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Exam Top Tips: Preparing for your ITIL and PRINCE2 Foundation Exam

Blog posted by: Amy Metcalfe and Craig Smith, AXELOS Publications Team, 12 March 2020.

Project and service managers in exam answering questions in pencil on papers in front of them

Here are our top tips to assist you on your ITIL® or PRINCE2® journey:

  • Start with an official training course and exam. We recommend aspiring project and service managers begin their journey with an official course from an accredited training provider. The accompanying certification will demonstrate to your colleagues and employers that you have acquired a strong understanding of our best practice.
  • Read around the topic. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the pre-course reading that the trainer provides. It will give you a basis of knowledge on which to build your learning. Additionally, there is a wide variety of interesting and relevant content on our website ( that will illuminate and enthuse you.
  • Make lots of notes. Making notes will embed the learning in your mind. (Make sure your notes are legible, so you can read them when revising).
  • Ask questions. The trainer is there to help. Ask as many questions as you like to ensure you understand the concepts and exam format. (Remember, there are no stupid questions!)
  • Use real world examples. Your trainer will use real examples from the world of service management and project management to bring the best practice to life. Don’t be afraid to ask how ITIL or PRINCE2 relates to your own working experience.
  • Sit the sample papers. The sample papers help you to become familiar with the exam format and allow you to benchmark your knowledge. Studying the questions you got right, as well as the ones you got wrong, will help you clarify your understanding of the learning rationale.

Be aware: the sample papers that you sit on Day One will contain questions about material that won’t have been introduced at that point. Don’t be discouraged! Those topics will be covered on Day Two. 
Download the sample papers.

  • Use study aids. We worked with our official publisher, TSO, to create revision apps for ITIL 4 Foundation and PRINCE2 Foundation. They contain hundreds of sample questions, along with the rationales for the answers.
  • Join AXELOS' Successful Candidates Register. The trainer will ask you to join the Successful Candidates Register. The Register allows employers, recruiters and training organizations to affirm that you’re certified, which can open the door to future work or further certification.


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