Getting ready for the CBCI Exam
The BCI’s CBCI Certification is an excellent way to begin your career in the Business Continuity (BC) and Resilience sector. The CBCI exam will test your readiness to implement a Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme in your organization, so it’s important to be prepared for it.
As I entered this sector from a different industry, like many others joining the field of BC and Resilience, undertaking the online CBCI Certification Course was my introduction to much of the detail included in the BCM Lifecycle. This blog will provide some tips regarding how to get ready for your CBCI exam, which I picked up along the way.
To be eligible to take the CBCI exam, you must have studied the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) – you can do this though the CBCI Certification Course, CBCI Online, or you can self-study. Depending on which route you take to the exam, a certain amount of revision before the exam will be necessary. I attended the CBCI Online, which is delivered over 8 weeks and covers each section of the GPG in detail.
The CBCI online sessions are available to access live or after they have been recorded each week. This makes it very easy to access and catch up when attending the live sessions is not possible. However, attending the live sessions introduces the possibility of asking questions and interacting directly with your course instructor – who could also become an important connection in your BC and Resilience professional network.
Another benefit of the recorded sessions is that, when it comes to revision, you can revisit a specific aspect of the course at a later date if it is an area that you want to target ahead of the exam.
If you take the in-class course the instructor will usually dedicate a whole session of the course to exam revision, they will explain how the exam works and things you should look out for, they will answer any questions that you might have about the exam, and even go over some parts of the GPG that you might have not fully understood.
The BCI also offers a Mock CBCI Examination, which features 60 questions to be answered within a time limit. I found the mock exam useful practice as I could test how long it was taking me to go through the questions and scale it up for the real thing (you will need to complete 120 questions in 2hrs in the real exam). It was also helpful to know which areas were my weakest, as evidenced by the questions I was getting wrong or needed to look up in the GPG. I also used the Mock Exam as an open book test to begin with, as it helpfully provides the relevant page references of the GPG for each question on the Mock - meaning you can easily find the answer if required. If find yourself repeatedly going back to the same section of the GPG for an answer, this is probably where your time is most required when it comes to revision.
Make it a stress-free experience
It is also important to make the experience of taking the exam as smooth as possible, as all of your focus should be on the questions themselves, not any other distraction. One way to do this is to test your system requirements well before the exam is schedule to take place. The links required to test your connection are included within the Candidate Information Pack, with the pack advising that these checks should be made before even scheduling the exam.
Before my own exam, I hadn’t checked the speed of my internet connection and I found, as soon as I entered the exam, that my internet’s upload speed was below requirements. This meant I had to quickly switch rooms and change the set-up of my workspace just minutes before the exam was scheduled. Thankfully, I managed to boost my internet speed to the right level, but the final minutes of stress beforehand were admittedly not the best preparation.
Other systems checks include having a working webcam active on your computer/laptop throughout the exam – another thing that can be tested well in advance. Candidates are also advised to reboot their computer on the day of the exam, making sure all updates are completed or automatic updates are turned off, to make sure there are no unwelcome interruptions as it takes place.
It is also important to find a space away from other people to avoid the risk of distractions or interruptions from the outside world which could jeopardize the exam. Get your workplace set up and ready to go well before it’s time to log on.
Once you have passed the CBCI exam, your new certification will last for three years and you will receive a year of free BCI membership. All CBCI members are also encouraged to upgrade to more senior levels of BCI membership, such as the AMBCI and MBCI.
For more information about ongoing education and training in your career, take a look at our interviews (coming up soon!) with new and experienced professionals in the field of BC and Resilience conducted for Education Month 2022.
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About the author
Content Creator, The BCI