How would you like to validate your knowledge and skills and differentiate yourself in the job market? If you’re in the fields of analytics and data science, becoming a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) might give you a competitive edge. In this article, I’ll describe 9 tips on how to pass the exam for it.
But, first, what is the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) exam? The CAP credential is one of the top certifications in fields such as analytics and data science.
The CAP exam tests you on concepts such as statistics, analytics processes, optimization techniques, simulation types, machine learning, and economic analysis.
The concepts shown above are where you will want to focus 90% of your study efforts. The score on the exam depends on how precisely you understand when to use these concepts and the steps involved in solving these types of problems.
The exam has 100 questions, and they’re all multiple-choice. And thankfully, you can choose questions to revisit throughout the exam as well. It took me around two and a half months to prepare.
Now let’s get to the tips for passing this exam.
Tip # 1: Utilize Practice Questions from External Sources
Based on my experience, utilizing practice questions is the most efficient way to study for any exam.
This book on Amazon contains 250 practice questions, and it’s the primary resource that helped me pass the CAP exam.
Around 60 – 70% of these questions have some overlap with the questions on the real exam. These questions are also at around the same difficulty level. Although, the questions on the actual exam have slightly trickier wording.
I went through all the practice questions in this book and kept track of the questions I got wrong. After going through these questions, I focused most of my study efforts on the concepts related to the wrong answers.
I repeatedly tested myself on the questions I got wrong in the process shown above.
After all this, I was able to obtain a 95% accuracy for the 250 questions.
Tip # 2: Use the CAP Study Guide
Take some time to read this pdf and go through each of the practice questions.
As of the day I wrote this article, the CAP study guide contained 51 questions.
However, you should know that the questions on the real exam are considerably more difficult.
You can find this study guide on the official website for the CAP exam. I’ll leave a link below.
Tip # 3: Read the CAP Handbook at Least One Time
This handbook helps you familiarize yourself with the main sections of the exam and, generally, what to expect.
This handbook is on the official website for the CAP exam.
Tip # 4: Watch Relevant YouTube Videos about the Content
I searched for concepts on YouTube and watched the videos with the highest like and dislike ratios.
When it comes to YouTube channels, StatQuest had several videos that helped me.
Tip # 5: Practice the Concepts in Projects
Practicing the concepts in projects will help you become more familiar with the steps involved in using those concepts and how to use them for a variety of situations. If you have a job, try to utilize these concepts where appropriate. As an alternative, work on your own personal projects, and perhaps you could add those projects to your work portfolio.
Tip # 6: Read Relevant Articles
Typically, you’ll find the most granular details about a concept if you search for it in a search engine.
Tip # 7: Read Glossaries that are Relevant to this Exam
In general, reading glossaries about a topic gives you a comprehensive view of that topic. But, I noticed there wasn’t an adequate glossary for the CAP exam, so I created my own analytics glossary. This glossary shown above contains most of the terminology that is on the CAP exam. I read through this entire glossary twice.
Tip # 8: Take Courses Related to your Weakest Areas
Full disclosure: I did not take a class to pass this exam, partly because I’ve taken classes in the past that covered the topics. But, it might help to search for courses on websites such as Coursera, Brilliant.org, and Udemy that would most increase your chances of passing this exam.
Tip # 9: The Analytics Body of Knowledge is Not a CAP Study Guide
A big mistake I made when preparing for the CAP exam was reading the entire, 400-page Analytics Body of Knowledge.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s a great book, and it contains a ton of useful information. In fact, it’s one of the best books about analytics that I’ve read. But as of the writing of this article, its content isn’t directly related to the material on the CAP exam.
URL (For Future Reference): INFORMS – Analytics Body of Knowledge