do not worry if you are not able to complete them. In my whole life, I could not complete all the exercises in a book (little incompetent !!! LOL πŸ˜• ). Please note that the exercises are given only to get clarity on the theoretical and conceptual knowledge. They are not intended to make you master or test your hands on exercises. Therefore, do not put much stress even if you cannot complete them.

After Training – Before Examination: I would say this is the real crucial stage. During the training period, you never had chance to revise anything. But, this is the period where you will really put the concepts into your mind.

  • Read each Certification Curriculum book for not less than FIVE times, very RELIGIOUSLY, before going to examination. First time, it would take longer period, but the more number of times you read, the time would be reduced. You must keep a notes and note down the important points. Meanwhile, you also highlight any important points with marker and note some questions with pencil. But, all my Certification books are filled with different marker colours, so could not read anything 😏
  • Give more importance to chapters with +++ or ++ ratings in the syllabus. You may expect more number of questions out of these chapters.
  • You are not advised to memorise the things, but, try to read in order to understand the concepts. Because, in certification, SAP is trying to test your conceptual knowledge, but not your memory.
  • Try to answer the questions given at the end of the each chapter.
  • Practice number of questions during this period. There are number of yahoo / google groups, where you can find number of sample questions. Try to attempt them. Do not worry, if you are only able to correct few in your first attempt. Even me used to get few correct answers only. If it is wrong, understand why it is wrong, if it is correct, why it is correct, this is the only way, you can clear the conceptual understanding, rather than blindly remembering the answers.
  • There are number of pictures / graphs that are being given in the Certification material. Please do not look them as nice looking coloured pictures. Try to analyse them in functional / technical perspective. Hopefully, you will find lot of meaning from them. Then read the underlying text in conjunction with those pictures. You will see much and better confidence view.
  • If you have any time try to go through help.sap.com, where the concepts are written in crystal clear language. If you find any time and also go through some of the threads on SDN, that would be a bonus.

Day before examination:

  • Know the address of your examination center. Otherwise, you may get panic in searching for the center tomorrow morning πŸ˜₯
  • Go to bed little early.
  • Do not read too much the whole night, it may not help, moreover, you may be sleepy in the examination.

On the day of examination:

  • Get up little early and have relaxed bath, take adequate breakfast.
  • See if you have time and can rush through pages, but not spend too much time here, you will forget going to exam. πŸ˜†
  • Ensure that you have identity card (passport / driving license) or admission ticket, pen / pencil etc.
  • Ensure that you reach half an hour in advance to the examination time. One time, I could not reach the examination center due to traffic and I am forced to reschedule my examination.
  • Whoever be the person, there will be definitely some tension boiling inside. But, try to keep yourself as much relaxed as possible. Just think, even if you do not pass, it is not the end of the world, still there is a tomorrow. Be calm.

In the Examination Hall:

Before coming to the examination, you must have enquired the pattern of the examination. In earlier pattern, you can still get partial credit for partially correct questions. However, for new pattern, SAP only will award  marks if all your answers / sub answers are correct in a question. Even if you make one sub-question incorrect, you will not get any marks for the total question. Therefore, your concepts must be crystal clear, you cannot take chances to put lotteries in the examination center πŸ˜› , whereas in old pattern, many people used to put lotteries for unknown questions (including me πŸ˜‰ ), as you were not going to loose anything. No negative marking is there in either current or old pattern of valuation.

