Skip to Content

In this blog we’ll first examine the reasons why you should get yourself SAP Certified, and then run through a list of top tips from people who have recently passed the test. We hope you enjoy it, learn something, and get certified!


1. Should I do a SAP Certification exam?

/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/11980154_s_267998.jpg

Copyright (c) http://www.123rf.com


In our opinion, yes. They are expensive and no doubt a very nice earner for SAP Inc. but they are worth it. The next time you apply for a job you may be competing with a lot of other very experienced people. If SAP Certification gives you the edge, then it will pay for itself many, many times over. As someone who is often involved in the hiring process, I can confirm that SAP certification does indeed make a difference.

Can’t afford it? Ask around at your work. If you are a full-time employee there is a chance that your boss will pay all or some of the exam costs – usually around USD $500.

Apart from the monetary aspects, taking an exam is a good impetus for you to know your stuff, and forces you to read that thick book gathering dust on your desk.

2. Should I do the Associate or the Professional Exam?


For me, the main objective was to get a SAP certification – any certification. So I would recommend the Associate exam. And it goes without saying: pick an area you are very familiar with: not some trendy new HanaCloudBigData stuff.

3. What if I fail? Should I be afraid?

I have seen top-notch SAP consultants with over a decade’s experience hyperventilating before a certification exam. And I can understand why. Sure, you might know your stuff, but do you know their stuff?

The questions may have been dreamed up by some pedantic Eggkopf in Walldorf who hasn’t consulted in years. For example, they might ask you to list the 5 ways to do ‘X’, when you’ve only ever done it one way.


Thankfully SAP is now looking to crowd-source the exam questions, so they should become more practical and true-to-life.

4. How do I pass the exam?

Disclaimer: these exam tips are based on the SAP Certification exam experiences of this author and his acquaintances. The details may or may not be useful to you for your particular exam or country. Please let me know if something was very different when you eventually do take that exam.

Tip 1: Study, study, study. The very best preparation is to take the relevant SAP course(s) (as can be found on the SAP Certification website) and add to that (at least) a good few months of experience. The course notes are very useful, so if you did not take the course then try to borrow them from someone who has.


dog tired.jpg

Don’t overdo it

Copyright (c) http://www.123rf.com

Tip 2: Gather as much information as you can about the exam itself from the SAP Training website (see above). Namely:

  • the topics covered and the weight given to each
  • the sample questions
  • the pass mark (“Cut Score”)
  • the number of questions and the time allowed

From this information you can build a section-by-section breakdown of the questions. For example, you can estimate that there will be 8 questions on Data Dictionary, but only 2 on Data Modeller.

Tip 3: Do not waste money on websites that claim to provide you with exam questions. The questions are useless – often out of date and sometimes downright misleading. Respect yourself: as a SAP consultant, do you really need to stoop to this level to pass the exam?.

Tip 4: Know what to expect at the exam centre. Exams can be held at third-party sites where the person sitting next to you could be doing a Microsoft exam. Some of these sites are open on the weekend, check for that. You may be required to hand over everything in your possession for safeguarding in a locker. You will be provided with a pen and paper (or other writing material) but you have to leave the paper behind. Assume you will be under constant observation, so no funny business. Try not to drink beforehand so that you don’t have to waste time with a (fully supervised!) bathroom break. Don’t bother asking the supervisor any SAP questions – they don’t know anything, and wouldn’t tell you if they did.

Tip 5: Use ALL of the allotted time. The standard SAP exam seems to be 80 questions in 180 minutes. That is more than enough time, but you should still avoid the temptation to leave early. Check, double check, triple check and then check your answers again. A countdown is displayed on the screen so you will know when it’s time to go.

Tip 6: Read each question twice very carefully BEFORE you look at the options. I often find I miss a small detail (like the word “not”) on the first reading. Try to think what the answer is before looking at the options. Also take into consideration that many questions are translated from German, so they might sound a bit odd. For example I’ve seen cases where the Teutonic word ‘book’ was used instead of the word ‘save’ )

Tip 7: Check carefully: Does the question require one or more than one answer? This can be seen in the text but also by the use of radio buttons versus checkboxes. The exam application will alert you to questions for which you have placed 0 answers but it WILL NOT alert you if you have answered too few or too many. Pay special attention to this when going through the questions a second time.

