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Test preparation

Certification descriptions and preparation

The following information will help you assess your readiness and prepare your plan for certification. Go to Requirements section tab for information on required certifications for IBM Systems Business Partners.


Success: When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Using these guidelines and helpful hints for developing skills enables you to:

  • Assess experience and skills against a "role model candidate"
  • Develop meaningful, effective skill development and education plans
  • Plan and budget for employee education, in advance
  • Invest in out-of-territory time and money with confidence
  • Maintain higher employee morale and reduce the stress associated with testing

Follow these steps to assess readiness for certification testing

  1. Visit the IBM Professional Certification Program Web site and review the information available for each certification:
    • Job role description and target audience
    • Certification objectives
    • Recommended education
    • Sample / assessment tests
  2. Build a skill development plan that addresses skill gaps, or areas for improvement. An effective plan will include on-the-job activities, mentor guidance, self-study courses, classroom courses, seminars, product updates, conferences, and recommended readings.
  3. Take the Sample Certification Test for the specific role.
  4. Attend a certification preparation workshop, if available.
  5. Set a target date to sit for the certification exam.

Helpful Hints For Selecting Appropriate Skill Development Activities

Whether you've decided to attend a class, complete a self-study course or develop a skill working with an experienced peer, keep these things in mind:

  1. Be honest with yourself about your skill level and extent of your experience. It will help you identify skill development activities that target areas where there's room for improvement.
  2. Carefully read the description of the course or offering. Remember that all classes are not for all people. Pay attention to course objectives, expected skill level of the attendees and skill or knowledge level expected upon completion.
  3. Give yourself enough time, before taking the exam, to participate in a variety of activities that introduce, develop and reinforce the appropriate skills. Use the PartnerWorld training resources. Remember, there are no short cuts!
  4. Take the sample test! Although it will not guarantee a pass or fail on the full exam, the sample tests usually indicate the expected knowledge and skills.

Candidate Profiles

The qualified certification candidate has accumulated experience and developed skills over a period of time through a variety of activities.

Characteristics of a qualified certification candidate include knowledge of:

  • The firm's particular Business Partner relationship(s) with IBM,
  • The support infrastructure and resources associated with that relationship,
  • The competitive marketplace and how to lead with IBM solutions in that market
  • General product and strategy

The candidate has been in the marketplace, in some role, for at least a year, and will generally do well on the sample test(s) provided for the role(s) for which they are testing.

Although individual experience and skills vary, the following characteristics can be used as guidelines. Individual experience will be wide and varied. The typical certification candidate, for sales or technical roles, can perform the role using the skills described.


Sales Certification Candidate*

  • Identify opportunities to sell the IBM solution(s).
  • Qualify an opportunity - both prospect/customer and firm.
  • Use advanced questioning techniques to determine the customer's business and technical requirements.
  • Lead the design and development of a solution that meets the customer's business, technical and financial requirements.
  • Propose a solution, handle competitive and financial concerns and close the sale.
  • Ensure post sale/installation and support requirements are addressed and can be met.

* For specific certification roles, skill profiles and test objectives, please refer to the IBM Professional Certification Program Web site.


Technical Certification Candidate*

  • Determine the customer's computing requirements by analyzing current technology environment and future business and technical requirements.
  • Explain how the proposed technology will address the stated business requirements.
  • Design and configure the solution components, using available tools and technical support resources.
  • Use a process to plan successful implementation, including critical tasks, phases and services.
  • Lead the installation of hardware and software.
  • Ensure post implementation plan and support is in place and can be executed.

* For specific certification roles, skill profiles and test objectives, please refer to the IBM Professional Certification Program Web site.


Test registration

Certification tests worldwide are offered by Pearson VUE.

How to register with Pearson VUE:

  1. Sign-up for a test date and location on-line on their web site
  2. Select Schedule, Reschedule, Cancel, or Confirm an Exam
  3. Select Schedule an Appointment
  4. Choose your country and state/province (if applicable)
  5. Select next from the IBM Professional Certification screen or if you are taking an IBM Lotus exam, follow the link to the list of IBM Lotus exams
  6. Choose your IBM exam and language and select the correct currency
  7. From the Available Test Site screen, find your preferred testing location and select Schedule an Appointment. This will bring you to the log-on screen
  8. After logging in, select an available exam date, and then select a time
  9. On the Payment Information Screen, do the following:
    • Select Yes if you are using a Voucher, and follow prompts if Yes selected
    • Review the Exam Registration Summary section for accuracy
    • Provide Additional Information requested by IBM and Pearson VUE
    • Provide Payment Options Information
    • Review and Agree/Do Not Agree with Data Privacy Notice
    • Select Commit Registration

Candidate ID:

A candidate ID number is a registration ID an individual uses to sign-up for a certification test. It also tracks their certification history. All certifications are tracked in a standalone database. PartnerWorld for Software links to this database, but a company's employees' candidate ID numbers must be entered into their employee profiles before IBM can pull their certifications into the company's profile. A company does not receive credit for a certification if the employee who has the certification is not in the company's profile.