  • Ensure you have completed all the formalities, like filling the form containing the name, contact details, address (where you should get your certificate) etc.
  • Use elimination technique – First try to identify the wrong questions, which you can identify very easily, then finally you will reach the right answers.
  • Concentrate on Single Answered Questions – For certain questions are called single answered questions, which will have radio buttons, only one question will is the correct answer. I heard that they have higher weightage, but not sure. Ensure that you reach the correct answer by using elimination technique.
  • Try to attempt the easy questions first – Try to attempt the easy questions first, then this will give you confidence and keep you in better frame of mind.
  • Mark the questions – If you cannot answer the question completely, then put them as “Marked question”, then at the end you can easily identify such questions and complete the answers. Even if you do not put as “Marked Questions”, still you can come back and complete them, it would waste your valuable time.
  • Take few minutes break – Go to wash room and come back, your mind may be recharged. πŸ˜‰
  • Do not worry much about the time – You should usually get ample time. Every time, I used to get time to go through all the questions 3 to 4 times. Therefore, in my opinion, time will not be a constraint, unless somebody spends more than an hour on a single question πŸ˜‰
  • Give last ten minutes for re-look at all questions – At this point of time, you do not have the time to read the question, only look at the question with your eyes and ensure that you have answered all questions. So, go through in this fashion for all the questions.
  • Relax – If you are confident, then you can click submit button, if you are shivering, just sit, relax and close your eyes, the system will take your session and issue the results. If you pass you will see Congratulations, otherwise, you will see your failed message. You can note down the marks obtained chapter wise on a plain paper.
  • Even if you pass or fail, do not much worry about it, calm / relax and come out of the examination hall.

After the Examination:

  • You should get your hard copy of the certificate within 4 – 6 weeks of time from the date of your Certification.
  • If not contact your Local / Global SAP Education Team, they should be able to help you out.
  • Contact SAP Education Team for password of your S ID. This you can use in order visit Service Market Place (https://service.sap.com). Do not share this User ID and Password with others.
  • Contact SAP Education Team for your Certification Logo, which you can use on your CV.
  • Earlier SAP used to send S ID cards. I got for my three certifications, but not for other three. But, I do not know where I misplaced πŸ˜•

Hopefully, I believe that I have covered most important points and will be useful for SAP Certification aspirants. This is the approach I used to follow. If you have any better approach, you are always welcome with suggestions and updates.

All the best.

Best Regards,

Ravi

PS: Please do not waste your money on bogus web sites, who are selling the questions / useless materials.

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602 Comments

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  1. Shanil chandy

    hi Ravi

      Myself is Shanil . Just completed my sap pp training through OLT. Planning for my certification exam on nov 2015 .exam code is c-tscm42-66. What all areas should I give more preference . say in MRP what all should I study . waiting for ur reply

      thanks

       Shanil

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      HI Shanil,

      Unfortunately, you do not have privilege to leave some chapters and go for the examination. If you are appearing in November, you still have ample time to go through each and every curriculum books for more than 6 – 7 times. In my opinion, you must read each chapter thoroughly.

      Visit training.sap.com, where you have +++ or more percentage of questions, you need to give much more importance to those chapters. You cannot skips any of the chapters in the syllabus.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (0) 
        1. Rahul Badve

          Hello Shanil,

          I too had enrolled in Pune’s leading authorized SAP training institute. I too opted for OLT.

          The thing is that you have to go through the books at least 4 to 5 times (as suggested by Ravi),

          try to understand the concepts and based on this the questions are asked. I passed SAP PP in January 2015 with 84%.

          Please don’t follow any third party websites for the sake of passing the exam for certification.

          Wishing you good luck for your attempt.

          Thanks,

          Rahul

          (0) 
    2. Rahul Badve

      Hello Shanil,

      Please follow Ravi’s guidance. You will definitely pass the certification with good marks. I did the same thing and successfully cleared the certification.

      Thx,

      Rahul Badve

      (0) 
  2. NEEMA BOHRA

    Hi Ravi,

    It is a very informative post.Even i am thinking of doing SAP certification.I need your guidance.Currently i am in San Francisco on H4 Visa.Can i enroll myself for this course here.I am a commerce graduate.

    Regards,

    Neema

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Neema,

      You do not need to enrol for the course.

      You can directly appear for the examination.

