ITIL is a set of best practices or structured guidelines that inform IT service management processes and procedures. The primary purpose of the ITIL framework is to support the efficient delivery of IT services in a way that maximizes value by aligning the needs of the business with IT resources. These IT best practices were established and ITIL registered as a trademark under AXELOS. It has since seen several framework reviews to the latest ITIL 4 version which was published in February 2019. 

To implement ITIL in the business, IT and business professionals should be well familiar with its best practices. Learning ITIL is a gradual process that starts with learning the fundamentals. A good test of foundational knowledge in IT service management is acquiring an ITIL certification as you go along and your start point would be the ITIL Foundation exam. 

The ITIL Foundation exam 

The ITIL foundation exams cover ITIL fundamentals and concepts and are focused on assessing a candidate’s knowledge of the principles, terminologies, and definitions in ITIL. Among the ITIL concepts examined in the foundation exam include, the ITIL service design and strategy processes, service operation and transition as well as the impact of these processes in IT service management. 

Cracking the ITIL Foundation Certification Exam

Keen on cracking the ITIL certification exam and ace it? 

While there is no laid down approach for preparing for this exam, some tips and guidelines will come in handy to help you devise one that suits you.  

Preparation tips 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your exam. 

1.The exam pattern

Part of preparation is knowing how the exam paper is structured. This way you will be able to prioritize the questions accordingly and tackle the exam with confidence. 

The ITIL 4 Foundation exam comprises 40 questions in total to be done within 60 minutes. To earn the certification, one is required to attain a passing score of at least 65% which is about 26 questions out of the 40.  

2.The ITIL glossary 

Sure, after you are done with theory and are preparing for the exam, you may have grasped some terminologies and definitions here and there. However, going through the ITIL 4 glossary will lay a strong foundational knowledge of the terminologies, definitions, and even the concepts of ITIL as well as help you use these terms appropriately. Furthermore, these are the very terminologies and definitions you are bound to come across in the ITIL foundation exam. 

3.ITIL Keywords 

Although some terminology can pass off as keywords, keywords are different from the terminologies in that the latter is linked to ITIL concepts and topics. As you master a keyword, you could be taking time to understand the concepts around it. 

The secret to mastering keywords is to underline them whenever you come across them in your course materials, practice tests, and mock exam. To give you an idea of keywords, look out for phrases like:

  • Service value chain
  • Service design
  • Service strategy
  • Service level agreement (SLA)
  • Operational level agreements 
  • Incident management
  • Service transition

Being able to identify keywords also points you to the ITIL concept in the discussion. 

4.Study resources 

The internet age has made it possible to access both free and paid ITIL foundation study resources. Get technical information, exam guidelines, as well as one free mock exam from the official ITIL website. However, because the ITIL examination is administered by accredited third-party institutions, you may have to register with one of them to be able to access study materials. 

If your plan is to self-study and pay only for the examination, take your time to score Google and YouTube for free or paid resources. A tip is to plan your study and plan the study materials well in advance so you will have ample time to study. Most people have managed a thorough study journey in an average of two months. 

Finally, don’t underestimate reading ITIL course books. An advantage that they offer is a structured, topic-by-topic approach to studying.  

5.ITIL 4 Mock exam and practice exercises 

When you are done revising for the exam, consider taking the ITIL 4 mock exam available on the Axelos website not only to gauge your preparedness but also to be familiar and comfortable with the exam structure and setting. Practice exercises and sample questions should be taken during your study. Try to answer the questions without looking up their answers. 

As you’ll land free mock exams apart from the one offered on ITIL’s official site, it is advisable to take mock exams regularly. A good mock exam should explain your incorrect answers in-depth to give you bearing on what you should focus on as you finalize your revision.  

When should you take a mock exam? Best before and after studying for the exam and target a score higher than the required 26 correct answers out of 40. 

6.Tackle the key concepts of service management during your study

These include 

  • The definitions of service, service management, utility, customer, user, sponsor, and warranty. 
  • Key concepts of value in services including cost, value, organization, outcome, output, risk, utility, and warranty.  
  • Key concepts of service relationships including service offering, service relationship management, service provision, and service consumption. 

7.Examination tips 

  • Prior to the exam, visit Axelos’ site to get new updates and details about the exam.  
  • You have 1.5 minutes to tackle each of the 40 questions. It is advisable to attempt the easy questions first. This way, you will be left with ample time to do complex questions and review your paper at the end and make sure that all answers are marked clearly as per the instructions provided.  
  • When you have run out of options, use the elimination method to tackle the most difficult questions. It will help to focus on the end of longer-type questions as they are usually the actual questions. 
  • Identify and underline the keywords in the questions to give you an idea of the ITIL concept being examined. Also circle words like ‘NOT’, ‘NO’, ‘BEST’, and ‘NEVER’ so that you are sure you are answering the questions correctly. 
  • Always read the questions more than once and base your answers on ITIL’s theory and not your reasoning. 
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