Taking an exam is something that many of us haven’t done since leaving school. It’s not an insurmountable task though! We’ve put together some guidance and top tips for students who have taken the ITIL Foundation course to help you achieve the result that you want from the ITIL Exam.

The ITIL Foundation is the first course in a suite of courses. It is introductory level and aimed at people working in service management who want to gain a standardised level of knowledge of ITIL.
Taking the exam is beneficial for anyone who is just starting out in their career, or for those with more experience who want to demonstrate their knowledge with a globally recognised certification. Successfully passing the exam will show that you have the knowledge of the ITIL terminology, structure and basic concepts and that you have understood the core principles of ITIL practices for service management.

Should I take the ITIL Foundation Exam?

You can learn the concepts that are presented in the ITIL Foundation course without having to take the exam session. You can self study using a range of methods, including internet sites and books or you can take an accredited ITIL course in the classroom or online.
Remember though, even if you have all the required knowledge, the certificate that you gain is the easiest way of demonstrating that you have learned the contents of the syllabus. If it is your intention to take higher level ITIL courses, or become an ITIL Expert then you will need to pass the ITIL Foundation exam, as this is a pre-requisite of progressing onto more advanced study and sitting those exams.

Where can I take the exam?

The ITIL Foundation exam is easily accessible. If you have taken an accredited classroom course, then you will usually take the exam at the end of the course.
You can sit the exam in a test center, Pearson Vue have sites in most locations. Alternatively, the ITIL exams are all available to take online. The online exam sessions are web proctored, meaning that you have a “virtual invigilator” who watches over you in the same way that someone would observe that exam conditions were being met in a classroom.
ITSM Zone offers students who have completed courses with us the opportunity to take the exam online. There’s no rush to get to a test center and you can take the exam from the comfort of your own home at a time and date to suit you.

What Format is the Exam?

The ITIL Foundation exam is closed book, so you can’t have any books or notes available to you during the session. It’s multiple choice, with each question presenting you with 4 options (A, B, C, D). For each question, there is only one correct answer. There are 40 questions that should be answered within the time allotted, which is 60 minutes.

Tips for Passing the ITIL Exam

1) Know your stuff!
Make sure that you have covered everything that you are likely to be asked. The full ITIL Foundation syllabus is available from AXELOS and lists in great detail everything that is contained in the Foundation exam. ITSM Zone ITIL Foundation students also receive a download of the syllabus as part of their supporting documents pack.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should ensure the quality of your learning materials – there are some non-accredited courses out there which may contain glaring errors in the information that they are sharing. Accredited ITIL training has been quality assured to guarantee that the information is accurate and up to date.

2) Practice makes perfect!
You can take practice tests before sitting the live exam. This means that you will be familiar with the layout and structure of the questions. Failing a sample exam will also provide you with an indication of what areas of the syllabus you should revise again, to help you achieve the result that you want from the real exam.
ITSM Zone students all have access to a team of qualified, experienced tutors, so if you fail a sample exam or have any questions around the ITIL exam generally, they will be more than happy to help.
We provide sample exams to our students, or they can be downloaded from AXELOS, you’ll need to create an account and log in to access them. Again, it is worth mentioning that there are only ever a set number of official sample exams available, any others may not be up to date.

3) Read the questions carefully
Make sure that you take the time to read the questions very carefully. A common error is to answer the question that you THINK you were being asked, not the question that IS being asked.
Look out for times when a question contains the word “not”, for example “What is a process owner NOT responsible for?” Missing that one small word will give you an incorrect answer.
There are also questions which will require you to work through 3 or 4 correct answers to determine which is the best one e.g. “Which is the BEST description of a service request” so make sure that you read all of the answers carefully before making your selection.

4) Think ITIL!
The exam is asking you to provide the answer from the ITIL methodology. We all know that things may be done a little differently in working environments. So make sure that you are not allowing custom and practice in your organisation influence your answers. These should all be based solely on what you’ve learned while studying through the ITIL syllabus.

5) On the Day
Try and relax! Make sure that you are well prepared; if you are travelling to a test center, make sure that you have plenty of time to get there. If you’re taking an online ITIL exam session, make sure that the area where you will be sitting is clear of any clutter and distractions.
Double check your answers before ending the session. If you are really not sure, make sure that you have provided a “best guess” answer; it gives you a 25% chance of getting it right, leaving a question unanswered will guarantee you get it wrong.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful, if you are wanting to take the ITIL Foundation exam, we provide a great package of the ITIL Foundation Course, the ITIL Essentials eBook and the online ITIL Exam. Details of this can be found here

Please note that we can only provide the ITIL Exams for students who have completed their study with us.

Looking for more information about ITIL4? Check out our ITIL4 article for more information about the latest release of ITIL.