      Please contact your local SAP Education in USA and directly enrol for the certification without training. Training must be very expensive.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (0) 
    2. Pallavi Mondhe

      Hi Neema,

           I would suggest you to try Training and Certification Shop and register on this SAP website. Once you get the approval for the account (that would take couple of days), you will have your S-user ID. There you can access SAP Learning Hub for free which is really awesome. And you can directly purchase what ever SAP certification you are interested. Then you have to create an account on pearsonvue.com (you will get all the information in a booking conformation email once you purchase the voucher) here you can access all the available exam centers. Just you have to book an appointment.

            Now about the preparation, try SAP PRESS. There are lots of SAP books which will help to prepare for certification. As Ravi mentioned in his article (which is really helpfull), to clear the SAP certification one has to read the book of the particular SAP module for like 4 or 5 times.

           Hope this helps you with your preparation. And all the best.

      Regards,

      Pallavi

      (0) 
  3. Rahul Badve

    Hello Ravi,

    I need some guidance from you. Last year I successfully cleared SAP PP certification with 84% marks. Kudos to your timely help and guidance.

    I am thinking to sit for SAP APO training from an SAP partner education in Pune. Basically I am from Industrial Engineering background and is involved in Lean manufacturing consulting firm specialised in work measurement using MOST®technique.

    I am i this industry for the last 13.5 years and want to shift in another role. By taking the certification in SAP APO will I get better chances to enter SAP world?

    Please guide.

    Regards,

    Rahul

    (0) 
  4. AJ .

    Thanks Ravi. Nicely explained. I am going to give my certification next month and your blog has clarified most of my queries.

    Regards,

    AJ.

    (0) 
  5. Anandbabu Munusamy

    Dear Ravi or other members,

    could you please advise me on this.

    I have masters in engineering with about 30 years industrial experience in oil and gas. Due to industry down turn, I am laid off and I would like to add my additional field of expertise. I am planning to get certified for SAP MM, PM and PP, which are my field of expertise.

    I am based in a ex soviet country and I want to know whether I can do self study instead of going to the expensive training course. I can give exams anywhere in North America or Europe.

    If I can do it by self study, could you please advise the way forward and how to get the study material and how to prepare etc.

    Thanks in advance for your reply

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Anand,

      If you can travel to UK / US etc. you can write your exam with your self study.

      Please note these Certification books are copyrighted materials not available for free.

      However, you may subscribe to SAP Learning Hub, where you can get access to lot of SAP materials.

      SAP Learning Hub

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (0) 
  6. sanjeeve kumar

    Hi Ravi,

    Please provide me current policies in India SAP.

    I want to do the SAP BI Integrated Planning Certification, 


    provide me contact details


    Regards


    Sanjeeve.G

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Sanjeev,

      To honest, SAP BI Integrated Planning is getting redundant shortly. SAP is more focussing on BPC, which could be their future product.

      Moreover, there is no Certification just based on BI Integrated Planning.

      Integrated Planning is one part of the total BI Certification. If you do the BI Certification, then it should cover the Integrated Planning curriculum.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (0) 
  7. Kiran Kumar

    Hi Ravi Shankar,

    I am eager to do SAP CO Certification so just signup with SAP INDIA CERTIFICATION portal there I suppose to fill m personal details in that flow there I need to my current employer there my company name was not available because I selected Others from drop down.  But if I am trying save the details system was not moving ahead because its showing error like ‘mention your current company’ (employer).  There I was struck.  Could you please advise me how can I move ahead.

    Note: I am planning for direct certification without coaching from any institution.  Please suggest me how can I get the Certification material for self enhancement.

    Thanks,

    Kiran Kumar.Y

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Kiran,

      You may need to contact SAP Education, if there is an error in the form. They may be able to advise you.

