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Smashing the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Courses

Blog posted by: Rasha Akar, AXELOS Social Media Lead, 22 January 2019.

Rasha's right hand holding pencil over the open Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 textbook on desk before her

After joining AXELOS as Social Media Lead, I got the opportunity to attend a PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner training course.

There were 18 of us, almost all from a project management background. I wasn’t too sure what to expect at first, I was worried that my lack of project management knowledge would be a hindrance. We were given the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 course book, a notepad, highlighters, pens and exam sample papers. It felt like being at university all over again.

As the course started, I realized how much of PRINCE2 I already use in my day-to-day life. After all, we all have ‘projects’ to manage be it in our personal or professional lives. From social media campaigns to holidays, these are all projects I have undertaken.

I very much enjoyed learning about all the principles, themes and processes. The course was very easy to keep up with, the book covers everything in great detail and the training was really good at using real-life examples to explain PRINCE2. The Foundation course lasted almost two days with the exam taking place on the Tuesday and the Practitioner lasted two days and two hours with the exam taking place on Friday.

In order to do Practitioner, you first need to pass the Foundation level. All exams were done online, meaning you get your results instantly! Which I believe is a good thing as you don’t have to stress waiting for your results – but yes, it’s also a bit scary. I am very happy to report that I passed both the Foundation and Practitioner exams.

My top tips for the course and exams are:

  • Take as many notes as possible during the classes, and make these notes in your book as the Practitioner exam is an open book exam.
  • Make sure you do all the sample papers in a mock exam setting, so you get a good feel of how it will be on the day and you get a sense of timings. When grading your sample papers, ensure you read the explanations for all the questions you got wrong.
  • Do not stress. You get a break of about two hours before your Practitioner exam, use the time to rest your mind and have a good lunch. There is nothing more for you to cram.
  • During the exam if you are struggling on a certain question, just pick an answer and flag the question up. If you have time at the end, you can come back to it. Time goes by really quickly and if you dwell on a hard question for too long you risk missing out on easy questions.

It has now been a while since I completed my training and PRINCE2 is very much embedded in everything I do now. If you are thinking about taking the course, go for it! Personal development is very important, we should be continuously improving our learning.

You can book a course through one of AXELOS’ accredited training providers. You can find the full list on the AXELOS website.


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