I started thinking of getting certified in TOGAF after working various application projects working as a Solution Architect. Though my projects were not large scale but my involvement was pretty intense. Being worked in over 20+ projects in a 8 year period, I started seeing that I enjoyed my experience.
Looking into various architect certification, I found TOGAF was one of the well known in the industry with many government and large-scale projects building their framework around TOGAF. Though many organizations had adapted TOGAF as their Enterprise Architecture, however I did not see many of them having a matured TOGAF practice. I guess the reason is that, it takes alot of iteration to build reach a some what stable Enterprise Architecture compared to ITIL where a Service Management maturity can be easily established (Background: I am certified in ITIL V3 as well).
During my research to get a high-level view of TOGAF, I found this youtube video by Knotion Consulting
I found that, The Open Group, organization behind TOGAF provides 2 formats for exam. First format being attending Level 1 – Foundation followed by Level 2 – Certified. Or taking the combined format of taking Level 1 and Level 2 in one go.
There are some cost savings in taking the combined one vs. the first format.
However the catch is that in the second format if you do not pass both exams (Level 1 & Level 2), you will not be given the certificate but you will only need to attend the exam that you did not pass.
I opted to go with the Combined Level 1 and Level 2 exam and purchased the study guide from Open Group. This was the only study guide that I purchased for these exams. On my first attempt in 2014, I passed Level 1 with 70% mark while for Level 2 I received only 57% and 60% was required to pass.
For the 2nd attempt of Level 2 exam, The Open Group gave a 40% discount which I should use within 1 year. I did not prepare it until late 2014 and took the exam in early 2015. After preparing for 1 month, I took the Level 2 exam and passed this time.
The Level 2 exam study guide is around 500 page document which is pretty dry and filled with various processes and documentation layouts. During the course of the preparation, I created a system to focus the inputs and outputs that goes into each ADM phases. Please see below:
My opinion on the Level 2 exam is that you should go through the study material and its really impossible to remember every content of the material, however to pass the exam, you will need a combination of TOGAF framework knowledge combined with some understanding of the architecture and management processes.