      SAP materials not freely distributable, if you need them, you may have to attend the SAP Authorized Training or subscribe SAP Learning Hub.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (0) 
  8. Sai Tarun

    Hi Sir

    I’m a B.Com graduate and i’m interested to develop my career in SAP FICO. I have graduated in 2015.I need your guidance regarding career in sap fico.I have few doubts about sap fico

    1.As a fresher will i get a job after completing sap fico training

    2.Where should i gain domain experience for sap fico

    -from a chartered accountant firm or corporate companies or certified sap fico consultants

    3.How to identify real sap training institutes

    4.How much time will it take to learn conceptually sap fico through training institutes

    Can i have your email id sir to contact you

    Regards,

    Tarun

    (0) 
  9. voona vivek

    Hi Ravi Sankar,

    I am a follower of your discussions on SCN forum and I thank you for all your wonderful insights. I request you to throw some light on below context.

    I have 4 years of consulting experience in SAP FICO. I am currently thinking/ planning to appear for SAP Management accounting certification (ECC6-EHP7). I would like to take your expert opinion here. Does certification really add value to my profile now? Given that SAP has already launched Simple Finance in the market, how far doing you think a certification in R/3 is really helpful now for an FICO consultant?

    Looking forward to your subtle advice as always.

    Regards,

    Vivek

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Vivek As you are already in consulting aytending CO Certification will be not a bad idea. Even Simple Finance is in yhe market, it is yet to mature. Please go for CO Certification, it will add value to your profile.

      (0) 
      1. Pri Pri

        Hi Ravi Sankar,

        I would like to get some details from you. I am trying to get answer for my query but i could not.

        Iam having 9 yrs of ABAP exp and I still dont want to writing coding . But wanted to enhance my career to next level . But don not know how to and what to study.

        I would  like to move into management side or if in SAP something which is up coming I have to learn and work on that .

        Can you guide me and provide me some inputs it would be of great help in shaping my career.

        Thanks,

        Pri

        (0) 
  10. Vivek Kumar

    Dear Ravi Sir,

    I am a B_Tech CSE and MBA with global Pre-sales experience (currently not working).

    So I choose to continue my career in SAP SD domain initially as a functional consultant.

    I’m planning to enroll for Order-fulfillment (SD) certification in ATOS Bangalore.

    But came to know from the institute representative that for any institutes ILT(Instructor Lead Program) is not available for SD module.

    They have started new VLC (Virtual Learning Course) which is a live video based training.

    Now I’m totally confused because I had prepared myself for the ITL program and there is no such big difference in fees as well .

    I have very rough experience with video based learning before.

    Please suggest me what to do.

    Regards,

    Vivek

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Both has its own pros and cons.

      You may go to VLC as it is less expensive, moreover, you can carry on your own pace. They are not that bad as you are thinking.

      Certification is the same whether you go to through VLC or ITL.

      You can go ahead with VLC.

      (0) 
  11. Pandyan komaravolu

    Hi Ravi,

      Thanks alot for your informative blog. I am an ABAPer with 9 years of experience, but have only 9 months in current organization. I want to do certification in a month which i cannot do in india since i have to complete 1 year with current organization. Can i do it in other country say thailand or singapore? Please advice. or you recommend me waiting for 3 more months and do in india. Apart from 1 year rule, i find the process very complicated like getting letter from HR and all.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Pandyan.

    (0) 
  12. Rahul Badve

    Hello Ravi,

    Today morning I received an email from SAP stating my certificate has expired on 20 June 2016. Following below is the message:-

    Status expiring in C_TSCM42_64 Application Associate – Production – Planning & Manufacturing with SAP ERP 6.0 EHP4 as of Jan 20, 2016.



    Does this means the certificate has expired? Do I need to start from the start.

    Please advice.

    Thanks,

    Rahul

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Your certificate is NOT invalid. It says SAP is no longer conducts this exam in future. If you wish to appear latest version, it is up to your own interest.

      (0) 
  13. Saravana Kumar

    Hai Ravi ,

    thanks for a lengthy narration yet being an aunbored one . (i enjoyed that ). i am looking for SAP Basis certification for the latest version . please let me know where can i get the precise financial numbers involved in that .

    Regards,

    Saravana Kumar V S.

