After three days spent breathing nothing but IT Service Management, I’ve sat –and passed- the ITIL®4 Foundation exam. This post has some tips I learnt along the way and some resources that might be useful if you’re looking to get the certification yourself.
Exam Prep Tips
The exam is closed book with 40 multiple choice questions and an hour to complete. The pass mark is 65%, so that’s 26 correct answers as there’s no penalty for getting a question wrong. With some prior experience in ITSM, and a bit of focussed study, this is quite an achievable mark.
Where to start? You’ll see the “4 Dimensions of Service Management” and the “7 Guiding Principles” and the components of the “Service Value Chain”. Make sure you can recall as many as possible of these. You shouldn’t get asked “What’s the fourth Guiding Principle?”, but you might be asked “Which Dimension of Service Management applies here?” and be able to rule out two of the four multiple choice answers because they’re not the Dimensions from the framework at all.
Learn and remember the prescribed vocabulary. There’s lots of terms, many of which are words in common use more generally in IT. These may not have the same meaning or have a more precisely defined description under ITIL®. Release Management is a good example here- it’s not about installing a latest version of your app or website- that’s Deployment Management. Release Management can be thought of as just the process of making that new version available to be deployed.
I can’t overstate how important it is to know as many of the ITIL® terms, and what they mean is to passing the exam. Of course a full understanding of the principles is what you’re really after, but this is tested at this level by making sure you can recall the right name for a component of the framework and recognise where it should be used.
Also, checkout sample papers, but make sure you’re using the official ones for ITIL®4, and not any which may have v2 or v3 content. A lot has changed from v3 to 4 and you don’t want to be answering with the wrong framework. The sample papers I accessed felt remarkably similar in content and question structure to the real exam.
Subscriptions or purchases may be required for some of these resources.
- Axelos ITIL®4 candidate syllabus and certification details (includes link to sample paper)
- Pluralsight ITIL® 4 Foundation Path
- LinkedIn Learning Learning ITIL® (although I’d recommend skipping through the v3 module)
- Global Knowledge 3 day course.
ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited