If you are looking to work in an SAP environment or get promoted in the SAP-enabled organization you are working in, then getting an SAP certificate is your surest ticket to achieving that.
Being a certified SAP professional makes you in high demand by businesses and organizations that use the software system and also gives you access to opportunities that you weren’t open to before.
During the certification program, you are also equipped with several skills and knowledge about the products and modules that make you more credible and effective in handling SAP-related problems.
However, before you will get certified as an SAP professional, you will have to sit for a certification exam and in this article, I will be teaching you how to prepare for SAP Certification exams in a way that you will ace them.
But you must first understand that there are different levels of SAP certifications and different SAP modules to fit the needs of professionals at different levels of expertise and across various industries.
Let’s discuss these certification levels and SAP modules.
Understanding The Sap Certification Structure
• SAP Certification Levels
There are three major SAP certification levels namely: associate, specialist, and professional certifications. These are the certification levels which different SAP modules fall under.
Let’s discuss these levels of certification and SAP modules.
- Associate Certifications
This is a level of certification for people who are new to SAP and want to gain more knowledge about how SAP technologies and products work.
While undergoing this certification program, you are taught different areas of SAP technologies and products without a specific focus on any.
- Specialist Certifications
This certification level is for SAP Professionals who already have the knowledge and skills how to operate a specific SAP area.
These certifications are upgrades to the Associate certifications and help make you an authority in a specific SAP area.
- Professional Certifications
Professional Certifications are certifications for professionals who already have much experience with the use of a specific SAP product or technology.
These certifications are the highest level of certification in the SAP industry and are basically for experienced SAP professionals to demonstrate their experience and expertise in the operation of a specific SAP technology.
Now that you have known the levels of SAP certification and can choose the level which is right for you, you need to also choose the right SAP modules to match your industry or aspiring industry, before sitting for your certification exams.
Let’s discuss the major SAP modules which you can choose from.
• Choosing The Right SAP Module
The major SAP modules include:
- SAP Financial Accounting (FI)
This SAP module focuses on the management of an organization’s financial reporting, accounting, and financial transactions, in general.
If you have an educational background in the financial sector, you can get a certification in this module.
- SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)
The SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) module centers on the management of an organization’s sales and distribution processes. This involves the management of customers, pricing, billing, shipping, and sales orders.
This module also has to do with the financial and accounting sectors.
- SAP Material Management (MM)
This module deals with the management of material procurement, vendors, logistics, and inventory to ensure that materials are made available when due and proper documentation is done.
- SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)
The SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) module concentrates on how the workers in an organization function. It manages their payroll, data, the benefits they are given, and their time.
- SAP Production Planning (PP)
If you have an educational background or knowledge about regulating operations or proper planning, then this module is the one for you.
This module equips you with the skills for planning and managing an organization’s capacity, material requirements, and production orders, amongst others.
- SAP Business Intelligence (BI)
This module equips you with the knowledge, tools, and techniques on how to turn raw and unprocessed data into meaningful and useful information.
The transformation of these data to information helps organizations to make more informed business decisions.
- Other SAP Modules
Other notable SAP modules include:
- SAP HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance) module which helps businesses to process massive amounts of data in a short period.
- SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module which involves the interaction and transaction with customers to give them the best services. This also involves the management of customer data and marketing campaigns.
- SAP Quality Management (QM) module which focuses on the management, testing, planning, and inspection of products and services to produce the best quality.
Haven discussed the major levels of SAP certification and SAP modules, let’s look at the step-by-step process of how to prepare for SAP certification exams properly and ace them.
• Create A Study Plan
To ace your certification exams, you must, first of all, create a plan to study all you have learnt and stick to it.
Here are a few tips to help you follow your study plan:
- Set Achievable Goals
While creating a study plan, it’s not enough to just set goals. Ensure you set goals that you can achieve.
Setting achievable goals gives you clarity on what you need to do at every given time and helps you measure your progress easier than when you set unachievable goals.
It also helps you stay motivated on your preparation journey. As humans, when we achieve a goal, no matter how small, it tells us that we are making process and gives us the motivation to keep going.
You can start by breaking down your study plan into smaller tasks that you can accomplish and divide these tasks into days, weeks, or months, depending on how long you have to prepare for the exam.
