Preparing for BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile

Attending the BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile is great preparation for the associated assessment, but there is an expectation of some self-study after the class to maximise your chances.

BCS have published two examination questions for you to use to help prepare for the exam. The Specimen paper is half the length of the full examination, but the questions are at the same level and format. The Sample paper is the full 40 questions.  It is recommended that you:

  1. Download the test specimen examination here and answer the questions. Mark your answers using the answer key contained in the same document.
  2. Download the test sample examination here and answer the questions. Mark your answers using the answer key contained in the same document.
  3. Research the questions you got incorrect, or contact your trainer with any follow-up questions.

The knowledge required is listed below, taken from the BCS Syllabus for 2.1.  There are links to resources for further reading within each section. This will allow you to focus your reading in areas that you feel least strong, or on the parts of the specimen and sample papers that you scored lowest.

The key reference text for the course is Agile From First Principles By Lynda Girvan and Simon Girvan, published by BCS. If your organisation has a O’Reilly subscription, you may be able to access it there for free.

A high-level summary of the key terms and principles, based on the above reference text, is available in this glossary of agile terms, which is relevant for the BCS Certificate in Agile 2.1. Reviewing this document would recommended to consolidate the key facts you are likely to need to recall in the exam.  For anyone who attended the training course prior to 1 June 2023, please be aware the exam and syllabus has been updated – details can be found on this page, and we will provide continued support for all students on request.

BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile Knowledge Areas

1. The Agile Manifesto

The agile manifesto

2. Rationale & Benefits of Agile

What is Agile?

Achieving business agility

3. Individuals and their Interactions over Processes and Tools

Dan Pink: Drive – animation about intrinsic motivation

4. Working Systems over Comprehensive Documentation

What is a product increment?

What is an agile architect?

5. Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiations

Agile fixed price contracts – can they work?

6. Responding to Change over Following a Plan


7. Common Agile Roles

What is an agile coach? (Known as Agile Lead in BCS syllabus)

What is a product owner? (Known as Customer in BCS syllabus)

What is an agile development team? (Known as The Team in BCS syllabus)

8. Common Agile Techniques

What is a product backlog?

Backlog Refinement

What is behaviour driven development (BDD)?

What are story points?

9. Common Agile Practices

What is the daily stand up / daily scrum?

What is a retrospective?

What is a sprint backlog?

10. Relevant Methods and Approaches for Agile Teams

The Scrum framework


What is the difference between Scrum and Kanban?

eXtreme Programming 

How do the lean 7 wastes apply to software projects?

Lean startup


Public Training Courses

Building confidence in new ways of working and inspiring change


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