Sunday, 17 September 2006

Need help to pass the foundation exam?

I recently came across a podcast 'Top Tips for Taking the ITIL Foundation Exam' from ILX Training and finally made time to listen to it today. It wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be and the bulk of the helpful tips were in the final 10 minutes of the cast.

The advice is primarily directed towards those who are taking the exam following a classroom based training course, and is not hugely useful for those who are going the self-study route.

So... to summarise for those of you who don't have 30 minutes to listen to the cast:

Before the exam:
  1. There is no need to read up on ITIL prior to going on a formal training course. Everything you need should be provided on the course.
  2. Classroom based training courses will have official mock papers for you to practice.
  3. The ITIL Foundation Exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions to be answered in 1 hour.
  4. Need a minimum of 26 correct answers, the pass rate is perhaps 95% in this trainer's experience.
  5. The majority of questions are regarding the process itself.
  6. Only a few questions will ask about people (mainly on service desk) and technology.
  7. Ask your trainer questions, do not be embarrased. Chances are other people want to know the answer as well.
  8. Leave your preconceptions at home. The exam is on ITIL and not how you do things at work.
  9. Remember that even if you do something differently and think it is wrong, forget the 'I think...'. Answers must be 'ITIL'.
  10. Don't think you know everything about a process because it is similar to what you do at work. There may be new terminology, or the same terminology with different definitions.
  11. Learn the abbrieviations and acronyms and where they are used in each process. Think of it as learning a new language.
If taking the exam in a class based environment there will be an invigilator from EXIN or ISEB. They user generic exam forms.
  1. Scribble answers on the actual exam question paper.
  2. Only when you are finished should you mark answers on the generic exam form.
  3. Mark answers in pencil.
  4. Be very careful if you erase an incorrect answer as the computer may read it as a separate mark and void the entire line.
  5. ITIL papers normally only have 4 possible answers: A, B, C, D. The generic form includes a fifth option, E. Be careful not to mark column E.
The exam itself:
  1. Ignore everyone else in the room.
  2. Read the question, read the answers, re-read the question again.
  3. Go through the paper and answer all those you are sure of first.
  4. Eliminate the answers you know are incorrect (like 50/50 on who wants to be a millionaire).
  5. Allow approximately a minute and a half per question.
  6. If you aren't sure of an answer within 1 minute move on. There may be another question that may assist you.
  7. Once you have committed to an answer, do not go back and check as invariably you will change a correct answer to an incorrect answer.
  8. Do not over-analyse or second-guess yourself.
  9. If you can't answer all the questions don't worry about it.
  10. Remember to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer form!
You may also want to refer to my previous Foundation tips post.


Anonymous said...

Just taken OS&A today (March 12). This was following a Monday to Friday morning classroom based study of the function ten other students all of whom were from a diverse set of employment backgrounds. Tuition excellent, sample papers useful but in my opinion difficult as much play on a sentence or just a couple of words that make all the difference. Much of it is common sense, much of it is experience of real life experience at your own work but as the author here says think ITIL not how you do it at work. Exam is 90 minutes and I used all 90 irrespective of the tutor suggesting that OS&A is the easiest of the capability series. I have done PPO and RCV and passed these but I don't agree this was easier; far from it. Good luck everyone. I'm expecting to book my resit on this one!!!!

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