ESA and TOGAF self-study option


The TOGAF and ESA certification courses are compatible and overlap to a degree, but have different aims.


Things to know about TOGAF. 1

Which training course?. 1

How to self-study for TOGAF (perhaps after ESA training) 1


Things to know about TOGAF

TOGAF is not a training course in architecting. It is a management framework for programs/projects that involve architects.

TOGAF is not TOGEAF. It is intended to support architecture work at any level from enterprise, through segment, to solution.

TOGAF is not prescriptive. You are expected to tailor it. It is a menu of processes and products you select from to help complete a substantial change to some business activity system(s).

TOGAF does not finish with the completion of an architecture definition, it goes on to address the role architects may play in planning and governance of system development and steering subsequent change requests.

TOGAF is not written by The Open Group. And since it is crowd-sourced from members of The Open Group, you will find inconsistencies and incoherencies.

Having a TOGAF certificate does not get you a job. It might help you to get an interview for one, since recruiters often use it as a very crude filter to weed out time wasters.

The exam tests what you know of TOGAF, not your experience.


I find the course runs pretty smoothly, people get something out of it and pass the exams. Still, our ESA courses are better!

Which training course?

For a management framework - a transformation process that promotes the role of architects – choose TOGAF.

For more concrete guidance on architecture principles, processes, products and patterns – choose ESA.

Feedback from a customer who attended training courses in TOGAF, the Zachman Framework - and then our ESA training.

·        “The ESA course covers the key length and breadth of solution and enterprise architecture concepts from foundation to advanced.

·        It elaborates progressively, making it easier to comprehend architecture frameworks and methods.

·        It suits both novices wanting progress their career and experienced professionals wanting to strengthen their skills and apply their knowledge across the architecture domains.”


For dates and prices, go to the Training Calendar at

For other advice, call Graham Berrisford on 020 8949 8077, or mobile 07711 884412.

TOGAF® and ArchiMate® are registered trademarks of The Open Group.


Avancier’s TOGAF training

TOGAF is primarily a management framework

For those working to design and plan changes to business systems.

Avancier’s TOGAF course covers all the “learning outcomes” examiners can test.

TOGAF being more abstract than ESA, it is better suited to a non-technical audience.

Avancier’s 2 day TOGAF course is an optional extra in the self-study programme below.

Avancier’s 4 day TOGAF course is available on request as a private course.

Avancier’s ESA training

This broader and deeper course teaches you about architecture itself.

It teaches you principles, processes, products and patterns that architects use.

The course fees and days include exams for the professional certificates.

The material being more concrete, it is better suited to software and IT architects.

See the Training Calendar for ESA course variations.

Focus of training

TOGAF training focuses on the Architecture Development Method (ADM).

This is a management framework for planning a substantial transformational change to business systems.

Our 4 day course includes case study work featuring TOGAF artefacts.

Focus of training

ESA training focuses on enterprise and solution architect knowledge and skills.

It introduces the broad sweep of architecture terms and concepts.

It outlines architecture frameworks and includes practical exercises.

Examinations for TOGAF certificates

TOGAF certification training courses prepare you for two multiple choice examinations;

1.      40 questions about TOGAF terms and concepts

2.      8 questions applying TOGAF concepts to short practical scenarios.

You can re-attend a training course with no additional training fee.

You book and pay for the examination after the course in a Pearson Vue centre. See guidance below.

Examinations for ESA certificates

ESA certification training courses lead to and include two multiple choice examinations;

1.      40 questions about architecture terms and concepts

2.      40 questions applying those concepts to a case study.

You can re-attend a training course with no additional training fee.

The ESA examinations are included in the course.


How to self-study for TOGAF (perhaps after ESA training)

Yes, and you have a good chance of passing.

The following guidance is distilled and adapted from that offered by Markus Freimuth here How to Pass the TOGAF Exams – Level 1 and Level 2

If you can allocate 1 or 2 hours per day, you might need to study for some weeks before the exam.

Here are five websites and documents that help.

·        A large amount of good test questions

·        A set of test exams for both levels

·        Additional test exam

·        Official test question pack from TOGAF website (0.99$)

·        TOGAF Study Guide (59.99$)


Step 1 – Read the TOGAF study guide as thoroughly as you can.

The study guide is half the length of the full standard.

It includes some test questions for both exam levels.


Step 2 - Attend Avancier’s ESA course (weekday or weekend)

This will give you a better feel for what TOGAF is talking about.


Step3 - Go through test questions you can find on the Internet.

Try to assess whether the questions are realistic or not.

This website is helpful.

Some websites purport to provide real test questions, but their questions are too obscure.

Do one or two test exams, for example on this website to get a feeling for the level of detail that is required.


Step 4 – Attend Avancier’s weekend TOGAF course (optional)

This tutorial will give you a deeper insight into TOGAF and its examinable “learning outcomes”.

It is not essential to the plan here.


Step 5 - Do all the well-formed test exams that you can find

You can get practice exams from sources such as:

·       TOGAF Study Pack

·        Simply Learn

·       Test Questions purchased from TOGAF website (the packs cost 0.99$ - worth the price)

The most important thing to analyse your test results and go through every wrong answer.

Write down the topic and look up the chapter in the full TOGAF standard.

The Study Guide answers 80-90% of all questions, but some questions cannot be answered without looking at the full standard.


Step 6 - Book and sit the exam at a Pearson Vue centre

If you feel confident with 90% of the questions behind the links in this article, you are more than prepared for passing the exam.

Check procedures at

Check prices


About the TOGAF exams.

There are two levels: Level 1 “foundation” and level 2 “certified”.

They can be either taken separately or as “combined” exam, which is recommended.


Level 1 60 minutes for 40 simple multiple-choice questions from which one answer is correct; there are no negative points for wrong answers.

The passing grade is 55%, which translates to 22 correct answers.

Questions require you to know the specific terms and concepts in the TOGAF standard.

You need to learn these by heart and do many realistic test questions upfront.


Level 2 90 minutes for 8 complex multiple-choice answers, from which

·        the best answer gives you 5 points,

·        the second best gives you 3 points,

·        the third best answer gives you 1 point, and

·        the worst answer gives 0 points.

You need at least 60% to pass, which are 24 out of 40 points.

The questions are very different from level 1 questions.

A question is usually about one page - half the page is a scenario – the other half is a question and four possible answer.

Apply common sense - and choose the answer that fits what you know of what TOGAF recommends.