- Allocate Sufficient Time For Preparation
SAP Certification exams are exams that you need to study properly, to ace them. So, in as much as you need to set an achievable goal, you must endeavor to allocate enough time to study the necessary resources and materials while preparing for them.
The first thing you need to do is to check how long you have till the exams, and then create your studying sessions in a way that you can have enough time to cover the necessary topics and even revise them before the specified exam date.
Another thing you should make sure of is to start preparing for your certification exams in time. You don’t have to wait till some days before the exams to start cramming the information in the study materials.
Studying and understanding these materials gives you a higher chance of getting a good result in your exams than cramming them when the exam date is close.
Waiting till the exam is close before studying can also cause an increase in stress, and anxiety which will do you more harm than good when you sit for the exam.
iii. Develop A Study Schedule
With a study schedule, you can map out the materials you need to study before your exam, the time you need to study them, and the amount of time you should spend on each material or topic.
One thing you must avoid doing is choking your study schedule and not leaving out hours of your day to do other things.
The saying “Too much of everything is bad” also applies to studying. You need to allocate time to studying as well as other activities that you do to free your mind for a while, and avoid burnout and reduced productivity.
- Stay Disciplined
Believe me when I tell you that there are days when you won’t feel like studying or feel motivated to open your study resources to prepare for your certification exams.
There are days when you will feel like skipping study schedules to stay on social media, watch television, and do other stuff.
I have been there before and I know how it feels.
On days like that, the only thing that can keep you going is discipline.
You need the discipline to continue following your study plan even on days that you don’t want to or feel like it, and avoid procrastination.
So, now that you have learnt how to create a great study plan, let’s look at the materials which you can study to prepare for your SAP certification exam.
• Gather Relevant Study Materials
There are different forms of study materials that can help you ace your SAP certification exams. You will need to gather as much as you can and study them accordingly.
Here are some study materials that can help you pass your SAP certification exams with flying colors:
A. Official Sap Training Courses
- Instructor-led Courses
Instructor-led SAP courses are training programs organized by approved SAP training centers like Clarion to teach you all you need to know about SAP’s operations, technologies, and products.
In these programs, experienced SAP professionals with expertise in the use of SAP technology will use materials, practical exercises, and projects to give you practical experience with diverse SAP modules and equip you with the knowledge that will help you ace your SAP certification exams.
These types of courses are usually held physically, unlike E-learning courses.
For the best Instructor-led courses, click here.
- E-learning Courses
Similar to Instructor-led, E-learning courses are also SAP training programs that can teach you how to use the SAP software and teach you all you need to excel in your SAP certification exams, the difference is that these programs don’t require your physical presence.
You can access these courses with an internet connection from anywhere in the world, and study them at your own pace.
These courses are also usually cheaper than E-learning courses.
For the best Instructor-led courses, click here.
- SAP Learning Hub
The SAP Learning Hub is an E-learning site owned by the SAP company that gives you limited access to learning resources that can help you pass your certification exams.
On this platform, you can also have access to SAP experts and other SAP professionals whom you can learn from and network with.
B. Books And Study Guides
SAP books and study guides are also good materials that you can use to prepare for your certification exam.
These books and study guides are usually sold, so you will need to pay for them to have
access to them.
To get access to different SAP books and study guides, click here.
C. Online Resources
Aside from E-learning courses, and SAP books, here are other online resources that you can study to prepare for your certification exam:
- Blogs and Forums
SAP blogs and forums are platforms where you can connect with other SAP professionals and gain knowledge about SAP products and technologies which can be useful to you while writing your certification exam.
Some of these platforms include:
- YouTube Tutorials
You can also gather knowledge about SAP technologies by watching tutorials on YouTube.
Here are YouTube tutorials and channels you should check out:
- SAP Community Network (SCN)
The SAP Community also known as the SAP Community Network (SCN) is the official community for SAP and has a lot of experts and professionals on it to answer your questions and guide you when you are confused.
In this community which has been in existence for over 20 years, you can gain a lot of knowledge from asking as well as answering questions.
- PRACTICE EXAMS AND QUESTION BANKS
There are certain sites that you can use to practice how to answer questions from past certification exams and also learn how these questions are structured and therefore have a preview of what to expect on the exam date.
Here are some of the sites you can use to get past SAP certification questions and answers:
The next step is to master how to use the SAP software system. Let’s get right into it.