    (0) 
  14. Rachit Aherwar

    Helpful post, can somebody guide  for downloading the THR pdf books/material for certification. I need the naivigation path for material to download SAP HCM Certification EHP 6.

    Looking for helpful suggestions.

    Regard,RA

    (0) 
  15. SUPRIYA PANIGRAHI

    Hello Ravi,

    I went through some of your blogs. Very nicely depicted. I need a suggestion. I am presently working as an end user in SAP-PM in a core sector. I have 5years of experience. And I see no future in this sector as i am only updating and maintaining day to day maintenance reports in SAP only. I want go into more depth. Will training & functional-certification be helpful for me? How shall i approach? Need a clear vision of this.

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Supriya, Being an end user, you must be gaving good process knowledge. However, the thing you are missing us configuration skills. Join a decent institute to learn your configuration skills and possibly go for a Certification. Then you may need to try rigorously until you break into SAP market. Nothing is easy unless we break the comfort zone. All the best. Kind Regards, Ravi

      (0) 
  16. Lohith R

    Dear Mr Ravi ,,,,,,

    In need your suggestion about My SAP certification…. currently working in Manufacturing industries as a System Engineer….and am working administrator and familiar with sap Basis from last 8 years.

    since we are into manufacturing company we have not having much activity in sap basis and am planning to change my job. because we have not having my involvement in the sap basis.

    kindly suggest me … can i take the certification exam ? if yes pl tel me where can i get the syllabus copy and the notes for sap basis exam.

    and also if any job opening pl let me know.

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Lohit you may need to contact SAP Education if you are eligible to write the Certification directly. You may get the syllabus details at

      Training.sap.com

      Please go through my blog FAQs on SAP Certification and Career, should answer most of your questions.

      (0) 
  17. Nisha John

    Hi Ravi, I am absolutely new to SAP.I have 13 years of experience in all functions of HR and wanted to elevate my knowledge by studying SAP and look more into it. I have been looking into all sites, comments ..and I am kind of bit confused and overwhelmed. Would you be able to guide me in this. I stay in Calgary, Alberta , Canada. I have certifications only in HR and want to study SAP HR/ HCM. Is it possible for me and where do I begin with. I see there are materials in the net for free download to study etc. Is this helpful. Please let me know if SAP HCM has the scope for better career perspectives or should I do something else in SAP. Thanks for taking time in sharing your experiences and thoughts.

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Nisha, Good to know you. If you have HR background, I would advise you to go for SAP HCM / Successfactors. Please go through training.sap.com, you will find the books and syllabus details. You should only go through the curriculum books and these materials are copyrighted. If you are planning for certification, you may need to go through these books religiously. All the best. Kind Regards, Ravi

      (0) 
  18. Nitin Asthana

    Hi Ravi,

    My name is Nitin and reside in India.I am having 3 years of experience in SAP HANA and very much interested to go for SAP HANA certification.Recently I joined a new Company and working here from last two months.

    Is there any procedure for SAP certification that I need a letter from company and should have completed a year in that company?

    Please clear my doubt.

    Thanks in advance

    (0) 
  19. Saurabh Tiwari

    Hi Ravi,

    I cleared my SAP PPM certification exam on 11th November 2016 in Bangalore, India. I have not received my certificate copy since then. Β  I tried checking with SAP certification India team on that but they say it is not yet printed because they are unable to track my Participant id Β ( Please note there is no S-user Id involved in my case,same is the case with my other 2 colleagues who also cleared their certification . We all applied through SAP TechEd bangalore)

    I am really disappointed with post certification services on SAP . Had I not inquired about it, SAP would not have bothered to inform me about it :-(.

    As I am checking status on :Β https://www.sapindiacertification.com/certification/welcome/status Β  Β  Β  Β (Where result is “Certified”) and sending e-mails every week toΒ education.india@sap.com but no any response is coming from them. πŸ™

     

    Could you please help me in this regard or redirect my issue to concerned people/Team?

     

    Best Reagrds

    Saurabh

    (0) 

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