If a question requires two answers but you only give one (even if it’s correct), then you get zero points.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/20853454_s_268000.jpg

We must choose wisely

Copyright (c) http://www.123rf.com


Tip 8: The exam tool allows you to ‘bookmark’ questions. Use this feature to mark any question that you’re not 100% sure of. When you come back to it you may not even remember that you had spotted a problem. However, do not concentrate solely on the bookmarked questions; make sure you check ALL questions again. My approach is to only check the bookmarks on the second reading, and then check all of the questions again on the third pass.

Tip 9: The exam tool, surprisingly, does not tell you how far into the exam you are (e.g. question 57 of 80). It only keeps count of how far along you are in the current section. Use your writing implements to note down how many questions there are in each section so that you always know exactly where you are – handy for that nervous last read-through just before the final countdown.

Tip 10: Don’t waste precious exam time trying to memorize some of the questions to share with friends and colleagues later. You are there to maximize your own score, not somebody else’s! Handing out free questions to others also devalues the certification you just paid big bucks for.

Afterwards

When the exam is over you will receive the result immediately, often from a printer, with a breakdown of how you did in each section. Congratulations! If you have read this far then you will most likely pass. This is good news as you have just increased your market value; there’s also a persistent rumour that SAP Inc only hires SAP-certified contractors as consultants. You can try contacting SAP for a shiny new “SAP certified” logo for the next incarnation of your CV.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/14705183_s_267999.jpg
Let’s party like it’s 31.12.9999

Copyright (c) http://www.123rf.com


sterkte!


Paul Bakker & Rick Bakker

To report this post you need to login first.

38 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Muthukumar Pasupathy

    Hi Paul,

     

    Great blog. As an Associate Level ABAP Certified guy myself, please allow me to add to some of the points that you have mentioned.

     

    I agree with Point 3 (“What if I fail? Should I be afraid?“) to a great extent. My advice would be – don’t rely too much on your professional experience to pass the exam. If you have some years of experience under your belt, good for you. But please let that not make you over-confident or complacent. Regardless of your professional experience, this exam will be challenging. Treat it as a purely theoretical exam that tests your bookish knowledge. Never avoid focusing on a topic that you feel has got no real world application (or something that you have never worked on.). As Paul says, SAP is taking some steps to make the questions more relevant to real-life scenarios. But at the end of the day, I would still say that it is a conventional exam that tests your theoretical knowledge and your ability to remember a lot of info.

     

    Therefore, point 1 becomes very important. Read the course material provided in your classroom training (if you have taken such a training) several times. This should be the primary study material for you.

     

    I would agree with Tip 3, but only to a certain extent. If you stumble upon a website that claims to have the “actual” questions (which have appeared previously on the certification exam), it is most likely bogus. Avoid them. However, I would recommend this book ( http://www.sap-press.com/products/SAP-Certification-Success-Guide-%E2%80%93-SAP-Certified-Development-Associate-%E2%80%93-ABAP-with-SAP-NetWeaver-7.0.html ). This provides a good synopsis of all the material that you are expected to know before taking this exam. Furthermore, the questions in this book are very close to the difficulty of the actual exam. Obviously, don’t expect the same questions in this book to appear on the exam (the author says this explicitly in every chapter).

     

    I’d like to digress from the main point of this blog and talk a little bit about the scenario – “Yippee….I’ve passed. What next??”. This is especially relevant to the straight-out-of-college graduates looking to embark on an SAP related career.

    Don’t expect the certification to work wonders to your career immediately. Job search will still be difficult for you. After all, this will not replace hands-on experience. But eventually, it will pay off and you will get to enjoy the benefits of your hard earned certification.

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Hi,

      Thanks for the thoughtful response. You’re right, ‘Associate’ level certification is very much an academic exercise. I’ve heard that at the ‘Professional’ level they delve more into experience and consulting.

       

      Certification won’t guarantee you a great career, but it certainly helps get that initial foot in the door!

       

      cheers

      Paul

      (0) 
  2. Susan Keohan

    Hi Paul,

    These are great tips – and especially not to waste time with sketchy sites that will pretend to offer you the questions and answers. 