MASTER THE SAP SYSTEM
A. Getting Hands-on Experience
- SAP Trial Systems
SAP trial systems are systems that give you access to the SAP software, to enable you to practice with it and master how it works.
You can use these systems to learn how to operate the SAP software so that it won’t be a strange view for you when you sit for your SAP certification exam.
- SAP Sandbox Access
Like every other, an SAP Sandbox gives you the freedom to practice and experiment with all you have learned about the SAP system without the fear of wiping out accounts or causing harm to the system.
So, having access to it will help you practice all you have studied about the SAP software and prepare properly for your certification exam.
B. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF CONCEPTS
- Real-world Scenarios
Another way of mastering the use of the SAP software system is to practice using real-world scenarios like role-playing exercises.
With these exercises, you will see how the tasks in your preferred SAP module are and will learn how to handle them. This will help you have a better understanding of it.
- Case Studies
Case studies are also a great learning avenue to learn what’s pivotal in the SAP system and prevent you from making the mistakes that others made.
With the knowledge of the good and bad that others have experienced while using the SAP system, you can learn what you need to do right and what you need to avoid while using the system.
ENHANCE YOUR NETWORKING SKILLS
A. Joining Sap-Related Groups And Communities
There is so much knowledge you can gain from just networking with other SAP experts and professionals and joining SAP-related groups and communities is one of the best of doing that.
You can join the SAP community or any other SAP-related group or community that you can find around you or on the web.
B. Attending SAP Events and Conferences
Another great way of learning and networking with SAP experts is by attending SAP events and conferences.
In these events, you can gain up-to-date information about the SAP system and also get the opportunity to learn from those who have been in the SAP field for a long time.
The information you can gain from these meetings and interactions will help you while you sit for your exam.
C. Connecting with SAP Professionals on LinkedIn
There are a large number of SAP professionals on the LinkedIn platform that you can connect with and learn from.
These professionals share case studies, articles, and white papers on their LinkedIn profiles from time to time and you can use them to learn more about the SAP system and the latest trends and development in the industry.
The information you gain from these resources can also come in handy in your certification exam.
Utilize Proven Exam-taking Strategies
A. Time Management
SAP certification exams are usually timed so you will need to manage your time properly to be able to answer all the questions in the stipulated time without having to rush questions when the time is about to run out.
One of the strategies you can use to help you effectively manage your time during the exam is to start by answering the more complex questions that are allocated high marks.
When you answer complex questions with high marks in the initial stages of the exam, you can use the remaining period to answer the less complex questions with fewer marks so that even if you run out of time, you will be confident that you have secured the high marks already.
B. Analyzing And Understanding Questions
Despite SAP certification exams having a specified timeframe, rushing questions to beat that time is a costly mistake you shouldn’t make.
Make sure you carefully analyze and understand each question in the exam before answering. You can use the strategy of answering the more complex questions with higher marks first, to be on the safe side in case time runs out.
Some questions in SAP certification exams are usually twisted to pay with your mind so approaching them hastily could make you misinterpret and fail them, even if you know the correct answer.
C. Efficiently Using The Process Of Elimination
The process of elimination is the act of canceling out options that you are convinced are wrong and focusing on the options that are left behind and choosing the right answer from them.
This strategy comes in handy in questions where you are not sure the right answer is and you will need to make an educated guess.
To effectively carry out this strategy, ensure you:
- Read the questions properly and understand the context.
- Evaluate every option and cancel out the options that don’t fit the context.
- Choose an answer from the remaining options after reading the question again.
Practice with Mock Exams
A. Importance of Mock Exams
The two major importance of mock exams include:
- Familiarity With The Exam Structure: Writing a mock exam gives you a preview of what you expect when you sit for your certification exam and makes you familiar with the structure, format, and also rules and regulations of the exam.
Mock exams also make you mentally familiar with the pressure and anxiety that comes with the actual exams, so that you can know the level of intensity that you will be facing on that day.
In addition, mock exams make you familiar with the timeframe that you will be expecting, and how to efficiently answer as many questions as possible within it.
- Checking Your Level Of Preparedness
Mock exams also help to check how prepared you are for the actual certification exams. The questions from the mock exams might not be the same as the ones that you will be facing in your certification exam but passing your mock exams will sure that you have studied properly and are ready for the real exams.
Mock exams also check how mentally prepared you are. How you mentally react to the questions, the time running out, the anxiety, and the stress of your mock exams will determine if you are ready for the actual exams or not.