    I find it very interesting that, as someone on the hiring side, you’ve looked at someone’s certification.  Don’t get me wrong, I got myself certified last year (at long last).  I can see where certification can give you some confidence in an individual applicant’s dedication, but we come to the age-old question:  Experience .vs. Certification?  Because certification does not necessarily mean the applicant is experienced. 

    Glad to see you are sharpening up your writing skills again 😉

    Sue

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Thanks (again!) for your kind comments Sue. Of course when hiring we always look at both experience and certification – who wouldn’t! Experience is the most important by far

       

      Unfortunately CVs (and education history) can be faked, so you can never really be sure about someone’s technical proficiency. I find that SAP Certification goes a long way to removing that doubt.

       

      Unless people have found a way to fake certifications as well…:-)

       

      cheers

      Paul

      (0) 
      1. Susan Keohan

        Hi Paul,

        Sure, CVs can be faked, no doubt about it.  Probably certifications as well, more is the shame.

        I am glad you pointed out that experience is ‘most important by far’.

         

        I am sure we’ve all read those messages or emails where people ask for the answers or questions to a certification exam.  Gaaaaahhh. 

         

        Your tips will surely help people who want that gold seal of approval <pun, for workflowers> as well as the affirmation of their skills. 

         

        Cheers,
        Sue

        (0) 
  3. Anjan Paul

    Great tips Paul. I personally feel Certification can give you the confidence of your  quality of knowledge in any respective subject

    (1) 
  4. Lakshana Sankariah Palaniswamy

    Hey Paul, thanks for the fabulous blog…

     

    Can you please tell, how would i find out the pass percentage for each section of the examination.

     

    To be more particular I am appearing for C_TEP10_702 exam, for which on the whole pass percentage is 61. But for each section what would be the pass percentage?

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Hi,

       

      They don’t give you that information before the exam.

       

      I’m not sure it would be meaningful anyway.

       

      I’m guessing that your score is based on the total number of questions correct; I don’t believe it is broken down by section.

       

      Maybe someone ‘in the know’ can chime in?

       

      good luck / bonne chance

      Paul

      (0) 
  5. Suseelan Hari

    Hi Paul,

     

    Fantastic and Interesting blog.

     

    This blog is very useful for the ppl who appear for SAP Certification for the first time.

     

    Thanks for sharing and motivating everyone.

     

    Have a wonderful day!

     

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

    (0) 
  6. Sukant Chakraborthy

    Thanks Paul very useful document  for everyone who will taking certification especially for first timers, it was a brush up for me after reading the blog, which i did when i gave my certification. It really feels good after passing out & getting the logo on the CV.

     

    Thanks for sharing.

     

     

    Thanks

    Sukant Chakraborthy

    (0) 
  7. Brett Corbett

    Thanks for the article Paul. After a few months of studying the eAcademy course I am finally about to take my first SAP certification exam next week! Nervous now but I will report back in a week

    (0) 
    1. Brett Corbett

      Well I am pleased to say I passed my C_THR12_65 HCM exam with a score of 90%.

       

      My method was to print out the PDF books and read them completely through twice, highlighting anything I thought was important. I then compiled my own huge list of practice questions from those already in the books and also what I thought could be possible questions from the chapters (around 200 possible questions for each of the 7 sections). I then loaded these into a program called AnkiSRS which is a flashcard repetitive learning system that syncs between your desktop and phone. Questions you mark as easy might not show up again for a few weeks, while ones you mark as hard show up daily until you mark them otherwise.

       

      The eAcademy online course basically just takes the PDF document and splits it up into animated flash slides with a narrator reading. For me I just preferred to read the PDF text rather than listen. It also gives you access to the SAP online servers which you access through a VPN to perform the exercises in the book. I found this extremely slow and clunky and the data in the system did not always match the book tutorial.

       

      So overall I am glad I paid a lot less than the classroom lessons, but could I have achieved the same result with just the 4 complete PDF books – yes. That said I already have about 5 years SAP payroll experience, so for a fresher it could be completely different.

       

      P.S. I investigated (didn’t pay for them) some of the ‘exam cheat sheets’ people are selling online for these SAP exams and found them extremely poor quality. They are either the same questions from the PDF text, just add a NOT into one of the options, or 1 option is in extremely poor broken English, making it completely obvious which is the wrong answer.

      (0) 
  8. Kumar S

    Hi Paul,

     

    Thank you for provided useful information towards SAP certification.

    You covered pros, cons and what happens if you not through even. Continue with good blogging towards SAP career.

     

    Regards – Kumar

    (0) 
  9. Bharat Padmanabha

    Hi Paul,

         Great tips!! Certainly valuable.

    It is fantastic to read through and gives a clear cut approach.

             I agree that the Dilemma of Experience Vs. Certification is an omnipresent phenomenon,but personally I feel gaining experience and getting certified would strike the right chord. That way you become super-confident with whatever it is that you want to perform conceptually.

    (0) 
  10. David Cerda

    Hi Ricky & Paul:

     

    It’s incredible, but I was looking for some SAP tips in MM and I found you. It would be great if you answer me to talk about our lives after 40 years. I still have the film we made at school whit Carlos, Antonio, Mui Fong, US, Lucy and some many friends who’s names I don’t remember now. I found you also at Facebook and I send you an invitation but I notice that you don’t use Facebook now.

     

    Tot ziens.

     

    David.

    (0) 
  11. Deepak Jaganathan

    Hi  Paul,

     

    I am planning to appear for SAP-ABAP certification in India (I am appearing directly). Any idea do i need the recommendation letter from Project manager ?


    Please share your experience.

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Ah, I believe that’s an Indian thing. Best to talk to SAP India about that.

       

      In most western countries you can sit the exam with no experience or letters of recommendation.

       

      Good luck anyway!

      Paul

      (0) 
  12. Yusuf Jeys

    Great Tips…Many Thanks to you. l have just some questions about the  exam. How the score is calculated ? How many correct questions lead to success ?

    For example,

    If a question requires 3 answers but you only give one correct et 2 wrong . l get zero or l get 1/3 point?

    Thks in advance 

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      If the question specifies that there are (say) 2 correct answers, then you must select them both. Otherwise you get zero points for that question.

      (0) 
  13. rahul raj

    the article is very good.it’s very informative and written very beautifully, i really
    appreciate your writing skills keep posting articles like these realle a commendable job done by you
    keep it up . even i have also written some articles on
    <a href=””> Veterans Day Pictures </a>, maybe you would love to read it.

    (0) 
  14. Murilo Santos

    So, as a new incomer, I would like to get a certification in a proper way, to be proud of it later. As the author said, buying Questions&Answers to study is a waste of time. I didnt understand why. arent´t they reliable?

    Sorry for my naiveness, but I should know what´s best.

    Thanks a lot.

    (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      There actually are some fine ABAP certification study guides out there (ahem), with perfectly good questions, but you still have to be wary.

      Some sites are selling Q&As (or ‘dumps’ or ‘interview questions’) where the question are wrong, or the answers are wrong, or both!

      There are also plenty of free options out there.

      good luck
      Paul

      (0) 
    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      That depends on the quality (and age) of your mock exam, but with a score of 80/100 you should romp home.

       

      Good Luck!

      (0) 
  15. Corrado Corda

    Thanks Paul,

    In my experience the most effective way is to go through the questions once, mark those you are not sure and then go back to these as you complete the 80 questions. You hardly have time for a third run.

    Yes definitely read the question carefully, read twice and the read again. So many times the answer is in the question.

    Please let me add a “pure statistical” hint (it’s funny more than anything):

    You have the highest probability of getting the correct answer with single-answer questions (radio button).

    #choices Correct Probability
    Single 4 1 25%
    Single 5 1 20%
    Multiple 4 2 17%
    Multiple 5 2 10%
    Multiple 5 3 10%

    Thank you again Paul for this blog

    Corrado

    (0) 
  16. Aara Kapur

    Thanks for the one more article 🙂

    The post is very helpful for students and readers they can learn lots of thing from the article. According to me, it’s not easy to crack sap exam but if students will follow your tips then definitely they will crack and I also did SAP course from Koenig Solutions.

    (0) 

Leave a Reply