B. Tips For Maximizing The Benefits Of Mock Exams
The tips for maximizing the benefits of Mock exams include:
- Not Taking Mock Exams As Mock Exams: To get the best out of mock exams, do not take them as mock exams.
Approach your mock exams with the same level of readiness and enthusiasm that you will use on the actual certification exam and it will do you good.
Also, endeavor to manage your time efficiently as you would on the D-Day.
- Taking The Mock Exams Regularly Before The Actual Exam: If possible, endeavor to take the mock exams multiple times before the exam date, as this will help you get conversant with the format and structure of the exams.
C. Analyzing Mock Exam Results For Improvement
After writing mock exams, make sure you analyze and review your performance and results while identifying the areas where you need to improve and working on them.
Mock exams are usually taken days, weeks, or months before the actual certification exams so you can use that time left to work on your weak areas which you have identified and also improve on your strong areas.
Now, let’s look at how to prepare for the exam day.
PREPARE FOR THE EXAM DAY
A. Review The Exam Rules And Regulations
Before going for your SAP certification exam, ensure you review and get a hold of the rules and regulations of the exam so that you won’t go against it.
B. Prepare Mentally And Physically
The mental and physical preparation you can make for the exam includes:
- Reviewing and revising your study materials shortly before the exam.
- Envisioning that you will ace the exam and believing in yourself.
- Getting enough sleep to help keep your mind refreshed and focused during the exam.
- Arriving early so that you will get to the exam center and calm your nerves before the exam. This will also prevent you from rushing in and increasing your level of anxiety just before the exam starts.
C. What To Bring To The Exam Center
The items you can bring to an SAP exam center include:
- A Government-Issued form of Identification.
- A Printed Or Electronic Copy Of Your Exam Confirmation Email.
- Materials you will be using for the exams. These materials usually vary, so you can check the SAP site for the guidelines for the particular exam you are writing.
Note: Electronic devices and other personal belongings are not allowed into the exam center.
Passing your SAP certification exam isn’t a walk in the park, so you must properly prepare for it by gathering relevant study materials, creating a study plan and sticking to it, practicing with mock exams, utilizing proven exam-taking strategies, mastering the SAP system, and learning all you need to know about the exam.
SAP study materials are usually complex and technical and will require you to dedicate a lot of time to it during the preparation process so you need a high level of determination and persistence to remain focused and motivated to keep at it even when you feel tired and fed up.
If you follow these preparatory steps and remain determined and persistent, you will have a high chance of acing your SAP certification exams and becoming a certified SAP professional.
- What Is The Best Way To Prepare For The Sap Certification Exam?
The best ways to prepare for the SAP certification exam include:
- Enrolling in an SAP certification course.
- Practicing and getting familiar with the SAP software.
- Studying and understanding the SAP exam structure and syllabus.
- Creating a study schedule to help you prepare properly.
- Joining groups with SAP professionals that you can learn from and network with.
- How Long Does It Take To Prepare For An Sap Exam?
The duration it takes to prepare for an SAP exam depends on a few factors such as:
- The level of certification.
- The time you set aside per day to study the learning materials, practice with past and sample questions, and learn how to use the SAP software.
- The prior knowledge and experience you have about the SAP software.
- What Are The Benefits Of Sap Certification?
The benefits of SAP certification include:
- Better Job Opportunities.
- Increase In Productivity and Credibility.
- Job Security.
- Access to SAP Communities, in and out of Nigeria.
- How Much Does Sap Certification Cost?
The average cost of SAP certification depends on the level of certification you are pursuing, the training provider, and the country or region where you are pursuing the certification.
However, the average cost of SAP certifications in Nigeria includes:
Associate Certification Level: around ₦165,000 to ₦275,000.
Specialist Certification Level: around ₦275,000 to ₦350,000.
Professional Certificate Level: around ₦350,000 to ₦650,000.
- Are SAP Certifications Worth It?
Yes, there are. With an SAP certification, you are seen as a credible and verified SAP professional by organizations and it gives you an edge over other workers who don’t have it.
This credibility also makes organizations give you more complex roles which will make you receive a higher salary and rank than others.
- Which SAP Certification is most in-demand?
The current most in-demand SAP certification is the SAP Certified Application Associate — SAP S/4 HANA Sales. Visit Clarion College to Learn more